The board game publisher GDM Games has released Metal Mania, a board game where players will be managers of their own rock or heavy metal band, handling some of the most influential stars of the genre. Learn more about this game with our review.
Metal Mania is a tribute to some of the best rock and heavy metal bands in which we can form a band with some of the best exponents of that musical genre.
It is timely to note that as we learned in an interview with the president of GDM Games, Francisco Gallego, he himself has been for years a heavy metal DJ in a well-known bar in Barcelona dedicated to this exciting music genre.
It is worth noting that Alba Aragón, has been the illustrator of Metal Mania, as well as other GDM Games products, including Myths at War, Q Mysteries and More GDM Games has released Metal Mania, a board game where players will be managers of their own rock or heavy metal band, with famous rockstars.Bloody Nights.
When we open the box, we have a pretty nice board but not very impressive that serves a double purpose, first as a reminder for phase two of the turn and as a counter of fame points, and it serves quite well.
On the other hand, each player is given an individual board that simulates a mixing console to take control of their actions, as well as the bonuses and penalties to which they have access during the turn, also has quite a few hidden reminders of the rules, done in such a natural way that could go unnoticed, finally, also include the initial band of each player.
In my opinion these boards are very well achieved, they fulfill very well their objective and I like their graphic design, a good detail is that the levels of the bonuses and penalties that we have access to resemble volume controls.
Finally we have the cards, and this is where Metal Mania really stands out, it has a tremendous collection of beautiful cartoons of many of our favorite musicians, even if you do not play board games it’s worth buying just to enjoy these magnificent illustrations.
A detail that I loved is that within the selection of musicians there are several women and in almost each initial band we have one of them, because heavy metal is for everyone and they are part of the music scene too, something that my daughter also appreciates .
The quality of the tokens, the board and the cards is very good and I love that it has the same box size as other games of the same brand. As a final note the language dependency of this game is zero, and it also comes with rules in five languages (Spanish, English, French, German and Italian).
Metal Mania is a board game designed by Fernando Lafuente with “placement of workers” mechanics since every turn, whenever you can, you must choose whether to advertise, go to live performances or put your super rock / metal band in the studio, recording, you also have resource management in the form of cards and skills.
By choosing one of these activities, it allows the player to do talent checks to see if the band can increase their influence on it, if the checks are succesful they will have access to the following skills, to add or subtract a number of Fame Points to themselves or another player when they win or lose stars, add or subtract up to a certain amount on their own or another player’s dice or reroll up to a certain amount of own or another player’s dice, respectively.
Many rock musicians tend to be passionate and party-loving, some are as legendary for their stormy relationships as for their parties, not in vain have cases like when Dave Mustaine expelled Chris Polland and he even dedicated the song Liar to Polland, after stealing guitars and equipment of the band Megadeth to pawn them and buy narcotics, musician who would return years later cured of their addictions, or the mythical parties in the dressing rooms of Kiss.
GDM Games wanted to include all of this in the game and they have achieved it in a very good way, when a check is done the members of the band can have three results, success, normal or failure, two successes increase one level in the corresponding skill, with a normal result nothing happens and with a failure the musician gets upset, can be conflicted or disabled if he/she was already upset, to get them out of this state player will have to through them a party so they can release tensions and stress.
When you reach 15 points you can even sign with a label, represented by stores that supported the launch of the game in the crowdfunding campaign, it will grant the band bonuses or penalties to musicians according to their musical style, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal or Extreme Metal.
It is a game that is explained in less than five minutes and that even a child understands immediately.
Summing up a bit the mechanics:
Metal mania is a very easy game to explain and learn, I have played it with my 10 and 8 year old children and they have understood it immediately, in fact they liked it so much that they even took it to school, where we are doing a gaming group, to share with their friends.
As a rocker / metalhead I love the theme and its aesthetics fascinates me, the cartoons are really great and many of the names for the musicians are quite creative and funny.
I liked the game, although I feel that the game has two parts in its execution, the first turns are like a race to see who gets the highest points in the actions first, which is obtained occasionally before reaching the 15 points of fame, after that what remains is pure sabotage and strategy. Although maybe it’s a matter of my play group.
Regarding chance, although the game makes extensive use of dice these are a little controlled by the actions we can do, adding, subtracting the results or repeating throws at our convenience.
Something important to keep in mind is that the mechanics of the game are designed not only to help ourselves but to put us in trouble or make it difficult for our rivals to advance through direct attacks, therefore I would not recommend it to groups where the Direct conflict is a sensitive issue.
At the moment we do not have expansions for this game, but we hope in the future GDM Games will bring us other musicians and mechanics, my son was a bit disappointed for not having any musicians from his favorite band, Queen.
In short, it is a game that we have enjoyed a lot and we have been playing it a lot since it arrived.
“I loved the game, it’s very fun and you know new musicians” Leonardo 10 years old
“I liked it a lot, it’s funny and very nice, the cards are very nice and useful because they tell you all the characteristics of the musicians” Samantha 8 years old.
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