The Royal Rumble has been one of the WWE’s big four events since it began in 1988 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Like WrestleMania, it is so popular that it brings lapsed or casual fans back into the fold even if it is for that one night every year.
Ravensburger’s new Royal Rumble game captures the spirit of the show incorporating a host of WWE legends.
The roster of playable characters includes: Randy Savage, Rick Rude, Mark Henry, Steve Austin, Andre the Giant, Ted Dibiase, Mankind, Jim Duggan, Ric Flair, Booker T, Bret Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Eddie Guerrero, Dusty Rhodes, Goldberg, Honky Tonk Man, Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Jerry Lawler, Junkyard Dog, Diesel, Kurt Angle, Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon, Batista, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior, The Iron Sheik and Sting.
Each character has their own profile card with their own unique stats and abilities. I quibble with some of the health ratings though. How does Booker T have eight points of health and Bret Hart only five? Why does Shawn Michaels, Macho Man and Ric Flair only have six health points each when they are all known for their endurance in the ring? Why does Hogan have eight and Dusty Rhodes nine? Andre has the most at 10, which makes the most sense. Despite the health ratings every other stat seems quite reasonable.
Unless you alter the rules though, players don’t get to pick which superstar they play in each session. That is based on a random draw. This is perhaps for the best, since everyone would pick Andre, Hogan, Dusty, Goldberg and The Ultimate Warrior, not realizing the benefits of all the other Legends.
Each Legend also has a corresponding Signature card detailing their own finishing move and the damage it does. Macho is outfitted with his Flying Elbow Drop, Austin his Stone Cold Stunner, Bret Hart his Sharpshooter, etc. You can only use these once a match and have to be instructed to do so by an Action card. So, even though Signature cards are the bazooka in your arsenal, you don’t get to pick when to use them.
Once you assume control of your Legend, the imaginary bell rings, and Action cards are dealt to each player, which they throwdown against their fellow players and the game’s Legends. The last player left standing wins.
The Royal Rumble game itself consists of rounds. In those phases you plan which Action cards, moves and boosts you are going to play and against whom or if you are going to go on the defense. Once the cards are revealed the damage is assessed and subtracted leaving Legends hurt or out of the Rumble if their health drops to zero.
There are three types of Action cards: Defense, Attack and Special cards.
Attack and Defense are self-explanatory. They allow you to hit or block moves. Special cards initiate special circumstances like automatically knocking an opponent over the top rope, cancelling a elimination or distracting the official.
Just like Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, or Yu-Gi-Oh, timing is everything in the Royal Rumble card game. You have to know how to maximize the cards you have and when to play them.
Fans of the aforementioned card games will enjoy that aspect of the WWE Legends Royal Rumble Card Game but they will miss the lack of complexity. What might have made the game better is if the attacks and defenses weren’t so generic, each character had their own specialty and finishing moves to call upon. This would have made for a better game and a more authentic wrestling experience or simulation. As it stands though, the WWE Legends Royal Rumble Card Game has enough strategy and enough Legends in it to make any wrestling fan or gaming fan lace up their boots and step through the ropes.
The game includes 30 WWE Legend placards, 30 Signature Move cards, 1 WWE Legends token and 150 Action cards. It is for two to ten players, ages 8 and up, plays in 30 to 45 minutes and retails for $19.99.
WWE Legends Royal Rumble Card Game
The selection of superstars guarantees a lot of replay value. The core game plays well. It just could have been more sophisticated.