Squirmish is a new card game aimed at kids and families. I was lucky enough to be able to preview one and test it out with my daughter before the Kickstarter was launched. The first thing to mention, is that this game is made in direct response to collectible card games aimed at the pre-teen age group, such as Pokemon. There are battling monsters in this game, but unlike a collectible game, everything you need to play is included in one box. I’m a Pokemon Professor and Judge for the card game, so I was really very interested to try this out. It did not disappoint and actually exceeded expectations.
The art is not cute, like Pokemon. However, if you’re a child of the 80s, you’ll immediately recognize the more Garbage Pail Kid aesthetic of the game. We all know how popular that was with this age group, so this seems like a good direction to go towards art-wise. I was far more appreciative with the play on words and puns of many of the monsters such as “Knockless Monster” or “Lou Minetti”
The game is estimated to take about 30 minutes for a game. My daughter and I kept taking much longer, but I admit it’s because we drew it out. The different monsters, attacks and combinations were amusing us far too much for us to be more competitive and strategic. However, once the novelty wore off, the strategic aspect of the game came out in spades. I was very pleasantly surprised by the amount of clever things that could be done in a game. (I was not as pleasantly surprised that I was often the victim of them by my daughter…)
Another aspect of the game that turned out to be extremely fun were the Battle Cries. Each monster has a Battle Cry and if the player says them in a silly voice when putting the card into play, they get an advantage in hitting and healing with that card. In fact, it seems foolish not to say them. This is where the Pokemon Professor part of me was very amused. I’m quite used to the kids in my League mimicking the Pokemon cartoon, where Pokemon can only say their own names to communicate, when playing a card. The Battle Cries tap into that and can very easily stop a session due to making people laugh until there are tears. And by people, I mean me. I was definitely not bored as an adult and parent playing this game.
The game suggests using cereal as damage token, but we used small multi-colored googly eyes for our games and this just added another fun dimension to the game. I can see Squirmish being a good gateway game to other card or board games, both for kids or families who aren’t already into board games. For those who are, it would be an excellent game to have on hand when on vacation (but not while traveling) or when kids have days off from school.
A Ten-year-old’s review
I don’t know what to say other than you might like it and maybe others won’t. I am one of those who like it. I don’t think it will replace Pokemon for me, but it is much easier to carry around around than all my Pokemon equipment! It is not cute. However , there are some cute Squirmish monsters. Cawfeather, Opossrat, Killgor the Conquerer, Cupcake, and a few more. I say anyone 2nd grade to 9th might like it. The Battle Cries are really funny! But don’t attempt to make a Donald Duck voice for Pompaduck. Oh, and be sure to add Googly eyes. 😉 Heheheheheheheheh 🙂 (^._.^)/ Keep on Gaming! Meow!
For more information on Squirmish, Check out the Kickstarter currently going on.