DC Hypertime HeroClix Whomps the Competition

DC HeroClix: Hypertime builds on WizKids Games’ success with Marvel HeroClix: Infinity Challenge, adding some of the biggest names in the DC universe to the game’s superhero fray.

As with Marvel HeroClix (read my review of the initial release in Science Fiction Weekly (Internet Archive), DC HeroClix is a miniatures based game played on one of several different grid-based maps. Each plastic, pre-painted miniature is mounted on a “clickable” base that records a half-dozen odd attributes including speed, defense, attack and damage. It is completely compatible with the initial Marvel Infinity Challenge release.

This attributes can be augmented by a variety of super-heroic powers, such as Batman’s outwit, which lets him temporarily turn off an opponent’s power, Riddler’s perplex, which lets him increase or decrease another figure (or his own) attack and Joker’s mastermind, which lets him divert damage to nearby lackeys. As a figure takes damage in combat, the base is rotated, revealing new attribute scores (which go down for most figures, but up for a few) and cause the figure to either lose or gain new special powers. The game’s collectible — most heroes come in three versions (rookie, experienced and veteran), as well as a handful of unique figures. Like Infinity Challenge, Hypertime comes in two forms: a starter pack, with eight figures, two maps, dice, some object tokens and the game’s rules, and a booster pack, which includes four figures.

Most of the DC Universe’s biggest forces are well-represented, with the two largest being the Superman/Anti-Superman and Batman/Anti-Batman teams. The powers and attributes of individual heroes are even better reflected in the Hypertime than in the original game — there are few figures where people argue about attributes (as I often do about the Sentinels, which really should have had outwit, or Spiderman, who definitely should have had a few clicks of super senses).

The figures, owing in large part to the power of DC’s most venerable heroes, are more well-rounded than their Infinity Challenge counterparts. While the average scores for each figure’s attributes may not be quite as high as those for the first release, the high-powered DC characters generally have more super-powers. Where a Marvel villain like Ultron has two powers a DC terror like Brainiac 13 has four. In addition, many of the DC heros and villains — especially those on the Batman and Anti-Batman teams — make heavy use of the Outwit power, something that only a smattering of the Infinity Challenge clicks have.

This preponderance of Outwit abilities takes some getting used to and can lead to some surprising defeats for Marvel folks caught unaware. But like anything in HeroClix, proper tactics and strategy can counter the Outwit ability,

As with its predecessor, the game is well-balanced — a single 200 point figure really can be taken down by an equal-point value of smaller figs. In battles between Infinity Challenge and Hypertime figures, the DC release definitely has an advantage, but it is one that can be over come with good tactics (or just adding a few DC figures to your Marvel line-up).

Overall, DC Hypertime kicks up the HeroClix game up a notch, introducing new powers and subsequently, new strategies that insure that game fans will get addicted all over again.

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