Ever thought “He Who Must Not Be Named” would make a great foe for Batman? (“Holy Horcruxes, Batman!”) Or have you wondered if Blanche Devereaux could’ve softened the cynical heart of mad scientist Rick Sanchez? (“Why, is that a laser pistol in your pocket, Rick?” “Wubba lubba dub dub!”)
If so, does Funko have a game for you!
The company that’s been bringing us delightfully deformed Pop! vinyl versions of famed movie, TV, comic, and video game characters for nearly a decade is now rolling the dice in the billion-dollar board game space.
Funkoverse is a collectible tabletop strategy game that not only puts icons from landmark franchises into play within their own “worlds,” but will also let gamers mix and match heroes and villains – and the occasional sweetheart from St. Olaf – in wild, weird, wonderful ways.
Brand-New Smaller Scale Pop!s with Familiar Funko Charm
Funkoverse is the first fruits of Funko’s acquisition, earlier this year, of leading game design studio Forrest-Pruzan Creative – no stranger to working with high-profile licenses from Disney to Bob Ross.
Funko Games unveiled the Funkoverse system and its first six entries during San Diego Comic-Con 2019. According to Funkoverse Game Designer Chris Rowlands, “it’s a completely universal system, but each game is a standalone experience.” Meaning that each game has the same engine, but comes with two maps and each character in the game is completely unique with their own abilities and their own special powers.”
The immediate attractions in each Funkoverse game are the 3-inch Funko Pop! Vinyl Figures – a brand-new scale for the line, smaller in size but with the same signature Funko Pop! appeal:
- Four-character Batman game – Batman, Batgirl, The Joker, Harley Quinn)
- Two-character Batman “expandalone” (a complete game in itself that can also be used with four-character games) – Robin, Catwoman
- Four-character Harry Potter game – Harry, Hermione, Voldemort, Bellatrix Lestrange
- Two-character Harry Potter “expandalone” – Ron, Draco
- Two-character Rick and Morty game “expandalone” – Rick, Morty
- Two-character The Golden Girls game “expandalone” – Blanche, Rose
And many of these figures have accessories. Ron Weasley can carry a broom and wand. Catwoman can wield her whip and Harley Quinn her mallet. And Rick gets to brandish his dimension-disrupting portal gun (all accessories are also interchangeable between characters).
Licensed Favorites Meet Original Gameplay
But the figures aren’t ends in themselves. They’re integral parts of an easy-to-learn yet satisfyingly light strategy game.
“An original game for licensed products is rare,” says Ben Mitchell, main prototype fabricator and simulation coder for Double Watt Games in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. “Often you get a reskin of an existing popular game.”
Each box includes a full-color folding playing board on which characters face off against each other in one of four scenarios.
Dice, character instruction cards, colorful “crystal” tokens, and a rule book with both general Funkoverse and world-specific regs round out the contents.
Mitchell says giving each figure set “its own board and setup,” as Funkoverse does, means “way more playtesting and design work, but avoids the power creep of living collectible systems.”
One intriguing Funkoverse innovation is the “cooldown” system.
The more resources a character expends to perform a powerful ability – Batgirl’s Flying Tackle, for instance, or a Hogwarts student’s spell in the Room of Requirement – the longer that character takes to recover before moving again.
Get Your Funkoverse Fix from Entertainment Earth!
Gamers at Gen Con 2019 in Indianapolis this weekend (August 1-4) will be among the first to play and purchase Funkoverse sets.
As Deirdre Cross, Director Of Product Development, told The Gaming Gang’s Jeff McAleer, con attendees will have to play the game in order to have a chance to purchase it: “We don’t want this game to go home and just sit on someone’s shelf.”
In other words, this is not a product meant to remain mint-in-box!
As for the rest of us, we can start pre-ordering Funkoverse now, and it will hit hobby store shelves and fine game retailers everywhere – including your pals here at Entertainment Earth – on October 1.
With its creative gameplay, impressive expandability, and showcasing of the irresistible Funko Pop! style, Funkoverse looks set to become a huge hit that proves Funko’s guiding principle, “Everyone is a fan of something!”
Pre-order your Funkoverse base sets and “expandalones” today, and get ready to take your fandoms to whole new levels of fun!