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Cave Evil or Mage Knight?

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12 Dec 2011 09:44 - 12 Dec 2011 13:51 #109770 by scissors
I told myself I was not going to buy either of these games, the first because I'm pretty sure I am not all that crazy about the death metal look (even if it is entirely appropriate for the game and well the done the motifs remind me of high school drawings) and the latter because I am tired of slogging through Chvatil's complex rulebooks.

But there are suggestions that both are pretty good...so I may cave-in an' get one. But I can't decide which.

Any thoughts?? Themewise and mechanically I know the basic differences but I'm thinking one has to have something that will tip things in its favour. Thanks.
Last edit: 12 Dec 2011 13:51 by scissors.

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12 Dec 2011 17:25 #109792 by scissors
Replied by scissors on topic Cave Evil or Mage Knight?
Anybody... anybody... Bueller... anybody?

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12 Dec 2011 17:27 #109793 by Michael Barnes
Well, I guess I'm probably the only person qualified here to respond to this...

First off, both of these games are _awesome_. Both, I would say as of this writing, have a very good shot at my Game of the Year award.

Cave Evil is most comparable to something like Titan. It's a straight-up fight with some mining and interesting card management going on. You control a couple of stacks with one containing your Necromancer (see, Titan). There's not much to do with character development since it's a search and destroy mission. There's also some mining, digging, and a variable endgame that might have you jumping into a pit or impressing an Evil Old Black Goat by killing stuff to win. There's dice, magic, event cards, wandering monsters, and a sort of Dudes in a Corridor feel to it. Component quality isn't great. I love the art and think it's the coolest looking game of the year, but if you're not feeling it...you're not feeling it. It plays best with two.

Mage Knight is more complex, but it's a good kind of complexity. It obviously compares more to Magic Realm, and really there is no other fantasy adventure game on the market that attempts its complexity or level of detail. But it also has a walkthrough that more or less teaches you everything you need to know to play the game. It should be _mandatory_ for anyone wanting to play the game, because it will not be easy to teach others. It's driven by a deckbuilding-influenced card game structure that offers a ton of choices with every card having a standard and a "powered up" mode so there's a strong resource management element. It's scenario based, so there's more variety than in Cave Evil. It also plays REALLY well single player if that's an issue. Overall, the production quality is good despite some flimsy cardstock.

It's a hard call because I like both games about the same. Mage Knight is probably the better bet for you. Even though it's more complex, it's also more accessible and the more generic fantasy setting may not be as off-putting as the black metal stuff from Cave Evil. But Mage Knight isn't as monster-bashy as Cave Evil,and it's very much a "thinking man's" adventure game. I think you'd have an easier time getting Mage Knight going with friends than Cave Evil, unless they're into metal in which case they might gravitate more to it.

They're about the same price, aren't they? Oh, but wait...Cave Evil comes with a logo patch, that's something Mage Knight doesn't do for you...
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12 Dec 2011 17:48 #109795 by Space Ghost
I haven't gotten my copy of Mage Knight yet, but I absolutely love Cave Evil (MB has gotten two metal suggestions right for me in terms of games: Cave Evil and Brutal Legend) -- probably because of its similarities to Titan. And, it sounds like Mage Knight's similarities to Magic Realm is going to make it a winner for me as well.
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12 Dec 2011 18:04 - 12 Dec 2011 18:10 #109799 by scissors
Replied by scissors on topic Cave Evil or Mage Knight?
Thanks for that long answer Michael - damn, they BOTH sound really interesting - the solo thing with MK, too. Sigh. How am I going to explain this to my wallet at home :0

Maybe I can grow to like the black metal thing... I am more and more intrigued by the cave digging/collapsing thing and sending in the squads. Plus I really like the built-in timer (or mid-game changer with some evil or other appearing), if I understand it correctly, which is one thing I liked about AH before I got rid of it.

After a few hours of mucking around in cesspools and murky corridors, though, every other game in the collecion by compasion is gonna shine with bright-eyed doe-like innocence :)
Last edit: 12 Dec 2011 18:10 by scissors.

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12 Dec 2011 18:31 #109802 by Hex Sinister
Cave Evil is really good. If you want to slay your friends then get Cave Evil. Interaction level is rated HIGH. It's a lot of fun and laughs. Not a fucking 'stare at the optimal move AP borefest' in any way. Those kind of games have their place, whatever, but you won't find that here. Which isn't to say it's dumb or anything. Tactical movement and choosing your battles is important. I've been meaning to post some stuff about the game but I wanted to get in another play first.

