AniMayhem and Other Failed Card Games

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failed card games

History of Card Games

Many card games have come and gone. While Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering refuse to die, worthy titles were scorned by reviewers, dismissed by gamers and ignored by the public when they were released. Thanks to fan sites, Google, and eBay, these games can be enjoyed again. Animayhem (1996)

AniMayhem was a post Magic: The Gathering trading card game (TCG) that focused on the characters of various anime, including Armitage III, Oh My Goddess, Ranma and Tenchi Muyo. Many of AniMayhem’s players probably got in on the third edition, which used Dragonball Z cards.

The goal in AniMayhem was to collect items. You spent your turn “scavenging” Location cards, encountering Disaster cards and, if you made it that far, to collect your Item card. The player had to collect more than half of the Item cards to win.

It was a fun game, but the final release the Dragonball Z set doomed the game. It rewrote the rules for the second time in the series, and its cards were much too powerful for the other sets. Even worse, the game had little to do with the antics of the Dragonball Z crew if they weren’t beating each other up, they were training. The game managed excellent sales, according to developers, but fell apart anyway.

The game had excellent artwork, interesting weapons, and oozed with the atmosphere of the franchise’s fantasy/cyberpunk crossover. Like the Sega Genesis game, it had the player running missions constantly. Most importantly, it was a ton of fun I still keep a deck around for solo

games but it failed, all the same.

New Era of Card Games

Sim City (1996)

If you’ve ever played the Sim City computer games, you have a good idea of how this works: You build stuff, manage crime, and keep everything connected to roads and power lines. The only card game on this list that didn’t encourage laying evil traps for your opponents, Sim City actually emphasized working together.

While such a game might be fun for veteran card gamers who want something less intense, or for family game nights, it bored most card gamers. Nobody wants to play a card game with no conflict a jigsaw puzzle at least gives you a pretty picture when you’ve finished it. Sim City just gave you a big heap of cards to clean up.

DBZ TCG (2000 2006)

Much closer to the Dragonball Z anime series than the AniMayhem game, the DBZ TCG ran longer than any other series on this list. Instead of a party of characters, the player used one Personality, with a few Ally cards, and duelled with another player. The goal was driving down the other player’s Power Level to zero using Attack cards.

The Dragonball Z TCG had only a few Personalities, good and evil, for each release, so if your favorite character wasn’t one of them, you probably could only use them as Allies.

DBZ TCG garnered a large fanbase, many of whom lamented the end of production in mid 2006.

It’s not entirely clear what killed the trading card game, but the company said it did not want to flood the consumers with new products. Indeed, it seemed like new sets were released before the older sets had been fully explored by the fans.

The Simpsons TCG (2003)

Just when you thought the Simpsons marketing craze was dead, along comes a trading card game published by Wizards of the Coast, of Magic: The Gathering fame. In this card game, you play a Scene card and try to match Characters to it for points. The first player to reach seven points wins the game.

A few people anticipated expansions to the original set, but they never were never produced after all, how far could Wizards take this concept? They had cards for almost every character on the show in the original set.

It seems like a strange card game, but the Simpsons TCG makes a good, “light” card game for families and fans of the series.

While most of these card games bombed financially, it doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. If you like the cyberpunk atmosphere or wonder what would happen if Naomi Armitage battled it out with Vegeta, you should check eBay for starter decks and booster packs. Most of these games can be found for cheap and can provide hours of social fun.

Published by Stephen Skipp

Stephen Skipp’s writing has appeared in a number of print and online sources, including the Lancaster New Era, and the Lake Superior Voice, the Lancaster Live Wire student newspaper, and the Voices student. View profile

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