Superfight is a storytelling card game in which players draw random characters and abilities from a deck, combine them together, and attempt to explain why their character would defeat another that is likewise randomly chosen. After explaining, fighting, arguing, debating, and above all else, just talking nonsense, the players vote for the horrific combination of cards that they feel defeats the central antagonist, and the controlling player is awarded a point.
Put loosely, it is Cards Against Humanity; however, in place of a sentence that should never be spoken by anyone ever again, you are left with a malformed and awful ‘superhero,’ which not even a mother could love – for instance, a “pregnant Nickleback with no arms” fighting “Conan, whose hands are covered in butter, armed with a chainsaw”.
Whilst Superfight now boasts several expansions (including some directed at a younger audience) all assigned to a different colour, I’m primarily concerned with the ‘black’ Core Game Box, which sports 500 cards and weighs in at $34.99 USD. These cards are made up of two decks: a ‘white’ deck of 170 character cards, ranging from specifics – such as “Genghis Khan” – to general cards that change with each play – like “My Ex”; and a ‘black’ deck comprised of 330 powers and weaknesses – such as “can fly” or “has tiny T-Rex arms”.
The box contains a double-sided A6 page of rules, which are mostly made up of game variants, meaning that learning to play takes a handful of minutes (if that). Inside, you’ll also find a handy little corrugated cardboard divider between the two decks. Whilst this divider has no mechanical use in the game, I mention it because it looks so out of place compared to the sleek production of everything else. It’s the little things in life that keep you going.
Using the standard rules, players draw three cards from each deck. A single player is designated the Ref, and draws a white card and two black cards into the centre of the board, creating the Opponent. The rest of the players choose a single white and black card as their Fighter and place them in front of themselves. The Ref then decides either left or right, and players pass a black card to the player on that side to mess up their plans.
Once the “Fighters” are ready, the Ref can make a judgement call straight away, or can let everyone tear each other apart with backwards logic, as they try to explain why their “Hockey Player who can fly if nobody is watching and can summon cats to do their bidding” is better suited to another players “10-storey tall velociraptor who controls a tween army” when fighting the “depressed college A Cappella group who are made of lava”.
This point is where the real joy of Superfight comes alive, and where it moves away from games such as Cards Against Humanity, allowing true courtroom-style cyclical logic to pry friendships apart and force players to seriously consider how useful the ability to summon cats would be against a depressed college A Cappella group. Sure, cats make you feel warm and fuzzy from the cuteness, but they’re already made of lava – how much warmer can they get?!
Like all games of its type, Superfight relies heavily on the players involved, but the multitude of rule variants and the general humour of the cards allows for a pretty good time regardless. Everyone at the table will have to bring a little imagination and out-of-the-box thinking in order to have a really good time. The real failing comes from the fact that there is no set end condition – unless players themselves set a predefined number of rounds or score cap, the game tends to drag on until play stops because everyone is getting restless or bored. Whilst this isn’t a drastic issue, some guidance in the rules would make for a better play experience.
Superfight is a great game for a group of close friends with a spare half hour or so to bicker, argue, and make up ridiculous fight-scenes around a table, and for these individuals it is highly recommended. The addition of expansion packs and free rule variants allows for increased replayability, making it a welcome addition to any tabletop party-game repertoire. Perhaps not a must buy, given the price tag, but certainly if you enjoy the genre of yelling-games, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Superfight.