Fisticuffs Card Game: Punching Their Way to the Top Review

 Game: Fisticuffs Time: 20 minutes
 Publisher: Nerdologues Players 4- 8
 Age: 12+ Replayability 9/10

fisticuffs card game

Fisticuffs Card Game

Fisticuffs is a great example of a good knock out game. I am easily a big hater on knock out games because the knocked out (usually me) find the rest of the game a dull, waste of Wish-I-did-that-instead type of resentment. I swear, I will avoid at all costs a game that can potentially knock me out because I find that (and this is for anyone who loses prior to the game ending) it makes the experience a negative one. Typically, I can appreciate being a loser when a game ends (non-knockout). I have no problem appreciating the effort and strategy my opponents have and I can agree that their win’s a win. For some reason, a knockout experience just makes me envious–I hate that feeling. This Fisticuffs card game, while not implementing any fix to the knockout problem, is developed around a theme and style that just feels okay to be the loser. Each player has their own life bar, their own set of cards, and their own special ability giving them that variable player strategy before throwing the towel. Even when the knock out happens, the game is so quick and spontaneous that I would have no problem just spectating.

The How’s and What’s

fisticuffs card gameFind three of your friends to want to brawl with you. You all choose a character from the eight given and supply each player with a health bar. Deal out 6 punch cards to every player and select the starting player (the game specifies the oldest to go first) to be handed the glove card and the round card. Each card has an attack type, a color, and a negative amount of points Choose an opponent to begin brawling with. You’ll send out a punch card as a starting attack, this give that opponent and opportunity to block by playing a card of the same type. Counter with a similar color card and watch as your opponent will either block with a similar card type or throw in the towel (meaning they take the hit. This is when someone else gets to try to block it and the counter, block, continues…) and begins the next player’s turn. When it wraps around to the starting player deal out a round card to each player, draw back up to 6 cards, and repeat the process.

My Experience

Now my favorite part! My experience with this game is definitely one I won’t forget. Like I said, this is an experience that has changed my view on knock out style games (at least with this title). I chose The Thunder from Down Under (The kangaroo), my opponents had The Marvelous Madame, The Lady of Liberty, and The Metal Devil (The Robot). I began play (because I said do, I’m not the oldest). I dealt out the Haymaker (-5 points) which has got to be the most intimidating card out there, seriously, this is one helluva a punch to the face. It was blocked by The Metal Devil himself–countered with an uppercut. Unfortunately for him, I’m a kangaroo so I obviously used my specialty (use the stomp card to block anything) and decided to not counter. Miss Lady Liberty herself introduced us to the jab directed toward The Metal Devil again. Turns later we began seeing different play styles represented by round cards (blue punch cards). I’d throw a Rush card (this one was a -4 to any player with no block), while others would toss in Feint (looking at any fighter’s hand and choosing one for them to discard). In the end I lost to my brother,The Metal Devil, who had a fantastic comeback.

Final Thoughts

This Fisticuffs card game is flawless. I think each card is directed to create a nice balance to the gameplay. I felt that the characters were all interesting in their own way and are accessorized with a nice flavoring of back story. The gameplay is quick, fun, and shockingly strategic. Like I stated earlier, this is a knockout game I enjoy and I’d bring to every table. I want to say it is possible to play a 2 player variant by having a team of two players, but is fun with the stated amount (3-5). the interaction you’ll find with this is fantastic because of the battling component. The artwork is there, the theme is there, the engagement is there. 10/10 I can’t see why not. Even my brother wants to play it again (he NEVER wants to play games with me *sad face).

You will like this game if you’re a fan of the boxing theme. You want a lot of direct interaction with your opponents. You like a bit of strategy. Are a fan of quick play.

You will not like this game if you want something light hearted. If you want a board game that’s pace is slower. You don’t want to be eliminated.fisticuffs card game

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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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