Disney Gargoyles: Awakening

Disney Gargoyles: Awakening

RRP: £29.99
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In Disney Gargoyles: Awakening, which is named after the TV show, players each represent one of six Gargoyles characters – Goliath, Brooklyn, Lexington, Broadway, Hudson, or NYPD detective Elisa Maza – fight against baddies Xanatos and Demona in one of four scenarios on a three-dimensional cityscape board showing Manhattan as it was depicted in the cartoon. Three of the …
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Category Tags , SKU TRV-27364 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Strong thematic production
  • Quality of figurines
  • Simple combat system

Might Not Like

  • Not challenging enough
  • Cardboard villains
  • An Eye of Odin is introduced but has no purpose
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Description

In Disney Gargoyles: Awakening, which is named after the TV show, players each represent one of six Gargoyles characters - Goliath, Brooklyn, Lexington, Broadway, Hudson, or NYPD detective Elisa Maza - fight against baddies Xanatos and Demona in one of four scenarios on a three-dimensional cityscape board showing Manhattan as it was depicted in the cartoon. Three of the scenarios are co-operative, while the final one is not:
- "Reawakening" - Face off against Xanatos and Demona to save Coldstone's mind.
- "Temptation and Magic" - Defeat Demona, who has stolen the Grimorum Arcanorum to enslave innocents.
- "Information Warfare" - Collect three stolen data disks on behalf of Xanatos.
- "Battle with the Steel Clan" - One player takes control of Xanatos and the Steel Clan, aiming to defeat a hero or destroy the police tower, while the other players try to stop them as the Gargoyles.

Gargoyles Awakening from Ravensburger and Disney follows an increasing line of collaborations: Alien, Villainous and its spin-offs etc. It is based on the eponymous TV series that aired from 1994-1997 and has been recently revived (quite appropriate considering the subject!) on Disney+ streaming channel. It portrays the struggles of 5 Gargoyles: Goliath, Hudson, Brooklyn, Broadway, Lexington and Elisa Maza the NYPD Detective as they battle David Xanatos and Goliath’s ex-mate Demona and their dark forces across a 3-D New York cityscape. Incidentally among Demona’s nefarios plots to destroy humanity was the development of a virus that would cause a world-wide pandemic. Lucky that never happened, eh?

The USP of Gargoyles is that whilst they are alive at night they turn back to the stone statues we see topping our ancient buildings in the daytime. Thus Gargoyles awakening is broken up into a series of action-packed night turns followed by a restful daytime where health is restored.

Stone Island

The first thing you need to do is to build your city. The Gargoyles, of course, live on top of buildings and have greater movement capability if they can swoop down and attack from height. Thus we have 5 buildings with nice flat surfaces to stand the figurines on at three different heights with Xanatos’ eerie towering over them all. It was transporting the Gargoyles’ mediaeval castle from Scotland to be rebuilt on the top of his tower that rose it “above the clouds” and broke the spell that had kept the Gargoyles trapped in stone form.

The buildings are made from thick card and push-fit together. They are colour coded and very clearly labelled with all joints having matching letters. They are no harder to put together than the Wingspan feeder table. I did, however, manage to make a mistake on each one! Fortunately, these were easily rectified.

The figurines are beautifully sculpted and accurately portray the cartoon characters   ( I never saw the series myself being in my 40s at the time but I have seen pictures!). They are also moulded in a slightly pliable resin so are likely to withstand a fair amount of handling.

I do feel that Xanatos and Demona could have had figurines as well rather than the cardboard standees we’re offered instead. I’ll probably use alternatives out of my army of idle fantasy figures!

Set In Stone

Gargoyles Awakening is played by first selecting one of the 4 available scenarios and then setting up the protagonists as per the scenario card. The first three of these are played co-operatively to defeat auto-controlled dark forces whereas the final one sees one player control Xanatos against the Gargoyles. The box states Gargoyles Awakening is a game for 2-5 players which seems wrong. As the game is played entirely co-operatively it lends itself to solo play. With 6 separate “good” characters surely you could have 6 players and when all these combine against someone playing Xanatos in the final scenario that makes 7!

The scenarios replicate key moments in the Gargoyles series. Thus we have:-

  • Awakening – this revolves around the reconstructed character of Coldstone. After being shattered at the ancient castle assault his rebuild included parts of his mate and his evil brother. Thus he flips between Good and Evil and to win you must have him on his Good side – as well as defeating a level15 Xanatos and a level 10 Demona!
  • Temptation and Magic – is all about Demona and her magic. While she holds the magical tome Grimorum Arcanorum she keeps a poor thrall enslaved. Not only does the Enslaved attack our heroes but Demona will suffer no damage until it is freed. She also has 4 spells of increasing ferocity which work over long range.
  • Information Warfare – is based on the only bit of the show I’ve seen where the Gargoyles have to steal vital computer information held on 3 x 3.5″ floppy disks. These are lovingly recreated in tokens but for those of you who are too young to remember them 3.5″ floppies hold a massive 1.44 MB of information. So that’s a total of 4.32 MB which is about the size of this review in MS Word. Maybe this is vital info?
  • Battle with the Steel Clan – is effectively a Battle Royale where 1 player will control Xanatos and his Steel Clad gargoyle-like robots against the rest

Heart Of Stone

Each of the gargoyle team has tailored stats on their character cards reflecting their make up. This is further amplified by their Hero cards that they can play to utilise their skills. So Goliath is big and strong and can cause lots of damage, your Tank if you will. Lexington is small and quick, good with devices – a Rogue. Broadway is a Healer. Elisa has a long-range – her police pistol? – and some fast moves – police car? – but low health, a Mage equivalent. Brooklyn a Paladin and Hudson a Fighter. So for each of the scenarios you can tailor your party accordingly.

Gargoyles On Top

Combat tends to be fairly brutal. Each of the D6 has 3xHit, 2xMiss and 1xSpecial Ability. You can have multiple attacks in one turn and cards and Special abilities can add Strength i.e. die rolls and damage. Too there are no saves for the bad guys. Goliath can add 2 die rolls if he uses a Skill token and any Specials he rolls become another hit so with 3 action points all used as attacks and 3 Skill tokens he could roll 15 dice in one turn with a 66% chance of each one being a hit! If that wasn’t enough other players can chip in effects that allow for re-rolls. Even Xanatos doesn’t last long under such an onslaught!

One odd effect of the automated Evil system where their moves are made by drawing cards is that they will often not respond to a direct attack but just stand passive whilst another attacks somewhere else.

Gargoyles Just Wanna Have Fun

Gargoyles Awakening didn’t leave me cold but it didn’t hugely excite me either. Ravensburger have a well-produced and well built game and have put a great deal of effort into getting the feel of the characters and the series to come through. The game looks nice on the table and is suitable for a family audience age 10+. The gameplay, however, is a fairly basic skirmish-style combat system. It reminds me of Ravensburger’s Alien Fate of the Nostromo with a similar level of great characterisation and undemanding gameplay (even the box inserts are identical!)

In conclusion, it’s a reasonable game with great characterisation so if you’re a Gargoyles fan add 10 to the score I’ve given.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Strong thematic production
  • Quality of figurines
  • Simple combat system

Might not like

  • Not challenging enough
  • Cardboard villains
  • An Eye of Odin is introduced but has no purpose