One of the facts of life that I have come to accept is that they may never be a G.I.joe themed board game, which to be perfectly honest about is quite baffling. I mean we have a game based around Chew, a comic series that is a personal favourite in the same way that Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s Cannibal the musical is a personal favourite of mine, a great idea that is difficult to recommend. It’s not hard to see why there is a lack of G.I.joe games though, mostly because it is the flag waving patriotism that others perceived the series is about. If you sat down and read any of the comics, it’s not so much about patriotism and more about the value of team work, friendship and hard work over coming a snake themed cult. It’s less about flag waving and more respecting soldiers who fight on your behalf.
Then there is the logistical problems that go with designing a game. What mechanic do you go with, do you use miniatures, is it card based, will there be a board, or do you not need a board? It’s the same reason I suspect we haven’t had a Transformers or a G.I.joe board game since the late 80s, that games themselves have come along way and not getting the game right in terms of balance and quality is much harder then producing a bunch of toys and cartoons. Until now that is.
Venom Assault is perhaps the closet thing to a G.I.Joe board game we’ll get without it being a G.I.Joe Board game. The game by SpyGlass Games which can be found here on kickstarter is a 1-5 player deck builder where the good guys Freedom Squadron take down the villainous Venom. Both sides have their own vehicles and colourful characters that you can recruit that can help you turn the tide of battle in your favour. It does it’s own take on the deck builder, requiring you to roll dice to add a bit of a random factor with it as well. It’s well put together and the artwork is fabulous.
Truth be told it’s the type of game I’d want for G.I.joe. The deck builder mechanic is perfect for the fact that the Joes have 100+ member roster plus vehicles as well as Cobra has the same amount of characters and generic troops on their side. Instead of just letting us play with one hero, you’re giving us the ability to play with almost the entire toy chest. There was a TCG of G.I.Joe but it was mostly uninspired and there wasn’t much strategy to it and quickly died the death most poorly thought out TCGs.
Is Venom Assault worthy of your time and money? Only you can say that, but it ticks the right boxes for me and is the closet to thing to a G.I.joe Board game we’ll get. And before Hasbro shoots off any angry letters to the makers this is my own personal fan theory. So if you really want to get me some thing for my birthday Hasbro, either announce a new G.I.Joe board game, video game or movie. Failing any of those I’ll accept being able to buy G.I.joe figures in Australia without needing to sell a kidney or visit a bloke called Chad who is hiding in an alleyway in a trench coat.