Super Giant Monster Showdown
Super Giant Monster Showdown basic game Destroy Tokyo Tower, scenarios SGMS Cybernetic Expansion

  • Nov 2002 - Alien Invasion Expansion is ready for production - no release date yet.
    This expansion WILL include "mechas", but is not the "Giant Robot" expansion mentioned in the Cybernetic rulebook.
What is it? How is it?
Classic Creatures
Fight movie favorites in SGMS!
Angiurus, Baragon, Biolante, Destroyah, Ebirah, Ghidirah, Gigan, Godzilla, King Kong, Mecha-Ghidirah, Rodan
Additional Card Ideas
Bio-cards, Modifiers, Powers, PowerSources, Cybernetics
Rules Variations
Alternate death rules, scoring, hidden powers.
Custom Scenarios
"Buddies", "Historical", more to come.

What is Super Giant Monster Showdown?

SGMS is a sort of board game (built from cards) that allows 2 or more players to create giant monsters worthy of a Japanese Kaiju movie, then fight each other while demolishing cities and wiping out the population.

Each creature starts out as 10 cards selected from 4 categories (or 5 with the Cybernetic expansion). These cards define the creature's abilities and also act as hit points.

Initially each player is dealt a hand of Bio cards (like Alligator or T-Rex) and selects the overall form of their monster. Next, Modifiers are dealt and players select items such as horns and claws. Powers and special abilities like breath weapons or regeneration are then picked. Most of these powers require a powersource to operate, which is selected next (e.g., radiation or fire). If the Cybernetic expansion is used (and any of the 10 slots are left), the player may select some mechanical enhancements like lasers or an onboard pilot.

The map cards are then drawn and placed by each player in turn to build the game board, the monsters are placed around the edge and the fight is on!

Points are awarded for destroying population, buildings and other monsters. Cards are "de-activated" (rotated some non-patented number of degrees) as their abilities are used or to mark damage. Each turn, one or more may be "healed" back to upright status, ready to be used again. If you're ever forced to de-activate your last card, your monster is dead (but will probably be back in the sequel anyway).

So, how good is it?

First, SGMS is a lot of fun. The basic game is easy to learn, but the number of cards available for each monster make for some pretty varied games even without any expansions. Initially, try it without event cards or defensive units (tanks, etc.), then add them in after a few games for variety.

With respect to the quality of the game materials, the entire set is closer to a home-brew than a commercial game. The manual is clear, easy to understand and nearly typo-free with artwork that meshes well with the fun feel of giant monster movies. The biggest failing is in the card stock (regular construction paper?), which just isn't going to stand up to long-term play. You could sheath them in protectors, but you get so many cards that you'd spend as much for sleeves as you do for the game itself. The basic cards have a part number so replacements may be available, but there's no price listed and the expansion cards aren't mentioned. Blanks are not currently available either, so replacing individual cards (or creating custom cards of your own) is more difficult that it might be otherwise.

  • The basic game is a good value: Plenty of cards and SIX plastic card cases to hold them, some generic finger-puppet monsters, a set of clear plastic bases (to indicate flight), various tokens and die-cut units and a well-written manual. Although CyberGECKO's web page lists the basic set as "out of stock" since October 2001, they apparently have a "few copies" but no word yet on when the next edition will be printed. All expansions require the basic game.
  • Destroy Tokyo Tower (the scenario expansion) contains a booklet with a couple dozen scenario ideas, a few tokens, a dozen new cards and a plastic egg. We didn't really think it added much for the price. Some of the scenarios are quite good and some of the new items and cards are clever, but it should cost half as much as it does.
  • The Cybernetic expansion seems a reasonable value and adds a whole other dimension to the game, allowing Mecha-monsters to be built. It comes with a couple more plastic card boxes, another stack of cards, tokens, marker chips and a custom score pad.
  • The CyberGECKO web page promises an "Alien Invaders Expansion Set (release date TBD)". Latest word is that this has been developed and is ready for production.
  • The Cybernetic rulebook mentions "a future set will address the giant robot issue" and latest word is that this is still under development.

While the finger puppets are sufficient to play with, the game becomes much more fun when you substitute small monster toys. Any toy store should have a bag'o'dinosaurs that will suffice, but a true aficionado will want real Toho Studios models like they sell in vending machines throughout Asia. GojiGirl runs a place called ChibiGojiToys that sells us Yanks both realistic and "Super Deformed" (cutesy) versions of all the famous Godzilla, Gamera and Ultraman monsters for a few bucks each. You can get a good selection for 10-20 bucks.

The titles, box art, and any quotes from Super Giant Monster Showdown (and expansions) rules or game materials are copyright CyberGecko and used, more or less, with permission. So there.

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