Rick & Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy Board Game Review (Cryptozoic Entertainment)

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At some point, the number of board games and card games released for Rick & Morty is going to eclipse the number of episodes. Go to ThinkGeek and you can buy your very own Rick & Morty-themed Clue, Monopoly, or (of course) Munchkin. Luckily, most of the Rick & Morty games are decently good -- and approach different themes in interesting ways. The Ricks Must Be Crazy is a solid game, but it may be more thematic than good. 

Rick & Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy Game Details

Players: 2 to 4

Game Time: 30 to 45 Minutes

Age: 17+

Genre: Strategy / Action Point

How Is The Ricks Must Be Crazy Played?

The Ricks Must Be Crazy is based on an episode that takes place in progressively smaller universes. In order to create energy in "our" world (the "Rickverse"), Rick has created a battery that contains a smaller universe, designed to power his vehicle. Unfortunately the inhabitants of the smaller universe have created a battery with an even smaller universe, which has in turn, created a battery with an even smaller universe. There are four universes total.

Players choose a character (including Rick or Morty) and start in the smallest universe, the teeniverse. Each character has a special ability (Morty's is to draw two cards and discard one, instead of drawing a single card). Characters then take turns playing cards, during which time they can either build a contraption (which turns energy into victory points) or bulid a power source (which provides energy).

Power sources only impact the universe that they're in. Power in the microverse cannot be used to power contraptions in the miniverse. The universe you're in also controls the number of actions you have: the teeniverse gives you 5 actions, whereas the Rickverse gives you only 3. However, you can discard any number of cards at any time for additional actions.

Starting in the teeniverse, you could move up to the miniverse (1 action), build an item that requires 3 build actions (3 actions), and build a power supply for 2 actions (1 action + discarding a card to gain another, bonus action). There are also action cards that you can take (one shot cards) that use energy; you're able to do this before contrapions activate.

Power sources are communal, even though contraptions are owned. So if you're at the end of a turn, you may find power depleted before you can get anything done.

More Theme Than Game

We had fun playing The Ricks Must Be Crazy, which is a victory point game that is played up to a specific score -- the score being set based on the number of players. Once that score is triggered, everyone else gets an additional turn and points are counted. But nearly no one actually got up to the Rickverse and very few things were built outside of the teeniverse. The one player who did end up in the Rickverse trailed behind the rest of us (who barely left the teeniverse) by a solid 10 points in a 40 point game. 

The mechanics of this game make sense when considering the episode. In the episode, time runs progressively more slowly each universe they enter into -- therefore giving you more actions at lower levels. However, actions are the most important thing in any victory point game. Though there is some artificial scarcity when it comes to cards (you only pull one card every turn), you can cheat this by building cards that let you draw cards, or getting one shot cards that let you draw cards. And, of course, actions taken at the beginning of the game are more important than actions taken at the end of the game, because you're accuring victory points every round. 

Each universe also has its own rules. In the teeniverse, you can only activate contraptions on alternating turns. This is a bit clunky to track, because you tap your new contraptions before untapping the old contraptions (you need to remember what you tapped that turn). But if you have enough contraptions, it's not a big deal. In the miniverse, you need to discard a card every time you create a contraption. In essence, you're losing an additional action, while also having fewer actions to take.

The game attempts to mitigate this by letting you build contraptions in a smaller universe at a lower cost. A contraption may be 5 to build in your universe, but 3 to build downwards. However, that really only mitigates it somewhat, as you still need to move. 

With only a single card draw each turn, the game became highly dependent on which cards you drew. This explains why, at the end of the game, the two top players were only off each other by a single point -- and the only player trailing behind was the one who tried to actually play the game, by traversing the map and taking advantage of its other mechanics.

A Fun Game for Rick & Morty Fans

Like other Rick & Morty board games, the game really is fun for fans of the show. But, they're making a few too many of these games: even the craziest fan doesn't need a game for every single episode of the show. If you know a huge fan (or are one), you can pick up one or two games and feel fulfilled.

Picking up any more is probably a mistake: though they are fun games, they aren't really good games. Rick & Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy is fun once or twice, but it probably doesn't have great replay value, especially after you play each of the four characters available.

Rick & Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy Board Game Review
  • PRO: The mechanics of the game mirror the episode in an entertaining way.
  • PRO: Each character plays differently, due to their special abilities.
  • CON: There's not a lot going on, and there may be one way to play that's "better" than others. 
  • CON: We only need so many Rick & Morty games, you guys.