I’m very excited to bring you the first installment of one of the newest features of my blog: Retro Raist! In case you are new to my blog (Hi! Welcome, thank you for visiting), or have missed my Back……from the grave……. post let me explain to you what Retro Raist will be about. In this feature I will be covering something from either the 80’s or 90’s. It can be a movie, a game, anime, manga, a tv show…..in short pretty much everything as long as it was made in either of those eras. Simple huh? To kick things off I’m going to be showcasing a collectable card game that will be a treat for classic anime fans: Ani-Mayhem. I will talk a little bit about the history of the game and how it’s played. But you will be even more happy to know that one lucky follower will actually be able to win a sealed starter deck along with two sealed boosters of this out of print game. You think I’m joking? Nope to celebrate the start of hopefully many more Retro Raist posts, I’m going to hold a small competition. But, more on that later this week. For now, it’s time to talk about Ani-Mayhem!
In 1993 a new type of game was released: the collectable card game. I think a lot of people might have heard of Magic the Gathering. In that game you play with your own personalised deck of cards against other players who have their own decks. It was (and still is) an amazing game, though eventually I had to stop playing it because of the Mr. Suitcase phenomenon. That means it became more a game of who has the most money to spend on buying new cards (whole suitcases of them in fact) and that kind of took the fun out of it for me. Magic was a huge succes though, and because of it’s succes competitors took it upon themselves to release their own collectable card games. It almost became a kind of arms race back in those days, with a huge amount of games coming out of the woodwork every month. Some of these were quite obscure, others marginally succesful, but not one of these games ever beat the succes of Magic. In 1996, Ani-Mayhem was released and it came out at a time where the biggest hype of trading card games was already over. Still, Ani-Mayhem was unique in it’s own way, as it was the first cardgame of it’s kind that was designed to play solo.
I came across the game myself at a games con back in the late 90’s, and I was lucky enough to buy a box of both sealed starter decks and boosters. Now, you have to understand that back in those days I hardly knew what anime was. I had faintly heard of it, but it also wasn’t as popular yet as it is today. Ani-Mayhem featured a couple of classic anime series such as Armitage III, Bubblegum Crisis, Dominion Tank Police and a whole lot of other shows. Sadly the game wasn’t a huge succes and after one other expansion that focussed on Dragonball Z, the game was discontinued. A real shame as the game really is quite a lot of fun to play, once you figure out the rulebook. Erm yeah, I do mean figure out, as the rulebook was quite a mess and didn’t do a great job of explaining how to play. (Luckily these days you can find pretty much everything on You-Tube) One of the appeals of the game is the way it looks. I am a huge fan of classic anime and I love the retro style of the artwork that is featured on these cards. As you can see from some of the pictures, the cards feature very bright and clear stills of the shows they are based on. If you love older anime shows, you will fall in love with this game, as it truly brings back that great feeling of nostalgia.
So how does it play you ask? Well Ani-Mayhem honestly isn’t a very difficult game to learn, despite the fact that the rulebook isn’t very clear. Basically what it comes down to is that you select a group of anime characters to include in your deck. This group races across a grid of locations from the different shows to find a number of items. You also have cards that can make your characters stronger, vehicles they can use and loads of other goodies. Every character has a number of skills, and in order to access a location and get to the item you have to enter it with the required combination of skills. Ofcourse things are never easy and what is a game without opposition right? In this game that comes in the form of disasters. Disasters are enemies or events that make life more difficult for you as the player. Not only do certain enemies try to pick up items themselves, they also attack in order to incapicate your characters, or even worse kill them. Disasters come in many forms, such as runaway elevators, satelite strikes, killer robots, and loads of other “fun” stuff. In order to win you have to recover more items than the disasters.
I rediscovered this game while I was cleaning out my closet, and it inspired me to come up with this new feature for my blog. I have always been a fan of all things nostalgic, and I thought it would be a fun way to talk about some of the gems from the past. I was very surprised to discover that I still have quite an amount of unopened starter decks and booster packs. I don’t know about you but I always get a kick out of opening a pack of collectable cards and finding out if you might acquire something new. So I have been having a lot of fun with ripping open some of those sealed packs. Ani-Mayhem is also still a blast to play. I have been playing a number of games the past few days, and you almost feel as if you are writing your own anime show. Great stuff! Sadly though Ani-Mayhem is out of print, but have no fear as later this week one of you will get the chance to win a starter deck and two booster packs of this great game. So, keep your eyes out for that! Well, that’s it for this first installment of Retro Raist. Next time I will be reviewing a classic Jean Claude van Damme movie. Let me know what you think of this feature and of course of this post in the comments section down below. For now I will leave you with a slide show of some of the cards from the game. See you next time!