I dunno, Mage Knight looks dry as fuck to me. You got that on the review queue, Michael? I'd written it off already.

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12 Dec 2011 18:34 #109803 by Michael Barnes
Yeah, Mage Knight next week.

I wouldn't call it dry necessarily although the fantasy stuff is pretty generic and it is very elaborate mechanically. There is PVP possible, but it's not like Cave Evil where it's just non-stop harassment and fighting.

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12 Dec 2011 18:36 #109804 by Hex Sinister
Scissors, you don't have to know fuck-all about BM to get into Cave Evil. If you like the idea of being a sinister necromancer or lich who conjures dark beings and twists the dead into doing your dark bidding then you will love Cave Evil. Fuck, I will try to post more later.
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12 Dec 2011 18:51 #109805 by Hex Sinister

Michael Barnes wrote: Yeah, Mage Knight next week.

I wouldn't call it dry necessarily although the fantasy stuff is pretty generic and it is very elaborate mechanically.


Elaborate I don't mind. Generic fantasy is starting to bug me a little but there is no marketing risk involved so I can't blame them. That's one of the refreshing things about CE is that it turds on the same 'ol fluffy fairie fantasy. I like that stuff fine, but FUCK.

From what I've seen so far I don't think I'll like Mage Knight but I'm curious to hear more. I'll note that the only game that you gave a thumbs up to that I didn't like was from Chvatil. So I'm scared heh.

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12 Dec 2011 22:16 #109820 by Notahandle
I've no interest in metal but part of the reason I bought Cave Evil is that it looks atmospheric as hell.

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22 Dec 2011 23:32 #111188 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Cave Evil or Mage Knight?
I'm still sizing up both of these games, and have a question about Cave Evil after looking at their website. Will those cards fit in standard CCG sleeves? I'm not anal about protecting cards, but those cards in the picture at their website look really flimsy and bent, and might be better off in clear sleeves. But they also look like they might be a little too big for normal card sleeves. I suppose if I otherwise loved the game, I could scan the cards and have them re-printed on normal card stock at Artscow.

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23 Dec 2011 06:48 #111216 by Hex Sinister
Yeah, they're standard size CCG. I put them in Mayday premium sleeves. They were on sale at my local so I thought I'd try em. They are loads of suck, avoid. You can do pennies on them.

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23 Dec 2011 14:14 #111224 by Deleted
Replied by Deleted on topic Cave Evil or Mage Knight?
I'd get Mage Knight based on the reviews, primarily because Cave Evil's bits are quite shitty, even though the art is nice.

BUT....

I'd get Cave Evil because I'm not sure you'll be able to get it again down the road, at least for a reasonable price. Mage Knight will be the game d'jour for a while, and all of the OCD boys will be dropping money on it. So, you will be able to trade for it a lot more easily, or buy it more easily. It's an established publisher as well, which supports the idea that it will be available for a while.

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23 Dec 2011 19:49 #111262 by OldHippy
Replied by OldHippy on topic Cave Evil or Mage Knight?
Cave Evil is easy to play and easy to get into. You can have fun right away and everyone can fuck each other over all game long. Lots of blood, dice, cards and a cool ever changing map with a clever mechanic involving building and creating new map while you play. It's awesome fun and a real good time.

Mage Knight is cerebral and it's unlikely you'll be brining your buddies over for game night and just jumping in right away. They'll have to learn it and it will take some time. The reward is one of the most unique games you've ever played (whereas Cave Evil is more unique in it's look, sans the cool build/destroy cave mechanic) with an incredible amount of narrative being offered for very little overhead.

I'd say this is group dependent as the two are very different games. I would love to own both but would recommend Cave Evil for a lighter group and Mage Knight for the nerdier group.

Both are 3 hours plus. Cave Evil seems like it would be more awesome with 3-4 and Mage Knight is fine with 1-2, I haven't played with more yet but I think it could be incredible if everyone knew it well enough.

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19 Mar 2012 18:37 #119737 by scissors
Replied by scissors on topic Cave Evil or Mage Knight?
I am going to necro this thread (or whatever it's called) because I have long since acquired Cave Evil and not regretted it either for the awesome gameplay or the artwork. Up close, the illustrations are excellent - not high school scribbles like I suggested when I asked the question. Anyhow, just read on geek that the game has sold out at cave-evil.com so my guess all 500 are almost all bought. Great work guys!

As for Mage Knight.... well I got that too :/ another great game.

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