Themyscira is under attack by, well, pretty much every enemy possible and you’re the only one who can save it.
In Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons from Ravensburger, fans work to protect Diana’s utopian home from Ares, The Cheetah, or Circe in three different versions of gameplay, each based on the DC superhero’s classic enemies.
Fans can use the game to fill our Wonder Woman-sized void until Wonder Woman 1984 comes out … eventually. Two to five players take on the roles of Amazonian heroes with copper-toned hero game pieces to defend their regions with action cards and quick thinking.
But first — you have to get through the directions.
Understanding the complex amount of instructions is a challenge in itself for amateur gamers. There are different rules depending on which hero you pick — Artemis, Nu’Bia, Diana, Philippus, or Mala — but the hero mats make it all somewhat easier to remember. But the Hero Cards provide a bigger challenge, as players must study the rulebook and keep it handy to ensure you know what your cards do.
Ravensburger recommends starting with the Ares variant to familiarize yourself with how it all works, and I recommend keeping the rulebook at your side as well. If you’re used to complex strategy games, this will be a breeze. If you haven’t yet made it past Monopoly, you might have some trouble your first time out. Definitely prepare to dedicate a good chunk of time to learning the logistics.
Players start the round by completing the “Start of Game” section on the enemy card and setting the enemy down on the board. The Amazons start off in the Palace region of the island and players choose three hero cards on which to base their actions. Some of these cards are just for moving to different regions, while others are for defeating the enemy’s blockades, servants of war, and corrupted Amazons (the green, orange, and purple cubes). Players can also place their own warriors (white cubes) on the board during some moves. These warriors increase the damage that the hero cards can deliver.
One goal players have is to get rid of the enemy’s cubes because at the end of each round the number of cubes left determines how much of the Amazons’ defense is destroyed. Basically it sums up to this: work together, collect blessing tokens, deal damage to the enemy, and don’t die.
Each game takes about 45-60 minutes to play so it’s perfect for a game night in — or several, since each time you play is different. The enemies are labeled by difficulty in the bottom right corner so players can decide how much effort they want to put into saving Themyscira. Each enemy also has two separate sides of its cards to change the game depending on players. I played with just one person and besides almost getting a divorce during the setup, it went well. I think with more people it could be more fun, but also more teamwork will be required.
The fandom-factor of the game is really the best part. Anyone who dreams of owning a lasso of truth and saving the world would definitely love this as a gift. The board itself is double-sided with the game taking place on the island, and Wonder Woman wielding her weapon and shield on the back. So even if players lose to the enemy and flip the board — it still looks good.