Press "Enter" to skip to content

Review: Thunder & Lightning

A good rainstorm without thunder and lightning feels like a sad day. Drop a bit of Thunder & Lightning on the table, and see if the same result occurs.

Thunder & Lightning Box
2 players | 40 minutes | Beginner Difficulty

Players start a game of Thunder & Lightning by selecting the Loki or Thor deck, then shuffling and drawing nine cards. Each player then lays down three cards face-down to form their front row of cards. During play, each player can lay additional cards to form up to four rows of cards.

Each of the three columns in play represent a column of units fighting on a battlefield. New cards played face-down to a column can be played in front of or behind an existing card in play. When a card in the front row is discarded or defeated, the player moves up any cards that sit behind that card.

On a turn, a player receives a number of actions equal to the number of cards they have in their front row. Players can play a card to the battlefield, play a card for it’s special effect, draw a card, or initiate a challenge. Players initiate a challenge by moving a front-row card from their side of the battlefield to a card directly opposite on the opponent’s side. Both cards are revealed and the lower value card is discarded. If the cards are equal, both cards are destroyed.

A player wins by eliminating all their opponent’s cards, defeating or forcing the discard of special cards belonging to their opponent or causing their opponent to be unable to make a play.

Presentation

  • The cards or of exceptional quality.
  • The art is wonderful, really evoking a titanic war of gods and the various minions and creatures.
  • The rules are slightly confusing but after a couple plays everything gels.
  • The box includes two wooden tokens which have no use except maybe to randomly decide decks before a game.

Thunder & Lightning in play

Gameplay

  • Play is engaging and as fast or as slow as the number of choices a player has, which is usually a good amount.
  • The level of strategy is not as high as the level of tactics. Making the right moves to pull off a combo of a few turns is the name of the game.
  • Replayability is fair, but nothing really changes, just the options presented by the draw of cards. That being said, different strategies can be employed from game to game.
  • Depending on the player, defensive play can really bog the play down.

Fun

  • The game is really intriguing, but because of the mostly fixed decks and short playtime, it fizzles into repetition on occasion
  • If the play is not short and aggressive, it becomes contemplative and chess-like, but that doesn’t raise the fun factor that much. It stays tactical for the most part.
  • Works really well with the same opponent, if you keep track of wins for each side.

Collection Management

A solid filler for game night while you’re waiting for a larger game to open up. Not many other games share its play style and that can keep it in a collection for a long time.

Scores for Thunder & Lightning
  • Presentation - 95
  • Gameplay - 90
  • Fun - 75

Summary

Quick play and just enough theme keep the card play tactical but fun.

87