When the Rat Hole launched we began the monthly tradition of looking at different expansions for Skybound Games’ runaway hit party game, Superfight. But since Skybound Games has a ton of more great party games (and games in general) we bring you Skybound Saturday. This month we look at the Animation expansion deck for Pitchstorm.
If you’ve never played Pitchstorm before, you may want to start with our review of the Core Game.
Okay, I admit it. I love cartoons. You basically have to pay me to pick up a Batman comic, but I’ll watch the hell outta most DC animation. Disney movie date, deal. I had Ducktales, Garfield & Friends, and the like on constantly in the waiting area of my old photo studio. The most exciting news of 2020 so far is the official announcement that Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo is coming to Netflix. I love cartoons.
The Animation deck for Pitchstorm is arguably the one I’ve been most excited to crack into, but I just haven’t had a “reason” to do so. You may have noticed I try to theme my Skybound Saturdays, and there have simply been more suitable thematic options until now. But today, I get my animation on!
As with all the Pitchstorm decks, you could play a really small game with just this deck, although mixing it with Superheros would be incredibly fitting and not water down the feel even remotely.
The Character cards feel a bit Disney heavy, but that’s mostly because the Mouse owns pretty well everything these days. Aside from those obvious options, there are some truly great characters that a player doesn’t need to know the reference for it to work (which is a thing Pitchstorm does better than most games, honestly). You don’t need to be old enough to remember Captain Planet to sell A SUPERHERO THAT FIGHTS POLLUTION, just like you don’t need to have watched Samurai Jack to understand A TIME-TRAVELING SAMURAI STUCK IN THE FUTURE. The only card I take issue with is A MEAN CAT ADDICTED TO LASAGNA. Garfield is NOT mean. Fight me.
The Plot cards don’t seem AS Disneyfied as Characters do, which is nice. But as a nod back to my comment about the Mouse owning everything now, after years and years of being the explicitly-not-Disney-princess, they do now own the real-life princess who is HUNTED BY AN UNDEAD RUSSIAN PRIEST AND AN INCOMPETENT BAT. Which was not the case when the card was developed, so there is that. I think by far my favourite Plot reference is TRIES TO ESCAPE A GRAVEYARD FULL OF DANCING SKELETONS, but a memorable moment was taking the pitch for RACES AGAINST EVIL MARTIAL ARTISTS TO COLLECT SEVEN LEGENDARY ARTIFACTS, and spinning it into a Teddy Ruxpin reboot in response to the Note HOW CAN WE TURN THIS INTO A LINE OF HAPPY MEAL TOYS.
I also really appreciated the think-of-the-children-puritanical Note TOO MUCH BLOOD! LET’S REPLACE ALL THE VILLAINS WITH ROBOTS that legitimately was a thing that happened in the 80s and 90s. There are some moments to make things darker when the Executive asks for the players to KILL THE PARENTS, or worse yet, take a horror pitch a say EVERY OBJECT NEEDS A FACE AND A PERSONALITY.
Of all the great Pitchstorm expansions, this one is by far my favourite. With the exception of my oft-requested Holiday Movie expansion, I would happily take an Animation 2 deck before any other new release I can imagine. If you can only pick one expansion (and my heart goes out to you if that’s the case) Animation is the one to pick.
This is Skybound Saturday, which means it’s Saturday. Go watch some darned cartoons already.