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Playing Cards To Control Time Itself!


We don't often review collectible card games here at Fanboy Planet. Fans of collectible card games usually already know what's out there and non-card game players could care less. But every so often we find a product that hasn't quite hit the mainstream with full force and also has nice crossover appeal to untested card gamers.

Shadowfist is a collectible card game centered on the action packed and often cheesy world of Hong Kong fighting films (think Kill Bill but shorter and better). Each player is armed with a deck of cards consisting of henchman, heroes, cars, guns, sword and other twists and turns. Each player also has property cards called Feng Shui sites. The goal of the game is to use your cards to generate power to eventually control six Feng Shui sites.

But the game isn't limited to samurai and ninjas. The Feng Shui sites also control time. Whichever faction ultimately gains control of them will be able to remake reality in their image and erase their enemies from the past. With such high stakes, armies and factions from throughout history are battling for control.

Shadowfist was originally produced by Daedalus Games who only printed a few expansion sets before going under financially.

Current producer Z-Man Games revived and revised the game in 2000 and it is once again thriving. Starter decks and the Year of the Dragon expansion set should be available at your local comic and gaming store (look behind the stack of Yu-Gi-Oh cards).

Either this week or next, Z-Man will also be releasing the expansion Two-Fisted Tales of the Secret War ...also known as the "Pulp" set. Among the characters available in that set are the fearsome Marmojets -- flying monkeys with that little extra bit of deadly oomph. And you know how we feel about monkeys here.

The eight different factions fighting represent different playing styles so that each gamer can find an army that compliments his or her personality and skill level.

Want to arm zombies with disintegrator rays and have them attack your enemy's floating restaurant? You can do that. Want Chinese river pirates to steal your opponent's power and use it to summon nuclear weapons? You can do that. But the jet-powered monkeys will kick their ass.

The most fun aspect of Shadowfist is that anything is possible in the context of the game. Hong Kong fighting legends, shaolin monks or ninja monkeys from the future are all at your disposal plus an arsenal of weapons from throughout history. Each card is not only a playable element in the game, but an often humorous story element waiting to be revealed.

Its fast pace, high body count and irreverent sense of humor make it something every gamer, action film fan and bored guy with a friend and $10 should check out.

(Editor's Note: Yep, you betcha that our sponsor Brian's Books has them. We're a lot of bored guys with friends and $10.)

Michael Goodson

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