Updated: Apr 5, 2019
Publisher: Flavor Faction Studio Designer: Evan Hunt
Artist: Matt Ryan Player Count: 2-8 Age Appropriateness: 14+ Playtime: 15+ Minutes
"A rift in the space-time continuum has altered the very fabric of reality. Magic is real. Mutations are common. Aliens have invaded. Governments have dissolved, and their military forces have scattered. Nobody is safe. The world has been changed forever, but your origin story has just begun. You've survived the apocalypse and emerged with incredible superpowers. Many see you as their last hope - a savior, a hero. Others fear you, branding you as a villain who seeks only power and glory. It is time to show them who you really are. It is time to take a stand. There is nothing left to do, but fight."
Become a Superpowered Hero or Villain! Team up with friends and battle in this complete, multi-format card game for 2-8 players. Originz features a 'deck is your life' mechanic and a consistent energy source. Play with one of 12 pre-constructed decks out of the box, or customize your own deck. The box is packed with 250+ cards, 12 dividers, and one rulebook. The various Origin options include: Cyborg, Insect Mutation, Super Speed, Dark Magic, Ocean Mastery, Super Strength, Dragon Mutation, Plant Mastery, Vigilante Justice, Fire Control, Power Armor, and Weather Control. Your starting deck will consist of 21 cards plus a hero/villain card. You proceed with play after the decks have been set-up by taking alternating turns in which you may spend up to three energy points to either play or activate cards. As the game progresses your deck will dwindle and the last player with cards remaining in their deck is the winner. To get a better understanding of the gameplay we recommend taking a look at the rulebook which can be found here!
What We Think
Gameplay & Rules
I should preface this section of the review by stating that I typically am not a huge fan of certain types of deck-builders. I am not sure if this is due to the fact that I historically have been terrible at them or due to me simply not liking the mechanics. Specifically, I am referring to deck-builders such as Star Realms or Shards of Infinity. These are games that require players to actively build their deck in game from a shared pool while simultaneously trying to trim their deck of starter cards. Games, like Originz, in which you begin with your own complete and pre-constructed deck are much more my style. I felt in order for this review to be properly understood that you the reader should know it is written by someone with these personal preferences.
On to the game! Originz was such an enjoyable game for me. It is an incredibly easy game to pick up and learn thanks to pre-constructed decks, but provides an unreal amount of diverse replayability thanks to customizable decks, alternate gameplay formats, varying player counts, and the amount of cards stuffed into this box. Just for comparison's sake Originz has 264 cards with 156 unique illustrations, while Shards of Infinity and Star Realms both have 128 cards. Yes it does cost more than those games, and the games are very different, but I'm simply wanting to point out that Flavor Faction has packed a ton into this game. You don't have to worry about the game running dry, especially with expansions already being planned! The 'deck is your life' mechanic is something I really enjoyed in Originz. That mechanic combined with the three energy per turn slows the game down and creates a chess match of sorts. You must be constantly aware of your deck size, and be cautious not to spend energy just because you can. It is also exciting to weigh decisions throughout since often times hurting others means sacrificing something yourself. As far as gameplay negatives go I think there is really one big thing missing for me with Originz. This negative is deck size for 1v1. "Wait, didn't you just say there is a ton packed into the box?" Yes, and there is, but the decks you actually play with are quite small (21 cards). You can combine different origins to create your deck, but when combining origins the rules actually state that "your deck must be reduced by one for each different origin represented, beyond the first." This means your deck actually gets smaller when building your own deck. I personally would like for the pre-constructed origin decks to be at least 30 cards (probably 40) to make the game a little lengthier. Perhaps this would drag on since the deck is your life, but I really think a lengthier game when being played at 1v1 would be nice. Though the rulebook does not have a variant to include combining entire origin decks for a larger deck size, nothing would prevent someone from trying this on their own. To be clear, the deck sizes seem perfect for anything outside of 1v1 play. I do not think larger decks with multiple players would be as enjoyable.
Components & Art
Components. We know there is a lot in the box, but what about the quality? The quality of the components is good, not great. By that I mean I am happy with them, but I am not geeking out. The cards and dividers do their job nicely, but I honestly do wonder what the test of time will show with them. I am not a guru when it comes to card thickness, card material, etc. by any means, but I can at least see that it could be better. With that being said, I think every reader should respect that companies whose games are funded through Kickstarter can only put in the box what backer support warrants. Originz was initially a KS funded game, and I think Flavor Faction did an excellent job balancing quality vs quantity in this game. Does it lean a little bit towards quantity, sure, but by no means is the quality detrimental to the gameplay. Now, as far as art goes...I love it. Often times art can be a personal preference type of thing. I encourage you to check out their website linked at the bootom of this review for a closer look at the art, but man I love it! I can't put my finger on what exactly it is, but the style of the art takes me back to my childhood. Maybe it has a 80's-90's comic feel, but whatever it is I really like it. The detail in the art and the amount of unique pieces of art is pretty impressive. Additionally, the direction they went with card design where Card Type, Card Anatomy, and Energy are all located at the bottom of the card is a huge plus for me. The information is all consolidated to a single spot making gameplay that much smoother. Finally, I really like the box. It is simple, but pretty and efficient with card storage. Great planning ahead by FFS with space for expansions as well! If superhero comics are your thing I definitely think you will like the components, art, and theme of Originz!
Here at Green Akers Games we love games. It sometimes can be difficult to be a reviewer since almost every game has at least something to love about it! So what we like to do is simply let our readers/viewers know if we think this game is a game we’d choose to pay for, play, and recommend to others without hesitation. A 3 out of 3 is a perfect score while anything less means the game has missed the mark somewhere in our eyes! Please keep in mind, our perception of or feelings about any game should not trump your feelings about that game. We believe that if a game interests you that you should at least give it a shot! Utilize your local FLGS or local gaming group to test out games before you decide to go all in!
Originz gets a 2/3 from us. We would feel very comfortable recommending this to someone who may enjoy comics, superheroes, card battle games, etc. and we would definitely pull it out to play on the regular; however, we don't feel that we would pay for it given the current price point. At $40 it is quite a commitment. If we had a pretty big game budget things might be different, but in today's crowded board game market $40 just seemed a bit hefty for us personally. Considering how much is packed into the box we certainly understand the cost for a small company. (EDIT: We were contacted by the developer who let us know the retail price will be $30-$35 in the near future. If this is the case $30 certainly would push this into a 3/3 grade for us.) Please remember, just because we like the game does not mean YOU will since not every game is for everyone. Flavor Faction Studio has crafted quite a solid game here and we can't wait to see what the future holds for the company and future Originz Expansions!
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