BatmanTM: The Animated Series Almost Got ’Im Card Game
by Matt Hyra
Cryptozoic Entertainment’s new card game Batman: The Animated Series Almost Got ’Im is coming in early 2017 and it’s sure to delight Batman fans, as well as fans of social deduction card games with hidden roles. The game is named after one of the most beloved episodes of the classic animated series, “Almost Got ’Im.” In the episode, the villains of Gotham City are at a secret hideout engaged in a night of Poker. They pass the time by regaling each other about instances in which they almost defeated the Caped Crusader, except that he gets away by the skin of his teeth at the last second every time. Little do the Villains know that one of them is actually Batman in disguise . . .
In keeping with the theme of the episode, this game uses Poker hands as a means to power up your secret role abilities in the game. Social deduction card games like Werewolf and Mafia generally allow players to use their secret role abilities each and every round. However, as experienced players know, some roles are more powerful than others. This game uses Poker hands as a way to regulate the more powerful abilities. We’re not talking competitive “hand vs. hand” Poker here, just cards you want to acquire to make a specific Poker hand to activate your ability. For example, Batman needs Two Pair to Subdue a Villain. If Batman Subdues the required number of Villains, he wins. If the Villains can figure out which one of them in Batman in Disguise and Vote him down, they win.
- Each player takes a turn in which they try to improve their hand.
- On your turn, you may use your Character’s “Once Per Game” ability, if able and desiring to do so. (This is not your secret role.)
- The Brains (Player #1 that round) may accuse another player of being Batman. (Skip this the first round.) If seconded, it goes to a Vote. This is how the Villains can find the Bat!
- After Voting (or skipping the Vote), a Blackout occurs, during which players can use their secret role abilities with the help of the Dealer (moderator).
To find the cards you need to make your hand, you may draw the top card of the main deck, or take the top card from one of three face-up discard piles. After picking up a new card, discard down to five.
Poker hands also provide another key ingredient: Something to talk about! In most social deduction games, there isn’t much to discuss, except some arbitrary accusations and counter-accusations. In this game, players can talk about which cards they need to make their hands and comment on other players’ card acquisitions. When you discard a card, you may have more than one choice of what to get rid of. Why not ask the other players what to discard? Just try to avoid giving Batman the cards he needs!
Furthermore, players might even ask you to avoid discarding a card into a pile that contains a card they want. Of course, after hearing all of these requests, it is ultimately up to you what to discard and where to put it. If your discard aids another player, you may have earned some trust (maybe just a little). If your discard covers up a card someone wanted, that may arouse suspicion.
In my next preview article on Batman: The Animated Series Almost Got ‘Im, I’ll tell you about public roles and how they work in the game, as you play as some of Gotham City’s vilest Villains!