Card Game Review:
STEM: Epic Heroes
Rating: 6.5 of 10 stars
I played this game five times with my sister as a learning opportunity for both of us, with and without the additional challenge cards. I found it to be educational even though the game is simplistic and highly luck-based.
What I hope to accomplish with my card game reviews is to introduce you to a new game and help you determine whether the game is a good fit for you. I will consider and rank five criteria: gameplay, design, strategy, originality, and replayability.
STEM: Epic Heroes is an educational card game for 2-4 players. It has set collection and take that! mechanics. The theme is centered around figures from STEM history.
Gameplay (6 out of 10 stars)
The objective of the game is to acquire all the steps to the scientific method while acquiring as many points as possible.
Hero cards can be paired with discovery cards to build the scientific method. Heroes each have different special abilities. Hero types (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) must match the color and type of the discovery card.
Inspiration cards can be used at any time during any turn or between turns to thwart your opponent’s efforts or protect yourself. They sometimes let you steal something or block stealing, for instance.
Enhancement cards include locations and items. They can power up your heroes and are worth points. They can be played with the hero or later can be added to the hero. Only one location and one item can be played per hero and the type and color must match.
Challenge cards are included for a more complicated variant of the game. Challenges are set out and whoever completes them gets the points and the card when it is done. Honestly, that doesn’t add much to the game.
Design (9.5 out of 10)
Design includes two categories: art and components.
The art on the cards looks great and really makes figures from history look like epic heroes. The components are of good quality. The instructional manual layout is not the best for learning the game, but it is highly informative when it comes to describing historical figures. I appreciate the diversity of figures included in the game, and that they did not overlook the achievements of people of various races and genders.
Strategy (4 out of 10 stars)
Strategy is low because what matters most in this game is who gets what cards first. A lot is up to chance, so the only real strategy is choosing when to make the game end and which one of limited actions you choose.
Originality/Creativity (7 out of 10 stars)
Creativity when it comes to the theme is high. I have not played an educational game that teaches about the scientific method and historical figures from STEM history before. I enjoyed it more than expected as well. There is nothing super original about the gameplay, honestly.
Replayability (6 out of 10 stars)
My sister and I played it a few times in a row one day because it is short, but I could see this game getting old over time because it is so luck-based.
I admit I’m not a huge fan of card games compared to board games, but I found this one to be an easy and fun one. This is not a game for really serious gamers, but may be appealing to those new to the hobby, those who appreciate educational games, and those who just want a simple game to play with friends and family.