Instead of adding to the internet yet another review of how marvellous The Avengers movie is (and yes I did go and see it opening day here in Australia) I thought to do an Avengers tie in post and review my old Incredible Hulk board game.
This game hails from the time of the Bill Bixby/ Lou Ferrigno TV show but this board game relates more to the Hulk comic book than the small screen version. For one thing the Hulk is fighting against the Abomination and secondly Banner has his alliterative first name of Bruce instead of David which the show went with.
But wait, comic book fans say; why does the board game cover call Abomination an alien? Relax, the instructions inside reveal that the Abomination is back on Earth after having been exiled in space. I’ll have to check Hulk comic history to see if that ever happened in Marvel continuity.
The playing board of this game is bright and colourful and reflects the destruction that the Hulk can wreak with smashing sound effects all over. This game could almost tie in with the new Avengers movie what with all the destruction of a major city that is represented on the board. This game could also have been re-released for the last Hulk movie since the Abomination was the villain in that.
The good news is that the two to four players who get to play this game don’t have to fight over who is Hulk. You all get a Hulk of your own, each one differentiated by the background colour of the playing piece. So even though each Hulk is green you would probably refer to them by the background colour which means that there is a Red Hulk in this game which is strangely prescient.
Of course, even though you get to be Hulk you also have to be Bruce Banner at some stage. Each playing piece stands up in two ways, one way showing Bruce, the other Hulk.
The aim of the game is to change from puny Banner into the Hulk so that you can then defeat the Abomination. The Abomination is represented by a cube and he does not really fight back. You push him to your coloured side of the board which is on the opposite side of the board from where you started. When your piece is in Banner mode you can move two spaces at a time and the first objective is to go to a stress square so you can change and then as the Hulk take on your foe.
The playing pieces nicely represent this transformation and once you are Hulked out you can start to throw the special dice. You can throw either an arrow a Hulk fist or a Banner face. You don’t want a Banner, because back into a weakling you go.
If you roll an arrow you can start to collect the city destruction cards which are scattered across the board. As you pick these up you reveal the destroyed cityscape underneath which you as the Hulk leave in your wake. The city is also now in colour which says something about the urban renewal that the Hulk brings but I am not sure what.
If the dice comes up showing a fist and if you are near the Abomination cube you can start to SMASH! Which is to say, you begin to move the Abomination cube to your respective corner. First Hulk to get the Abomination in to their coloured section wins.
The play is pretty straightforward and simple. The more players the better so that the numerous Hulks all get to tussle over moving the Abomination. If you knock the Abomination into another Hulk they get slammed right across the board and get changed back into Bruce.
The more destruction cards you pick up the better (again what does that say about the Hulk?). If you have two destruction cards you get to extend your go and throw the dice again and increase your chances of getting the Abomination right where you want him.
Simple, colourful and fun I give this game 3 dice.