Monday, September 25, 2023

GenCon Report: Cryptozoic Entertainment Revels In Time Travel, Superheroes, and Epic Wizardry

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I’ve been playing games by Cryptozoic Entertainment for a while now, especially the DC Deck-Building Game, which arguably had as much impact on the popularity of deck-building games as the original Dominion. In addition to their extremely successful DC license, they’ve also produced games based on Rick & Morty, The Walking Dead, Outlander, and Adventure Time. But they’ve never leaned on their properties to sell games, making games that can fun for anyone whether they know who Bird Person is or not. That trend continued at GenCon, when they showed off the newest games in these lines and more.

DC Deck-Building Game: Rebirth

Retail Price: $45.00

Release Date: August 1

The big launch for GenCon, Rebirth is in many ways a reboot and re-imagining of the original DC Deck-builder, taking Cryptozoic’s Cerberus System and retooling it for a longer term campaign system. Unlike other Cerberus games, Rebirth is meant to be played over several sessions like a legacy game (except nothing gets destroyed). Your character’s progress as time goes on, gaining new skills and abilities to help beat the villains. The villains, by the way, are getting stronger as well, learning from their battles with your character so they can beat you next time. There’s a new movement mechanic to the game, letting your characters move between iconic locations that change as your campaign goes on. You may visit Gotham in every scenario, but it will never be the same Gotham each time.

While at its a Cerberus System deck-builder, the new movement system means Rebirth is not perfectly compatible with other games within the system. There are rules in the game for some limited conversions, and they’re working on more compatibility in the future, but for now it’s fairly stand-alone.

Epic Spell Wars of The Battle Wizards: ANNIHILAGEDDON

Retail Price: $40.00

Release: September 2019

*guitar riff*

I’m going to level with you guys. I hadn’t actually heard of Epic Spell Wars before this GenCon, but after seeing the art for this game I VERY MUCH AM INTERESTED. I mean god, look at it. LOOK AT IT! There’s a fire breathing f***in Joan of Arc on it! It’s set in the same Cerberus System as their other deck-builders, but it adds in the batpoop crazy characters and world of the Epic Spell Wars battle card game. It stands out from other Cerberus System games in that it’s totally competitive, with each player tries to gain an edge over their fellow wizards and reign supreme. It also adds in Mayhem cards that mess with your wizard just as much as any opponent or boss. And for longtime fans of the franchise, the previous four releases in the Epic Spell Wars line are fully compatible with this game, meaning more blood, more gore, and more mayhem than ever thought possible.

They were also selling this baller statue of STUDD SPELLSLAMMER and THE JUICE (I think I’m legally obligated to put those in all caps), which is still available very limited quantities for $66.66. ROCK N’ ROLL!

Fly Like A Gryphon


The most recent releases before GenCon were the first two games to feature Cryptozoic’s Gryphon Engine: Challenge of The Superfriends and Rick & Morty: Look Who’s Purging Now. The Gryphon System is meant to be a quicker and more streamlined line of card games that easier to pick up and play when you’re hanging out at home or even at a bar. In these games you act as one of four characters, each with their own deck of cards. Each card has a power number and an ability, which you use to obtain the objective cards played out each turn. Both the deck of cards and many of the objectives have abilities that affect the game in different ways. The objective cards also have a value that can positively or negatively affect your score. After six rounds the match ends, and after two matches a winner is (hopefully declared

Look Who’s Purging Now lets you play as Rick, Morty, Arthricia, and the Owner as you use Rick’s arsenal of weapons (and a spoon) to take part in the “Festival” and purge the townsfolk. Challenge of the Superfriends has you take on the roles of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman & Robin, and everyone’s favorite, Aquaman, to capture the vile villains of the Legion of Doom.

Both games released to stores in April, and can be bought on Cryptozoic’s shop as well as most game stores, where it retails for about $15.00

Spyfall: Time Travel

Retail Price: $25.00

Release:  September 2019

Another early “sneak peek” at GenCon, Time Travel is the fourth game in the Spyfall series that Cryptozoic releases alongside Hobby World (following Spyfall, Spyfall 2, and DC Spyfall). Spyfall is a hidden identity and social deduction game, where one player is a spy and the others are secret agents who are tasked with finding the spy. Each of them has a location card that the spy doesn’t know about, and the spy’s task is to figure out the location. Its a battle of wits from both directions, and Time Travel makes things a little more complicated as it adds both historical and futuristic locations to the mix. It can be played by up to seven players, with special two and three player variants included as well. 

Spyfall: Time Travel is a totally standalone title, but it is also fully compatible with the other three Spyfall games, allowing for all sorts of crazy games to take place.


Cryptozoic always has lots of things up their sleeve, so keep an eye on The Fandomentals for all the latest news on their releases, as well as reviews and analysis of your favorite tabletop titles.

All images via Cryptozoic Entertainment


  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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