It doesn't get much more classic than Batman: The Animated Series, a version of the character and his mythos that has become iconic among fans. IDW Games has now brought the fan-favorite world to the tabletop world in the new experienced Batman: The Animated Series – Rogues Gallery, a card game that features a mix of dice rolls and push-your-luck mechanics with the ultimate goal of taking down Gotham's defender, Batman. You'll play as some of Batman's deadliest villains, including Bane, Poison Ivy, The Joker, Harley Quinn, and more, each with their own unique abilities, and we're here to break it down for you.
Rogues Gallery already has a head start before you even break open the box, as the beloved Batman: The Animated Series aesthetic is utilized in every aspect of the game. From the gorgeous Character Cards to the Batman Tracker and Minion Deck, the game oozes style, and if you're a fan of the series' art, you'll immediately be immersed in the world once more.
Rogues Gallery also excels at its easiness to set up and the limited space it consumes, both of which are often challenges for those looking to experiment with tabletop games. Depending on how many are playing (three to five can play at any given time), the footprint is not that large at all, and setup only requires the placement of a few decks, Character Cards, and the Batman Tracker, as well as a few odds and ends, but those don't take much time at all. If you're looking for a game you can quickly get into, this is it.
That quick setup allows you to get into the meat of the game, which really revolves around how far you want to push your luck with the dice rolls you have, and what you can do to either get those dice back or add more dice to your pool to choose from. The ultimate goal is to move up the Batman tracker and face Batman when you are capable, and if you can defeat him, you win the game. Obviously his cards are much more difficult to overcome, but the game does a great job of moving you forward even if you fall against him (or any enemy in general), as if you get arrested, you will still get Lucky Coins and Scheme Tokens to purchase things with during future turns.
These mechanics keep the game flowing, even if you all fall to Batman or his allies, and makes sure that even someone who loses a few times in a row can make their way back to the top and win the game. That said, the game doesn't typically last long enough for someone to really need to plan for the long term. My games rarely made it long enough to actually purchase some of the top-tier Power Levels, which add extra dice to your pool.
That's great in one regard, as you can fit several games into a session, depending on the dice rolls and someone's equipment. On the other hand, it also means that you might not really get to use or benefit from the Upgrades and Accomplices you spend all those hard-earned Scheme Tokens on. It really just depends on who ends up fighting Batman and when, so some games might just end up being a bit more fulfilling than others.
It's also worth noting that the game features a variety of typos on the cards, and, while I didn't notice initially, it is an unfortunate blemish on an otherwise stellar game.
Batman: The Animated Series – Rogues Gallery is a perfect game for experienced tabletop players and newer players alike, as it features enough complexity and chance to keep more experienced players immersed while offering new players numerous opportunities to get themselves back into the mix. The game may end abruptly because of that chance, but I'll take that over a game overstaying its welcome any day of the week. Rogues Gallery is a game that I would recommend to just about anyone, and that's why it definitely deserves a shot on your tabletop.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Published by: IDW Games
Designed by: Sen-Foong Lim and Jessey Wright
Art by: Dario Brizuela, Jose David Lanza Cebrian, Chris Fenoglio, Marcel Ferreira, Sebastian Koziner, and Jack Lawrence.