Two things I am a sucker for …… deck building games and animal themed games.  When I heard about this game I just had to get it!  I mean, come on….gigantic dinosaurs evolving and trying to kill each other, nuff said!

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Behold……..APEX!!!

Let me just say that so far this game has not let me down.

Apex is a 1-6 player game in which you take the role of an Alpha species of theropods, large bipedal dinosaurs with smallish arms.  Each theropod has a personal deck of cards that is their APEX deck.  The Apex deck of each theropod is made up of other animals of your species that you add to your herd.  Each one of these theropods, same as your Alpha, have different values, titles and special abilities.  There are also bosses and minions of each theropod used for solo game play.

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An example of the Apex cards of the Spinosaurus….my favorite looking of the theropods!

You will have a different deck that forms your Alpha card, your herd that you acquire and any evolutions you gain.  This will be your main deck that you will play from through out the game.  You start with your Alpha card, some hatchlings, an Egg and some carcasses.  Your Alpha and your hatchlings allow your to hunt other dinosaurs.  Your egg gives you the benefit to hatch other species from you Apex deck and the carcasses give you evolution points to buy new evolution cards or recruit the species that just hatched from your Apex deck.

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Alpha cards that can be upgraded as the game progresses.

You will also form an Evolve deck with all the cards that you can add to your Alpha, a hunting deck filled with various type and sized dinosaurs that you can hunt and an Affliction deck that is filled with all sorts of nasty things that happen when you hunt or fight.  Most of these just fill up your deck with worthless cards as others will force you to continue feeling the effects of battle.

At the start of each round there will be an environment card that appears that normally does some nasty things.  One environment card might say discard all your cards and draw 4 new cards.  Another environment card I got the other day, told me to reveal Affliction cards until I get one that is NOT a flesh wound, then add ALL the afflictions to your deck.

During your turn you play the cards you have in your hand.  The order of what you play will make a huge difference.  You usually want to play cards that allow your to hatch Apex species, or draw a card from your deck.  After that you want to hunt and get cards that help you use evolve points.  Each card that you hunt also has an evolve point on it that allows you to use it to gain evolve cards or Apex cards that just hatched.  Makes sense right?  You learn new things every time you go out and hunt….so it makes you smarter the next time!  I love when games capture the theme so well.

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Examples of dinosaurs that can be hunted for Evolution points, the bottom left number.

You will continue to do this for several rounds hunting dinosaurs, upgrading your Alpha and herd until………….Extinction!!!  Once the meteor hits the planet and extinction begins, through Environment cards…it is now game on.  The game now moves into this one verses all, mano y mano, king of the hill, Theropod Alpha Dog competition.  You thin your deck to only your Alpha card and the Apex cards you recruited for your herd.  You fight all the other players and their Alpha theropods and herd.  Last one standing………Titan of Theropods!

I can’t wait to get more plays of this game and at multiple player counts.  I can say that this is the first game that has even got me interested in playing it as a solo experience. The game looks fantastic and plays really well for a deck-builder with some interesting new ideas.  Hopefully I will be able to make a full review of this game soon.

  • Tim