Kapow Board Game Review: Roll Your Way to Victory!
Discover Kapow Board Game, a superhero-themed delight with easy-to-learn rules, customizable dice, and a unique base+kicker+multiplier mechanic. Perfect for preteens and up, it offers competitive solo or team play. Get ready for an exhilarating experience!
February 16, 2023
By: BJ Brown
Kapow The Dice Building Game is an excellent board game for families. With so many Kickstarter projects in the market, it can be hard to distinguish the great ones from the bad. Kapow stands out as one of the non-traditional games that are simple to learn but take time to master.
Kapow The Dice Building Game is a thrilling superhero game that's centered around dice. With its unique 'dice building' feature, players can customize blank-faced dice with different faces to correspond to various powers and actions for their characters. Developed by 2 Ton Porcupine in 2017, the game's 'Volume 2' release added new rules for solo and 2v1 play, as well as additional characters and quality of life improvements. Although the game's rules state that it's for players aged 12 and up, it's easy to teach the game to younger players around 10 years old. The game takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete, as advertised on the box.
How To Play
Kapow is a fun game that's easy to set up. Each player gets a board (one for heroes, one for villains), a screen, a health dial, and a character. The character board shows starting health and which dice to take from the action and trait dice pool.
The player board explains all the attack, defend, and power-up moves you can make. Once you roll your dice, you can assign them to any moves you want, like attacking, defending, or powering up your character. There's no limit to the number of dice you can use.
The screen gives you privacy when rolling and assigning maneuvers. It also has additional info about the symbols on the boards. The health dial lets you track your hero or villain's health. The dice stash includes six-sided dice of different colors, including black ones you can customize with symbols.
To win in Kapow, you need to build up your stash of dice and customize the black action dice with "kickers" and multipliers. The total pool of dice is limited, so it's important to acquire as many as possible. However, your opponent can use defensive moves that can hurt you if you gain too many dice or faces in a round.
The game has four phases: the roll phase, attack and defend phase, power-up phase, and reset phase.
In phase one, both players roll their dice behind the screen and assign them to moves on their board. Some moves are "IMMEDIATE," meaning they happen right away and can't be moved or reused until phase four.
In phase two, both players reveal their screens and execute their maneuvers. The player with the lowest health attacks first. The attack's total value includes "kickers" and up to one multiplier, while the defender's moves are based on their assigned dice in the defense column.
In phase three, both players power up their characters with new faces or dice, but defensive or counter actions can cause players to lose health if they gain too many dice or faces.
In phase four, both players pick up their dice and any new ones they acquired. The player with the lowest health attacks first in the next round.
Tips and Strategies
Playing Kapow is all about managing your dice effectively. It's tempting to go all out on attack or power-ups, but to deal the most damage with a powerful move, you need at least 12 dice. Specifically, 2 black 'action' dice go to 'KLONK', 4 dice to 'SHELLAC', and 6, including an action die, to 'CLOBBER'. This combination of moves deals a massive 26 damage to your opponent in one round.
While this move isn't necessary to win, it can be devastating in the late game. It's better to take a balanced approach and adapt to what you roll. Remember, your opponent is always trying to hurt you, so don't forget to assign some dice to defense.
When customizing your action dice, consider your hero or villain's unique moves. These are moves no one else has, so they can give you an edge. Keep in mind that you don't need to put a face on every side of your dice since some moves can activate with 'blank' faces. For instance, the generic player board has a healing move that can be handy even in the early stages of the game. Consider making it one of the first moves you assign if you have the dice for it.
Kapow The Dice Building Game is a fun and easy-to-learn game that relies on rolling dice and assigning them to actions. The game uses simple symbols to help players match up their dice to the actions they want to take, making it accessible even for young children.
The only slightly tricky part of the game is understanding the base + kicker + multiplier system, but once players get the hang of it, the strategy and tactics become clear. As players gain new faces for their action dice, they can grow their stash of dice and create even more powerful moves.
Late game rolls are especially exciting, as players can assign multiple dice to unleash devastating attacks on their opponents. The game is tons of fun and easy to play, but it does require both players to be honest as rolls are performed in secrecy.
Overall, Kapow The Dice Building Game is a rewarding and exciting game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. The only downside is that dishonest players could potentially cheat, so it's important to play with trustworthy opponents or have a referee present during tournaments.
Final Score: 8/10
Kapow The Dice Building Game is a fantastic game that scores an 8 out of 10. The game is superhero-themed and boasts stunning artwork, simple rules, and clear game pieces. The game is quick to play and is sure to be enjoyed by preteens and older players who love the thrill of rolling tons of dice to take down their opponents. In addition to the standard 2-player mode, there are also rules for solo play and even 2-player games against a super villain. It would be exciting to see what new mega villains and characters will be added to the game in the future!