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I Have Played Current Kickstarter Project Dustbiters – Is it Worth It?

So after a few days with Dustbiters, a fun quick card game from a wide range of talented individuals currently available on Kickstarter, I’m pretty sure I’ve found one of my favourite little go-to games for playing with my wife and kids. It’s quick, easy to learn, and can be picked up at a moments notice and a game finished within 15 minutes. It’s the ideal kind of game for the Roffel household. But is it for you?


So what is it? Well,

DUSTBITERS is quick to learn and easy to understand. There are very few rules, but an infinite number of creative ways to get yourself out of a tough situation. Cars are *everything*. There are no tokens, no math, no dice. Just cars. Each is unique and affects those around it in different and surprising ways. During your turn you will have 3 actions to spend in a variety of ways. To win, you must make clever use of your cars to destroy – or outlast your opponent. But don’t forget – at the end of each turn the dust storm will destroy whichever car is at the back of the convoy! – Kickstarter Campaign.

It’s the nifty strategy and forward thinking that I like the most about this little card game. While something might seem like a good move to you, it’s important to examine everything on the table because one move that LOOKS good could actually spell the end of your game – this has happened multiple times to me, and while I’ll still argue this is one of the simplest games I own, that doesn’t make it easy.

The most important thing I learned is that you need to play the long game in Dustbiters. While it might seem attractive to take down two of your opponents cars with your three actions, it might actually be more beneficial to destroy NONE of their cars, and instead build a few of your own. You may feel like you got no further ahead that turn, but long-term – as long as you can get in a 15 minute game – it could be the difference between winning and losing.

And that was hard for me to comprehend. The cars included are so unique and a good combination of cards can let you do some amazing things! But it’s also a trap of sorts as well. For instance, I thought it was a good idea to use the the Hijacker (Take ownership of any enemy car. The other player takes ownership of the Hijacker) to take my wife’s Mortar Bus (Destroy the car two spaces ahead of the Mortar Bus) which happened to be two spaces behind me. One action used. With another action, I used the Mortar Bus to destroy the Hijacker thinking I had pulled a fast one on my wife. Nope.

Turns out, she had the Sniper (If the Sniper is at the back, destroy any other car) and the the Crusher (Destroy any car that is directly between the crusher and one of your other cars) and took out all my cars pretty quickly. I played the short game and lost. It happens more than you think.

Thankfully – and this might sound weird – the game only comes with 21 cards, so after a few play throughs, you learn what the various cars are and what they do, which allows you to start thinking about the possibilities before they even happen, creating an even deeper, strategic experience. It’s been quite enjoyable.

At roughly $30 CAD for the box, insert, heavy duty cards, and the operator style manual, some might think it’s a bit steep, and if you aren’t invested in two player experiences, I can definitely see why. This is one I may have passed on prior to getting this copy for review, but will happily back it now knowing how much fun I’ve had with it since I received it, easily more than $30 dollars worth!


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel