In the game, three to five players each join the Marvel story as one of the five tribes of Wakanda. One player also leads the pack as the King of Wakanda, the Black Panther. The tribes must team up to defeat a horde of villains who are threatening to attack the hidden land and capture the throne for themselves. Players must strategize to protect Wakanda and challenge the Black Panther to take over as king when the moment is right. The person who holds the title of Black Panther and earns the most Wakanda points and Vibranium stones by the end of the game is named the champion. And — of course — the winner has to yell out, “Wakanda Forever!” because it’s not enough to just accept your victory. You have to rub into the losers’ faces.
The board game comes with a Black Panther totem figurine, five tribe mats, five tribe shields, one Wakanda plastic tray, one Wakanda game card, 20 villain cards, 60 Vibranium stones, two Vibranium dice, one battle die, four tech upgrade dice, one Dora Milaje die, 70 Wakanda point tokens, five voting discs, one villain token, one health tracker, and five voting cups. All of these pieces create a complex game.
Wakanda Forever is great for fans of the Black Panther comic book series and movie because it stays true to the story. Fans can play out Wakandan traditions, including mining for Vibranium to power up weapons for battling iconic MCU villains, including Killmonger, Loki, Red Skull, and Ultron, and fighting for the throne. When players “mine,” they take the Vibranium from the Wakanda tray and exchange it for tech upgrade and battle dice. Players will roll these to determine how many numbered spaces they’ll move around a villain card in each round until they reach zero, showing the villain is defeated. The Black Panther also gets to roll the special Dora Milaje die along with the tech upgrade and battle dice for a chance to earn more points. This represents the army of female soldiers that back him up and increase his power in battle.
However, the game is better suited for players who enjoy more challenging and strategic games rather than quick, casual ones. The rules will take time to learn and master, and it’s best to watch Spin Master’s tutorial YouTube video, which is hosted by one of the game’s creators. He even apologizes for the way the instructions are written and directs players to throw them away, so again, watch and learn with this one. With that said, this complex game is a better fit for tweens and teens because of the serious themes, the strategic thinking, the math for scoring, and the memorization of the several steps and rules.
Once you nail down the steps and rules, the gameplay is fast-paced as the tribes try to gain as many Vibranium stones and Wakanda points as they can. Players can determine the speed of the game by choosing between the short and regular version. The gameplay is both competitive and cooperative, which adds a unique element to the game. Players use this to their advantage so they can plan their takeover of the Black Panther role and gain the most points using the special power boosts on defeated villain cards and the Dora Milaje die.
Although Wakanda Forever has a few setbacks, its replay value, time-frame options, gameplay style, and direct ties to the original Black Panther comic book series and movie make the game a challenge several MCU fans will welcome.
Photo: Spin Master