BetaBotz Robot Card Game: Review

 Game: BetaBotz Players: 4- 6
 Publisher: Zagar Games Age: 8+
 Time: 30 minutes Replayability: 7/10

What is Betabotz

betabotzUpgradeable robot gambling and completing missions? Sounds like an amazing concept for a card game. Good news! This IS live on kickstarter. BetaBotz is a 3- 6 player card game about developing the status of your robot and completing missions for coin (chips). The game ends after the defined mission count. In each round of Betabotz, you and your opponents will bid on components to attach to your robot. Each component will raise your robots attributes which help you complete harder missions. Throughout the card game you will be collecting coins in order to bid for the best upgrades. These upgrades will be used on your robot in order to create the ultimate mission completing machine.

How To Play

The game plays through a few phases: Phase 0, 1, and 2. In Phase 0, you will begin by bidding on which robot (You’ll draw enough to accommodate each player) you’d like to have for the rest of the game. You’ll follow with Phase 1 (which will be repeated along with Phase 2 until your Missions are completed and the game ends) by drawing enough component cards to accommodate everyone -1 (3 players= 2 components). As you can tell, the pressure to own a component can run your pockets dry (as you bet). If you are one of the unlucky players who end up not getting hold of a component that round (like me) you’ll be granted a code card. These cards offer you a bit of an upper hand by adding attribute points temporarily to your robot, or decreasing an opponent’s attributes. Mission cards will be played during Phase 2–your robot must be able to satisfy the requirements in order to win the coins. What I enjoyed was the semi-cooperative “work together” aspect. If you can’t satisfy the requirements, you may work together with other players in order to succeed the mission (this will however lead to you all splitting the coins). After the missions are exhausted, whoever has the most coin wins!

My Experience

betabotzBetaBotz definitely caught me by surprise as I’d gone in totally blind when I played it. After setup I initially played conservative (more liberal as the game progressed) with my coin because I wasn’t too sure what I’d be missing out on. This allowed me a chance to stock up on some code cards so I can always have my back up plan on deck. Luck was not on my side (as is normal) and my robot was incapable of satisfying structure requirements listed on the mission–luckily I had a temporary code card that boosted any attribute up by 4 points. My opponents and I all succeeded our mission and individually collected the amounted coin for completion. Eventually you’ll soar through the double digits as you bid and collect component cards to build your robot to a super robot. When an attribute reaches 13 you get to acquire a Mobilization card; which is another bonus to your robots attribute. Wonder if I had a few concerns? Of course.

My problem I seem to have (which was nothing more than a mere itch) was counting my component cards. Every mission I felt like I continued  to look at my robot, count up my attribute total, and then work along or around my opponents as they calculatetheir totals too. When we all tallied we’d attempt to complete the mission. I mean, I could have written down my ability scores but That is soooo much work m8. What did I enjoy? I really love the bidding component of Betabotz; like seriously. I think bidding is such a fun way to entertain the interaction aspect of a game. Each round left a fresh scent with us as we spend another round trying to get the best points for the lowest coin. I did enjoy it a lot.

You will like this game if you want semi-cooperation on a grander scheme. I mean that while you are all competing individually, there are objectives that take the collective work of everyone to defeat. You will also enjoy the customization involved in each robot’s piece.

You will not like this game if you are  a fan of design, If you’re someone that wants to visually find themselves immersed–you won’t find that here. While the idea of each component is given, I think those who want to see their robot come to life won’t find this suitable.

This is live on kickstarter


Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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