I’m just going to say this to start: Campy Creatures from Keymaster Games is one of the most gorgeously illustrated card games I’ve played in a VERY long time.
There are three main types of game components in a Campy Creatures box: Creature Cards, Mortal Cards, and other components. Working backwards: the components include a well laid out rule book that feels thematically suitable, a small “Clash-o-Meter” board for breaking ties and keeping score, individual player markers for the Clash-o-Meter, and individual “Creeples” for the score track.
Each player gets the same individual Creature Deck, composed of nine different Creature Cards numbered 0-8. Each card is beautifully illustrated in the style of a classic monster movie poster and includes the name, number, and special ability for that creature. The backs of the cards are individually themed to match your player marker and creeple figure.
Finally, there is a deck of Mortal Cards. Capturing Mortals is how you win the game. Some have positive points, some have negative points, and some have points that vary. The Mortal Cards aren’t as elaborately illustrated as the Creature Cards, but they don’t really need to be. They still feel like something out of a campy monster movie, which is point here.
Gameplay is simple. You reveal one Mortal Card per player, which doesn’t actually mean everyone will get one. Each player then secretly selects a numbered Creature Card from their hand and, when they are revealed, it establishes the order that players get to select which Mortal Card(s) they will take. Most of the time, the higher numbered Creature will draft first, but each Creature also has a unique ability that may change that outcome in a variety of ways. Any ties are determined by the order the Player Markers are set on the Creep-o-Meter, with the higher player winning the tie and then shifting to the bottom. Once you can no longer reveal one Mortal per Player, the round ends and everyone totals their points and moves their Creeple along the scoring track on the outside of the Creep-o-Meter board. The game lasts three rounds.
Campy Creatures is a fast, fun, game that is just dripping with personality. It’s one of those rare games that I am likely to keep out to play, despite having another pile over there that I also need to play and review.
Originality: 3 / 5
Visual Appeal: 4 / 5
Ease of Play: 4 / 5
Strategic Challenge: 3 / 5
Total expressed as a percentage of the Ultimate Question: 33.3%