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Pigeonpocalypse Kickstarter Preview

Quick Look: Pigeonpocalypse

Designer: Marek Mata
Artist: Iveta Doležalová
Publisher: Self-published
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2-6
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 20-30 min

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of Pigeonpocalypse. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.


tl;dr: Quick-playing King of the Hill game with some press-your-luck built in. City park theme is tacked-on, but provides some fun art opportunities.

Getting to the Game: Shuffle both decks of cards, and deal each player four park cards. Deal out one city card per player to the center of the table.

The city/visitor cards in the middle are the ones you're fighting over. Each card has a value, which grants victory points if you win it. First player to accumulate 15 victory points wins. You'll claim these visitors by sending your minions and special cards to them, one player at a time. Whichever player has the most cumulative power at each visitor by the end of the round, scores it.

Playing the Game: Play is taken in turns, one card at a time. You'll send one minion from your four-card hand to whichever visitor you're trying to capture. Play continues around and around until everyone passes or doesn't have a card to play. Once done, all the cards at the visitors are flipped over, special card effects carried out, and then power totaled up. It's that simple.

Is it fun? The card art brings a lot to this game, which would otherwise just be a competition between who has the best hand every round. While there's some strategy in deciding how much to commit from your hand every round, and whether the visitors are valuable enough to really splurge on, the actual gameplay often just comes down to which players have power cards, and what they want to do with them. In the example below, my 100-power Pigeonpocalypse doesn't stand a chance against my opponent's Tornado Strike, but I also have the comfort of the fact that their four-power squirrels won't beat the player on my left's 5-power minions. They're even protected by a garbage can fortress, meaning they get them back at the end of the round. These wonderful moments happen a lot in this game, pushing and pulling the leader around, causing all sorts of chaos. Pigeonpocalypse often devolves into a mass of cards being shoved around, causing cries of disappointment when no one gets what they thought they had locked up.

There's also some balance issues here, with the Pigeonpocalypse card being worth 100 points, and no other card worth more than four. Even with a best-case 10 or more cards in hand (meaning you spent none for a few rounds), you can't beat it. It might as well just say "WIN" on it. Clearly this was the intention, however, and it can be cycloned away, or even thwarted with a deliberate distraction, causing the four-point visitor card they thought they had cemented to be replaced with the top card of the deck, hopefully worthless. The real issue is pairing it with a garbage can fortress, bouncing it back to the owners hand after it's been played.

Artwork and Components: As I mention above, the artwork is a strong compelling feature for this game for me. It elevates a just-fine game to a good one, as it's great to look at on the table. The colored pencil aesthetic fits the game perfectly, and is very well done.


Not much to say on the components here, it's just two decks of cards. The game is played with no tokens or markers of any kind. I'll take this space to note something else, though: many of the cards refer to other players as "him." In 2019, there's literally no excuse for using gendered pronouns in rulebooks, cards, or player aids. Ignoring the fact that women play games is tired. I hope this changes before publication.

The Good: Quick, fun, tactical gameplay with neat art.

The Bad: Power cards are very, very good, and can't be countered. Game doesn't have a ton of depth.

Score: While it has issues, it's important to note that Pigeonpocalypse doesn't try to be anything it's not. There aren't any levels of abstraction or forced-upon strategy that don't make sense. This is literally just a game of king of the hill with cards. For that, it's to be applauded. I'm giving Pigeonpocalypse a score of Rats with Wings.

Check out Pigeonpocalypse on:


On KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends July 4, 2019.

Nicholas Leeman - Reviewer

Nicholas has been a board game evangelist for over 10 years now, converting friends and family alike to the hobby. He's also a trained actor and works summers as one of the PA announcers for the St. Paul Saints. He lives in Minneapolis, MN with his board gaming wife and son.

See Nicholas's reviews HERE.
Pigeonpocalypse Kickstarter Preview Pigeonpocalypse Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by The Madjai on June 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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