WBG Score: 7.5
Player Count: 2-4
Published by: Funko Games
Designed by: Prospero Hall
I love Jurassic Park, especially that bit when the raptor goes to attack Alan Grant but then one of the golden girls clocks it with her hand bag. Then when Voldemort goes to fire a spell at her Marty McFly swoops in and saves her on his hoverboard only for Batman to knock out Bellatrix and escort her to Arkham. They don’t make them like that anymore!
Set up depends on what set/s you have but in general pick a board that you’ll be using, pick a scenario and then the really fun bit, pick your characters! Then take all the special items, shuffle them up and deal out any number to the players and let them keep one for each character. Then take the physical components and give them to the characters. I’ll talk more about mixing the sets later on and just talk through the rules as if you're using a single set.
On your turn pick one of your characters and perform up to two actions. You can move up to two squares, assist an adjacent knocked down ally by standing them up, interact with tokens on the board or perform a basic challenge to an opponent's character. When you challenge you roll two dice or more depending on if you're doing a basic challenge or using an ability. The defender rolls as many dice as their defence value and then you compare hits and blocks. If the challenger wins then the opponent is knocked down and the only action they can do on their next turn is stand up. If they’re already knocked down when they fail to defend a challenge then they are knocked out and the character is placed on the first space of the cool-down track. If none of these actions appeal to you then you can do a special action and perform an ability on your character's card or use an item.
Each special ability has a type associated with it and when you use it you place a token of that type on the cool-down track in the indicated space. These tokens will move down a space on the track at the end of each round. This means that you need to use your abilities carefully because you may not have access to them for a few rounds. If you don’t have a token of that type then you can’t use the ability.
Funkoverse, tis’ a silly game.
If there’s one thing you need to know about Funkoverse it’s this. It is ridiculous! You are able to team up Jaws, who is equipped with a purse and a raptor who has a cheesecake and have them fight one of the golden girls holding a Batarang and the Kool aid man riding a hoverboard. Now if that sentence doesn’t bring a smile to your face, or you think it’s too silly then there’s a good chance that this game isn’t for you. That being said, read on because you never know.
On the surface Funkoverse may seem like a gimmick, a way to sell more Funko pops and, maybe there is a little bit of that there, but underneath all the crazy combos and the highly recognisable characters is a solid, fun game with plenty of replayability.
At its core Funkoverse is a light, simple skirmish game. They’ve taken a lot of elements from small skirmish games and boiled them down into their fairly simple base mechanics. Even the line of sight rules are easy to follow. If you’ve ever played any kind of combat game then you know how groan- inducing the words “line of sight” can be. In fact you can have this taught easily in about five minutes and be done within an hour give or take depending on the scenario you’ve chosen.
If you want to see how simple this game is then try making up a team of just the basic characters you get in the sets that only have the basic rules! On second thoughts, don’t do that, it’d probably be rubbish. This only goes to prove how much fun those player powers and special abilities are though. Each one works thematically for the characters and because of that adds another layer, not only to the strategy, but to your character choices.
There’s a ton of fun to be had by loudly announcing Expelliarmus! and, if successful, disarming an opponent and putting one of their items on their cool-down track, or shouting Great Scott and prematurely shifting items down your cool-down track
All the abilities here have been thought about and not just slapped on just because they’ve managed to get hold of a particular IP. Marty has a “nobody calls me chicken ability”, Doc Brown has his 88mph move which lets him move four spaces in a straight line and the Raptor has a “Clever girl” ability that lets her ambush someone. It’s all been done with knowledge and passion for the characters they add to the game and gives every game some instant recognisability and in some cases a bit of nostalgia.
Slam dunk the funk
Now let’s talk about that cool down track. This takes the game and elevates it by giving it another level of strategy that doesn’t over complicate the game and still keeps it accessible for everyone. Without it this game would be one of those “let me just take the most powerful character and spam their best ability till I win” games, which would have been the table top equivalent of button mashing and we all know how annoying those people were to play Street Fighter against……..Marcus. Sorry, don’t know where that came from.
Whenever you use an ability it goes on an indicated space on the cool-down track and generally the more powerful the weapon, the higher it goes on the track. Each round, anything on the cool-down track slides down one space. So the more powerful the ability, the longer it takes to get it back.
Knowing when and how to effectively use those abilities for maximum effect is crucial. You may look as Voldermorts fiendfyre ability and think that range 2 and 6 attack is pretty darn powerful, and it is unless your luck with the dice is as shocking as mine, but that ability is not coming back you for four rounds!
However, there are ways to manage that track and expedite your tokens journey or, even give you multiple of the same tokens to be able to use those abilities a bit more often and that's where your team building comes into play.
All the power in the ‘verse
Each character has their own role to play in a team, some are more of a powerhouse when it comes to attacking, some are support characters and some will help you shift your tokens down the cool down track or stand up fallen allies. I love the multiple ways you can choose to build your team and how it caters for different styles of gamers. If you want to pour over the characters, analysing what they each bring and put together a strong team based on whose abilities synchronise well together you can. On the other hand if you want to just throw together a team of your favourite characters or just a team based on how silly it is, then it’s just as satisfying and, arguably more fun. It’s a system that will satisfy those slightly more serious players or anyone who just wants to have Jaws fighting Hagrid for the giggles, I’m definitely more of the latter.
There's a ton of Funky to go round.
Something I love about these sets is that all the boxes (barring the single character sets) come with all the components that you need to play. So if you want to just buy a two character set to dip your toes in then you can absolutely do that. This is such a great idea as it makes the game that much easier to find your jumping on point.
So many of these games require you to buy a base set which you may or may not be as interested in just to get the essentials. Here though you can find a set you like and go for that. As your collection grows you're going to have lots of different boards to play on and multiple different scenarios to use. It seems that the more sets they release the more inventive they’re getting with the scenarios. The Space Jam set has a basketball one and the Thanos single pack has an all against one infinity saga scenario.
Whilst I wouldn’t change this system it does pose a bit of an issue as you get more sets. Asides from getting a load of fun coloured crystals (like having more eggs from wingspan) you are going to have a LOAD of all of the other tokens, like objective point markers and exhaust tokens that you will not use and have to find a new home for.
Whilst we’re on the subject, storage is going to be a puzzle you’ll have to contend with the more sets you get….unless you plan on keeping all the sets in their relevant boxes that is. These are smaller than the usual Funko pops but I can see them needing some creative solutions for storage as your collection grows. Now I’m not saying that to put you off buying a load of stuff, far from it. I just want you to fully know the rabbit hole you’re probably going to end up down if you enjoy this game.
One last thing whilst we’re on the negatives and it’s not necessarily a negative. You can get any set and have a great time with this game, but a lot of the fun of Funkoverse comes from mixing and matching. So unless you’re tied to just one IP, you're probably going to want to get at least another set to really see the games full potential. This is mostly because each team will comprise three characters and, with only one set your team will need either one or two of the basic character tokens and they are just that, basic, so you will really want another set to really flesh out your team. That's not something you need to do immediately of course and if you're having enough fun with just one set then great!
Now if I was reviewing this game when it first came out then that may have been more of a negative, it may even have been cause to drop the score since the sets were so expensive. These days however you can find a lot more of the sets for cheaper and sometimes these can be around the same price as getting a new card pack for something like Marvel Champions. We’ve managed to get hold of three sets (two four packs and a two pack) and paid just over what a four pack originally cost. That’s not to say that’s going to be the case everywhere but it’s worth shopping around.
If you’ve ever had the urge to take your Funko pops off the shelf or worse, out of the box!! and play with them then Funkoverse does a fantastic job on making that dream a reality. Sure it doesn’t yet have the extensive range of characters and IPs as their bigger counterparts but there’s still fun range out there. There’s nothing like stomping round the board with your favourite characters pulling off fun moves and uttering sentences like “Jaws is now going to hit you with Harley Quinns hammer” Funkoverse is great, silly light fun but you may want to watch out for that rabbit hole, it’s easy to fall down…..but it might just be worth it.