Any game, television show, or piece of media normally will have a very specific audience. Whether it’s teenagers, young children, adults, or families, sometimes media is strictly built for that audience. The card game Bad Guy Nonsense is a fun little game designed very specifically to be family-friendly, not too competitive, and easy to pick up and play. It may not be the go-to game every single night for families, and there are still some minor issues, but overall it can be a fun experience for groups of all ages.
As a brief overview of the game and the gameplay, the main objective is to capture “Bad Guys” and the person with the most points at the end of the game wins. Points are earned by capturing “Bad Guys,” having Nonsense cards in your hand at the end and players will lose points depending on which “Bad Guys” they still have in their hand. Players can capture bad guys in a variety of ways and there are other special cards that can protect, steal, and destroy already captured “Bad Guys” or cards.
The gameplay is fairly simple and straightforward once learned, the instructions given are pretty good but could have been a little more clear and concise. Also, a rulebook would have been more effective than writing all of the rules on a number of individual cards that have the exact same back as the rest of the deck.
Speaking about appearance, the art on all the cards is really great and paints a fun and zany universe. Marc Rienzo, who worked in Marvel Studios, Star Wars, Disney and many other things is the main creator of this game overall design and artist. Even though the characters on cards are beautifully drawn, the lock cards that are used to capture enemies are lackluster. They serve their purpose just fine and because it is more of a family centered game, having the lock cards which frequently ask players to do simple math be very simple makes sense. But I still think they could have used a little bit more flair and design in my opinion. This is especially noticeable when your hand is filled with brightly colored images that take up the whole card and then entirely black cards with just one lock symbol, a color, and number. It just looks a little odd and jarring in the hand even if it serves a purpose.
Another issue and curious choice by the designers is the size of the cards. These are oversize cards, they are the size of two regular cards next to each other. As much as it is fun to see much bigger images that showcase Rienzo’s art, it’s difficult to shuffle and bulky, even for me. With this being a family friendly game, I can’t imagine smaller children ages five and up handling such big cards throughout the entire game or trying to reasonably shuffle the cards in any effective way. It’s not a game-breaker, but I think the novelty of the big cards outstays its welcome.
Lastly, the moment to moment gameplay can be pretty smooth and well-paced, however, if a player does not have great cards to start, only being able to discard one card at a time and drawing one card at a time is a very slow way for them to progress. It can leave players with almost nothing to do for various turns if they’re bad luck continues.
Overall the game is a lot of fun and can be a good choice for families and players of all ages. But it does lack major depth and has a little bit of balancing issues. I seem to mention a lot of negative things about the game, and these are meant to be more critiques about how the game could have been or should be better in future iterations. But it serves its purpose very well as an easy to pick-up game for families.
Check out the official website: https://badguynonsense.com/
This is the Kickstarter with only a week or so left!: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marcrienzo/bad-guy-nonsense