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Review: Kapow! vol 2

If you have been a long time reader of this blog you will know that I also love reading comic books in addition to reading the rules to games. Kapow! vol 2 hits that sweet spot form me. This is a game inspired by comics and actually quite light on the rules so its easy to get going. There were 2 volumes published this year by Wise Wizard Games, the publisher who gave us Star Realms, one of my favorite games.

Kapow game
An in-progress game of Kapow!

Kapow! name comes directly from comics and gets right to the point of what the game is all about. This is a asymmetric dice based battle between villans and heros. Both sides will use the powers available to them to attack, defend, and develop. All this is done through rolling dice and choosing what powers to activate with them. The game plays fast and keeps players engaged throughout the entire game.

Players will match what they roll to the actions on the player boards. This is done in secret behind an amazingly helpful player screen.

There are two kinds of dice that come with Kapow!, Trait dice and Action dice. The trait dice are six sided dice that are focused on Might, Energy, Toughness, Agility and X-Factor traits. Then there are the Action dice, they are customizable six sided dice. The game is focused around these dice. Players will match what they roll to the actions on the player boards. This is done in secret behind an amazingly helpful player screen.


Kapow Dice
Kapow Dice

So how does it all work? Well, players put up their screens so they cannot see the other players rolls. Both players roll all their dice and then place them onto the player mats with matching symbols. There are 30 base actions on each player's player mat to choose from. Each player also gets a character board that has more actions specific to one of the 6 characters that come with Kapow! Vol 2. Players match up their die roll with the actions they want to take. For example if a player wants to take the Pow base attack you will need to place 2 dice on the action one with a might symbol and one with the energy symbol. This will then give the player a base attack value of 4. There are Kickers and Multipliers that players can also add to that base attack value. This game is all about building big combos.

This game is all about building big combos.

Players can block incoming damage by using defend actions these work the same as attacks with kickers and multipliers. Kickers are additional points added to the base attack or block. Multipliers are exactly that they will multiply the base with all the kickers added by the multiplier value. Some of the actions in the game have bonuses to them. For example when a player preforms the flip defense action they will get 3 defense points and a non-wild face to add to their customizable Action die. The customizable action dice are an awesome part of this game. When players perform actions like power ups or some of the defense moves they will gain faces to add to their action die, gain another action die, or exchange the faces for different faces. After players have chosen the actions they wanted py placing the dice onto the actions that match the value rolled both players reveal the selections by moving their player screens so the other player can see the selections. Players will then compare attack values and defense vales to determine damage done. This is simultaneous for each player.

Admittedly the first time I opened up the player board I was taken aback by the amount of action options. The board however is broken up in an easy to digest way.

The learn time on this game is pretty short and its assisted by the player screen and all the player boards. Admittedly the first time I opened up the player board I was taken aback by the amount of action options. The board however is broken up in an easy to digest way. During the first play of the game, experiment and try for those big combos this will only serve a player to learn the game faster. The first game felt like I was playing Rock Paper Scissors and that is ok I was learning. The second game I had a feel for the combos and by the third play, I had some strategy built and was playing into the strategies of the character I had. The play time is short for Kapow and only gets shorter as players become familiar with all the abilities and how they interplay.


Kapow Player screen
Kapow Player screen

Kapow! Volume 2 is a a lot of fun and full of action and surprises. There was a lot of suspense every time we lifted our screens to reveal out ability selections. I loved the fun Comic inspired setting for the game and felt that it fit very well with what was happening in the game. This game would be a quick pickup for the younger side of the age range and well will help reinforce some of those basic algebra skills (order of operation). All in all I think this is a great game and the fact that the dice are buildable and that Volume 1 and 2 have interchangeable characters makes for a lot of replay value.


Players: 1-4

Year Published: 2023

Recommended Ages: 12+

Time to Play: 20-60 minutes



A copy review copy of Kapow! Volume 2 was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for this review by Wise Wizard Games.

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