At this year’s UK Games Expo myself and Richard bumped into Stak Bots creator Tom Norfolk who is (at the time of writing) right at the end of a Kickstarter for his third expansion for Stak Bots. After giving a favourable review to the original game in February 2015 I was eager to see if the second expansion was any good and kindly Tom offered us a pack to review.
I won’t go over the rules again as you can watch our original review above to find out the base set (and also enjoy some home grown 100% Andy Jones comedy).
So what does the expansion give you? Well access to sixteen new bots that can vary the gameplay. What’s nice is that it’s a nice spread of simple cards through to some that start to open the game up to a bit more strategy. See you get a Tank Bot which is just a stronger Shot Bot (a bot that will deal some damage when it enters play) but you also get the Greedy Bot which will power up to the tune of all your face up cards (at their expense). It’s this sort of combo of simple to strategic that helps this game remain accessible to children but enjoyable for adults.
Of course it’s not just the bots you get, there are three new game modes for you to try and on this I have to admit your mileage may vary. I quite enjoy the traditional battle and keeping it OG however the new modes do give an example of how to start the deckbuilding aspect of the game which might prove useful to the young’uns.
I’m a big fan of the games simplicity, it’s sits really nice in the lower end of complexity and a game I’ve successfully played with a housemate whose overall attention to board games could kindly be described as left wanting. The game’s not perfect, it won’t make my top ten but it knows what it is and it does it well. Sometimes that’s all you need for a good time.
Overall in this expansion Tom’s done a fantastic job of carefully treading the line between keeping the game light (where the game shines) and subtly strategic. As mentioned the third expansion is currently on Kickstarter and I think the greater the card pool the more fun you’ll have.
So is it worth getting? Well considering the price of £16 + P&P for both the original and the expansion I think it’s worth a look. And if you’ve got children? Even more so! This little game won’t ever astonish you but it’ll certainly be welcomed back to the table.