This Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons review was made after playing the game four times.
What is Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons?
Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons is a cooperative game based on the Wonder Woman comics. Each player controls an Amazon and your goal is to protect the island of Themyscira and ultimately defeat the villain.
Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons Gameplay
To begin a game of Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons, you’ll choose one of the three villains to face (Ares, Cheetah, or Circe) and everyone gets to play as one of the five heroes. Each villain has their own rules, their own deck of cards, and each has different types of obstacles that you’ll need to deal with. Regardless of who you’re facing, your goal is to bring the villain’s health down to zero.
Each round has five phases:
Start of Round – The villain moves and you’ll draw cards to see what obstacles are placed around the island.
Strategize Together – Each player is dealt two Hero cards face-up and three cards face-down. With the limited information you have, you can talk to your teammates about your plans for the round, such as removing/moving obstacles, recruiting warriors, and attacking the villain. This is also when you can use your hero’s special power.
Battle Begins – You can’t talk to your teammates during this phase. You pick up the rest of your cards, choose the three cards that you want to play, and place them face-down in the slots on your Hero Mat. So, you could end up sticking with the plan you made with your teammates last phase, or you might end up having to or wanting to alter your plan.
Take Actions – Everyone reveals one card at a time, performing Action 1 in any order, then Action 2, then Action 3. Each card has action symbols with values above them, and some cards also have additional abilities that you can use. When you’re taking an action, you choose one of the symbols on your card and you do that action. If there are any warriors (white cubes) in your space, you can use them to boost your special actions (dealing with obstacles and fighting the villain). You can choose to team up with other heroes in your space when performing special actions, which allows you to combine that action’s values together. You can also gain relics during the game that can boost some of your actions.
End of Round – This is when the villain attacks. The obstacles still on the board will reduce the island’s defenses in multiple ways.
You’ll win the game by defeating the villain. You’ll lose if the island’s defenses are reduced to zero.
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- Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons requires a ton of teamwork and you have to do it in a unique way. Since you can’t talk to your teammates after you’ve seen all of your cards and when you’re programming your three actions, it puts more pressure on you to come up with a good team plan during the Strategize phase with limited information. It makes successfully executing that strategy all the more satisfying.
- It’s really cool that you get three different types of challenges with the three villains. Ares corrupts your warriors, Cheetah steals and uses powerful artifacts, and Circe puts magic beacons around the island that make it very tough to do damage to her. It was a great idea to use the colored cubes to represent different obstacles in each scenario.
- I also like how the warriors work. You have to go to one of the four Command regions to recruit them and they can give you a huge boost when performing the most important actions, but it’s also risky to have too many of them on the board because the villains can convert them into obstacles.
- I’m always a fan of co-ops that let you take turns in any order, and it works really well in this game. The order doesn’t matter when the heroes are in different regions, but you can set up some great team combos by moving and attacking in a specific order.
- I’m a huge fan of the hero miniatures. Each one has a nice amount of detail and that bronze look just works for me.
- That is one beautiful board. The entire island has a bright and clean look to it.
- The rulebook includes simple ways to ramp up the difficulty level. It’s already pretty challenging at the default level, but it’s great that you can make one or two minor tweaks during setup to make the game tougher once you’ve beaten the villains a few times.
- You can have some wasted rounds. If you need to move and you don’t have any movement cards, there isn’t anything you can do about it. That feels especially bad if there aren’t any obstacles in your region and you aren’t in a region where you can recruit warriors. That happened three times in one game to one person in my group.
- I really wish more had been done to make the five Amazons feel like unique heroes. They do have one power apiece, but most of those powers aren’t very interesting. For example, Wonder Woman’s power allows her to move one space for free… and that’s all that differentiates her from the other heroes until she gets a relic. They obviously spent a lot of time creating the villains, so it’s surprising that the heroes are so flavorless.
- (minor issue) Why are the villains standees and not miniatures? There are only three of them, so I don’t think that would have raised the cost of the game by much.
Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons is the third cooperative game from Prospero Hall that I’ve played after Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger and Horrified, and it is definitely my favorite of the three. It’s a great-looking game, it’s challenging, it requires a good amount of cooperation, the limited communication aspect is really cool, and the three villain scenarios give you different types of puzzles to solve. I do have some issues with it, but I enjoyed all four of the games I played (two three-player games and two four-player games).
With that being said, I’ll probably play Wonder Woman a couple more times and then pass it on to someone else. To me, it’s a solid 7 out of 10, but I only have so much room on my shelf for light cooperative games and I have quite a few co-ops of this weight that I rate higher. So, it’s not a keeper, but I do like it.
If you mostly play lighter cooperative games and/or you’re a huge Wonder Woman fan, I’d absolutely recommend this game to you. I also think this would be a great one to get if you’re looking for a gateway game to play with a Wonder Woman fan.