Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA): War with the Evil Power Master is the second game to be released from Z-Man games emulating a classic CYOA book from the 80s and 90s. If you were a reader back then, you’re already familiar with the format this game takes: flip a page (or in this case, a card), read it out loud and make a decision as to what your characters should do next.
The game begins in a central location and then players can choose which planet they wish to explore next. Each location has a deck of 20 or so cards that tell the story of collecting information and foiling the dastardly deeds of the Evil Power Master. Along the way items are collected to make skill rolls simpler to accomplish, or to provide some other kind of bonus for use at the appropriate time.
War with the Evil Power Master’s components are fair. Cards are illustrated using the artwork from the original book. Type is large enough to read comfortably. The star map you’ll be playing on is simple to understand and read. Nothing is terribly exemplary, but they’re really exactly what they need to be considering the game being played.
One thing I’d like to make brief mention of is its predecessor CYOA: House of Danger. House of Danger is definitely a game you would enjoy if you end up playing and enjoying Evil Power Master. The components are similar, but House of Danger doesn’t concern itself with anything resembling the galaxy map of Evil Power Master. House of Danger is a simpler game but delivers an incredibly rich experience as it’s intended to be played in numerous consecutive sessions; almost like a mini-legacy game. Sara and I enjoyed both of these games for different reasons, and they’re different enough to give both a try.
CYOA: War with the Evil Power Master is a fun little game. It doesn’t have massive depth in terms of strategy or replayability, but for an afternoon or two it’s a great little trip back to my childhood with a little extra gameplay for the grown-up me. While this release in the series is meant to be played in several discrete sessions, because of having to replay certain portions before decisions can be made it’s much better to have some time between the sessions instead of binging through the whole thing.
I can’t wait for whatever the next CYOA title comes from Z-Man.
Designed by: Prospero Hall (based on the book by R. A. Montgomery)
Player Count 1-4
Playtime: 45-60 Minutes
Time to Learn: 5 minutes
Am I happy I bought it?: I am. This, like its predecessor in the line is a little bite of nostalgia and well worth the MSRP
Will my mom play this?: Probably not. While the gamey portions are fun, since there are only a limited number of playthroughs, and there’s no real strategy to it, I don’t know that this will come out to the table with her.
Written by Brendan Quinn; President of Tri-City Area Gaming. Learn more about the 200+ annual gaming events we host by visiting http://www.tricityareagaming.com.