This has been a long time coming, but after several weeks and several lunch periods playing CPU WARS Volume 2.0, I’m finally ready to review it. The successful product of a Kickstarter campaign, CPU WARS is a trump-style card game built by geeks, for geeks. Armed with a hand of different desktop processors, you and 1-2 friends face off to see who has the most powerful components. Each player takes a turn picking a category that they think has the best value, and the “chip” with the highest “specs” in said category wins the hand.
After splitting the deck equally among the players, you show the top card of your stack. From that card, you choose the category with the best point value. These eight categories are associated with the chip’s key specs – Max Clock Speed, Max Bus Speed, Introduction Year, Transistor Count, Data Width, Manufacturing Process, Die Size, and Max TDP. Whoever has the highest value wins the cards, and whoever collects the most cards win the game. If you are still confused, think of it as a glorified game of Battle. However, there are several tweaks to the gameplay that make it not as straight forward as it seems.
The learning curve for CPU WARS wasn’t as steep as I originally thought it was going to be. Just staring at a random card, you would think that this game would be extremely difficult. To anyone who doesn’t know anything about computers, the cards look like gibberish. However, after reading the rules, everything becomes incredibly clear and actually really easy. Its weird how READING THE RULES tends to clear things up for you. Strange.
There are some cards that will drive you utterly insane. Theses cards are always random. In my first game, Sun SuperSPARC tended to always be around for my downfall, and stole an unhealthy amount of cards from me. It was more than therapeutic when I finally took that card from my opponent.
Gameplay is fast and tends to get a bit chaotic when everyone knows what they are doing. CPU WARS turns into a fast-paced game of upstage everyone at the table with every player you add. Booster Cards add an additional level of difficulty, for just when you think you are coming out on top someone pulls out a AYBABTU (All Your Base Are Belong To Us, classic Zero Wing reference) and you lose your best card.
At times I felt like I didn’t have enough cards, but then I realized that this was just the second set of cards and that I could combine it with the first set to make even more crazy combinations. It was also fun learning about different computer facts and the tech that lead the way for what we have today. Plus, some of the flavor text is just down right entertaining. My only major grip is that there were only a handful of Booster Cards. I would have liked to see more, with bigger gameplay mechanics like swapping decks and playing cards and random from the middle of your deck or something along those lines. I can see how the gameplay could get stale and the Booster Cards are what stops that from happening.
Overall, CPU WARS Volume 2.0 i a great game to play with a couple of friends over a lunch table. At $10 for each volume or $17 for both, its a steal. Its fast, easy to learn, and rewarding when you finally claim a good card for yourself. I would recommend it to anyone who has 20-30 minutes to kill.
The geekiest card game
CPU WARS Volume 2.0 is a great game to play with a couple of friends over a lunch table. Its fast, easy to learn, and rewarding when you finally claim a good card for yourself.