I had meant to post this back when the Amazing Spider-Man film came out but I just didn’t get round to it.
Anyway, with this film out this is a good time to review the Amazing Spider-Man board game.
First, a word on how I came to have this game; I have no idea. It was just in our house when I was growing up. So too was Monopoly, Cluedo and Battleship. I remember getting Yahtzee for Christmas, but this Spider-Man board game was just always there. Maybe it was my brothers.
Growing up I never played this game properly. I just used it like a basic roll dice and move type of game, going round the circles until finally getting to the middle to win. Honestly, it has only been recently that I have finally gotten round to reading the instructions on how to play.
For a game named after the most popular Marvel comics character it is actually something of a letdown to discover that in playing this game you don’t play as Spider-Man. Rather, you play as one of these four other Marvel characters; Thor, Iron Man, Hulk or Namor the Sub-Mariner. Since all of these characters have been Avengers, I could have reviewed this game for that recent film. But going back to Spidey, where is he? His image is all over the board game but as a character in the game he is just not there. Although it is not stated it is implied that since you are racing to get to the centre of the board where Spidey is, you are perhaps rescuing him. This is more Marvel Team-up than an issue of the Amazing Spider-Man.
So, since you get to be another Marvel character, does your playing piece look like them? No; this game is from way before intricate playing pieces. I suspect that the age of this game may be as old as those old style Marvel cartoons; the ones where the animation consisted of panels from the comics with a few moving bits added.
Hence you get colour coded playing pieces; green for Hulk, red for Iron Man, etc. However, you do get two playing pieces per character, which is odd. Maybe the heroes have clones? Then again, since we are in the world of Amazing Spider-Man, best not mention clones.
As I mentioned, before the object of the game is to get to the middle, where Spider-man is. As you go around the circles you face various villains and collect points for each one you subdue. Sorry, that makes it sound more involved than it truly is. Actually you just land on a spider web and you pick up a villain card; fight over. Each villain card has different point allocations, such as the Ring Master is worth 2 points and Boomerang is worth 1. Also, those are actual Spider-Man villains, of which there are very few named in this game. I confess my Spider-Man knowledge is not that extensive but I am pretty certain there was never a Spidey villain named Lion Face; he’s worth 3 points incidentally. You never lose in battle against the villains but you sort of face up against the other heroes (hero fights, how very Marvel). If you land in the same square as another hero you knock them back to their home base and they have to start again.
Play is controlled by cards. You pick up a travel card when it is your turn and follow the directions to move that many places. Some travel cards work against you by making you go back to the start.
Once one player reaches Spider-Man with both of their playing pieces the game ends and a point tally is taken. There were special bonus points for being the first and second person to the middle. Whoever has the highest score wins.
It is fairly simple but the difficulties arise from having to go completely around each circle and land on the right spot to gain entry to the lower level. The more players the harder it is to avoid being knocked back to your respective home base.
I like this game; it is fun and not too hard. The emphasis is on accruing points and not just racing to the centre. If only you actually got to be the Amazing Spider-Man. I give this game 3 Dice.