Tribal Games Review - Android Netrunner: Core Set

Posted by Samuel Pons on

A Tribal Games Review of Android Netrunner: Core Set

Synopsis:

Your hardware is ready, your programs in place, you have plenty of Mountain Dew (not an actual sponsor please do not sue us), now prepare to use all of your resources in an intense cyber battle against the overruling corporations. 

Reviewer's Note:

Without any question, I absolutely LOVE this game, the gameplay functions completely differently based on whether you are playing as a corporation or a hacker, the base set alone includes several different decks for each side, AND the nostalgia of playing a Collectible Card Game again all create an amazing experience.
This game is fantastic for 2-4 friends who have the time to learn about how each faction and deck work, so it does not really support a family setting, however for anyone looking for a card game that has built beyond the basic rules commonly seen in this genre, Android Netrunner is the perfect game.

How to Play:

Android Netrunner is played different each turn, based on whether the player has chosen corporation or hacker. There are several ways for either player to win as follows:

Corporation:

  1. By scoring 7 agenda points, which are collected throughout the game by scoring agenda cards. 
  2. By forcing the Hacker to discard from their hand more cards than they currently hold.
  3. By reducing the Hacker's hand limit to be reduced to 0 or lower.

Hacker:

  1. By scoring 7 agenda points, which are collected throughout the game by stealing agenda cards.
  2. By waiting for the Corporation to run out of cards in their deck.

In order to achieve these goals each faction has a variety of different cards at their disposal. The Corporation has cards that allow them to defend their servers and set themselves up to score agendas, while also laying traps for the Hacker to fall into. Alternatively, the Hacker has cards that allow them to attempt to bypass the Corporation's defenses to allow them to steal or trash cards. By effectively managing these cards, the players battle until someone reaches one of their goals and ends the game.

Rating:

8.5 bottles of Mountain Dew out of 10

  • Replayability - 10/10
    The core set has 4 decks for the Corporation to use and 3 decks for the Hacker, all of which have different gameplay mechanics meaning that any combination of play creates a vastly different experience for players. These options, coupled with the strategy building that takes place throughout several replays creates an experience that can be enjoyed innumerable times. The replayability is supported even further through the introduction of new players into the game, allowing players to experience different strategies and forms of gameplay.
  • Thematic - 9.5/10
    Everything in this game, from the mechanics, to the flavour text on nearly every card, creates a near perfect thematic environment. Having vastly different turn by turn mechanics and cards based on the faction being played sets up the players for deck preferences and connections, while the artwork and flavour text build the environment for this futuristic virtual battleground. The only thing this game lacks, in the Thematic department, is a defined story or purpose for each battle, most of which could be player driven.
  • Fun Times - 6/10
    This game is the perfect game for someone who enjoys the genre and has time to develop their deck preferences, however it is not a game that everyone can enjoy. Families and groups would struggle to enjoy the experience due to the complex nature of gameplay and the time taken to understand rules and mechanics. This game is best suited towards a group of 2-4 friends who are able to build an understanding of the game together while also having an amazingly immersive experience in the genre.

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