In the year 2097, the entire earth was enveloped in a cataclysmic climate shift, plunging the globe into another ice age.
I’m not much of a fan of deckbuilding games because they always seem to be such solitary endeavours with little or no player interaction. Arctic Scavengers changes all that with an ingenious ‘skirmish phase’ at the end of every round. During their turn, players can save precious cards to join this fight and try to win a particularly choice card. This clever PvP addition to the deckbuilding formula is improved even more by the simple expedient of allowing the first player to peak at the contested card. Suddenly, a staid deckbuilding experience turns into a violent and sneaky—and seriously fun—game, as your gangs get more powerful, attract other thugs (and specialists such as snipers and saboteurs), and the race to find the best gear, build the biggest tribe and ultimately survive in the post-climate shift endless winter is on.
The latest version of this game, while saddled with one of the most over-designed (and badly designed—it doesn’t fit the box when the cards are placed in it) plastic box inserts ever, also includes a fantastic expansion called HQ that adds all kinds of ingenious and thematic stuff like constructing buildings and picking tribal leaders. It positively drips jagged icicles of theme.
This summary includes the Recon expansion (which comes with a new, properly designed box to replace the old one).