A while back I had a chance to review the fun take-that card game Doomlings over on my GoFatherhood site. I explained “The basic premise of this 2-6 player card game is that everyone’s competing to build the strongest gene pool, even as bad things are happening and catastrophes are being triggered left and right. There’s a deck of Ages cards (a subset of which are catastrophes) and a big deck of Traits, organized into colors: green, blue, purple, orange, and grey.” In my final summary, I opined that “Doomlings is fast, easy to learn, and entertaining. Our matches have moved right along and we had a lot of fun each time we played.”
Now the developers have come out with an expansion that includes lots of new traits, ages, and even a shiny new box! Here’s the box as I know you want to see that first:
Pretty, eh? The old box was a solid purple and it just ended up being too small for all the many cards with expansions included. As game designer Chris Svehla shared: “This is why we changed up the box design. We had to make all 3 game boxes bigger because we wanted each one to accommodate all of our cards so that if you started with the Classic game and decided to buy the expansions later, you’d still be able to fit everything. They also needed to be bigger to accommodate sleeved cards, which was a request we received from a lot of folks in the community.”
The centerpiece of this updated Doomlings are the expansion cards, broken into Dual-Color, Meaning of Life, and three bigger sets: Dinolings, Mythlings, and Techlings. Here’s a peek at a few of them:
There are tiny icons on the top right to differentiate them from each other: The top, a multi-gear icon, denotes that those cards are Techlings. Below the Kraken icon (they call it a dragon, but they’re wrong 🙂 ) denotes the Mythling expansion set. Each adds lots of new Traits, two new Age cards, including a new Catastrophe, along with the company’s fantastic signature artwork.
In fact, I was curious about the evolution of their card art and Chris shared this fun photo with me of how the Chromatophores card changed as they game tested and came up with both a tweak to the image and updated descriptive text:
As with many Kickstarter games, they have lots of options and alternatives, including all five expansions and more in what they refer to as The Gold Bundle. Here are two of the cards exclusive to The Gold Bundle:
How does this all fit into the game and gameplay? Well, I recommend you go back to my original review for my detailed explanation of gameplay but suffice to say that these expansions and new cards add a fun new dimension to the game. I wouldn’t recommend you add all the expansions at once, however, but after you’ve mastered the base game, adding a single expansion set adds some fun variety. Mix things up to force people to change their tactics too, as desired. Don’t miss their video on how to integrate the expansions into the base game too: Doomlings Expansions Tips & Tricks.
You can also add the few cards from the Dual Color expansion, which really changes things up because color matching changes:
Chris explains: that the “dual-color expansion cards include Motley, which is technically a 4-color card, and two cards that are not multiple colors but have color-based effects: Tetrachromatic and Free Will.” The other cards in this expansion are Acrobatic, Bloom, Bullheaded, Curiosity, Hand-Wing, and Mitosis.
Wondering how they came up with these expansions and these specific mechanics? I asked Chris, who responded “As far as how we chose what expansions to do, some of it was mechanics-based, i.e. we knew we wanted to add advanced gameplay options to keep players interested, which is how we arrived at attachment effects in Techlings and The Meaning of Life for hidden objectives. Some of it was based on what types of characters Justus was interested in drawing. Fantasy and pre-historic are inspiration-rich categories to pull from, so it made sense. Andrew does most of our playtesting, and he does a lot of it on his own, playing against himself. But we all also playtested it a bunch with our friends and family, taping strips of paper over effects and points and writing in new values as we made tweaks.”
A really fun set of expansions that adds a lot of additional variability to an already fun 2-6 player competitive card game, I definitely recommend you check it out. If nothing else then just to get the swanky new box!
There are three limited editions of Doomlings available: The Classic (150+ unique cards, everything you need to play the game), The Blackbox Bundle (220+ unique cards, including 3 expansions), The Gold Bundle (250+ unique cards, including 5 expansions + the Kickstarter Exclusive playmat!) plus “Mystery Holofoils” in every box. Check it all out at Doomlings.com.
Disclaimer: The company generously sent me the Gold Bundle for the purpose of this writeup. Thanks!