Game Review – Millennium Blades: CCG Card Simulator Game

Fun game with a lot of replay value.

Millennium Blades: CCG Card Simulator Game
Level 99 Games
Players: 2–5
Game Time: 80-120 minutes

During my middle school/high school life, I was a collectable card gamer. I would immediately run to my local comic shop just to crack a fresh pack of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. I would open pack after pack with the hopes of finding that elusive power rare that would make my deck stronger for next week’s tournament. Nowadays, my choice of games has changed, but that does not stop me from buying a couple of packs of Magic every now and again.

I’m happy to say that all these feelings have been encapsulated in the “trading card game simulator” Millennium Blades by Level 99 Games. An obvious parody of hit shows like Yu-Gi-Oh, Millennium Blades has players partake in three card game “tournaments”. Points are awarded depending on tournament results and the player with the most points at the end of the season wins.  This game also introduces another aspect between the main tournament rounds: players buy, sell, or trade cards that will allow them to modify their decks for the next tournament. Certain actions in this phase such as building a collection or trading actions may award players bonus points.

Game Play

The game recommends novice players to participate in a “pre-release tournament”. Players receive a random starter deck of 10 cards to use for the first tournament. The objective is simple: win the tournament by earning the most points. Each player will have their own play board with six card slots and take turns placing cards on their board starting from the left most slot to the right.  The cards played will have various abilities that will award their player with points or hinder the other players. Once all players have filled their game boards, each player calculates points and a winner for that tournament declared. Theses results are recorded and victory point are awarded. Player will have two more tournaments to place higher.

Before the start of the next tournament, players have a timed round to obtain better cards and modify their deck.  Players are given an “allowance” during this round and may buy cards from the main store or the secondary market.  You may try your luck buying unknown card packs from the main store for a set price or buy specific cards available at the secondary market that could cost even more. Players may also sell their extra cards in the secondary market to gain more money or trade them value for value with other players.

During this phase, Meta cards are revealed that will indicate what element or type of cards will have an advantage in the next round. Players that use those cards will gain bonus points that can help them win that tournament. The excess cards a player obtains may also be cashed in for victory points at the end game. The bigger the collection, the more victory point you get.


The quick and simple game mechanics in the tournament phases makes this game fun. Veteran and casual players alike will easily pick up the mechanics after their first tournament. More experienced players will enjoy the immense variation and combinations this game provides. The extensive card pool as well as understanding the card placement and timing gives this game a subtle complexity.  The card-drafting phase is equally enjoyable. The 10 minute time limit gives the player a sense of urgency and keeps the flow going. As soon as the clock starts, it felt like a mad rush to the card counter to get the best cards and newest packs.

I had the opportunity to experience two playthroughs of the game. The first game was cut short due to a player leaving, but everyone at that table was itching to give it another try. This time we had a much better understanding of the rules and could focus on advanced strategy.

A minor issue I had with this game was that it has A LOT of cards without any expansions. The base set comes with 600 cards and players will use 400 of those in a game. While this will allow for repeated plays without getting stale, it also means there is a high learning curve. Specifically, there was a card ability that required the player to name a card; this was ignored simply because no one would know what cards to call out.

There was also another issue during the drafting phase: no designated order in acquiring new cards. This meant it was first-come-first-serve, and a situation came up where two players were vying for the same card. We simply flipped a coin for it but, it would help to have some sort resolution for this in the rules.

Jared R
Final Score: 8/10

It is a fun game with a lot of replay value. The mechanics are simple enough to understand, but veteran players can create complex strategies and combinations. The problems with this game are minor and don’t take away too much from the experience.  The amount of stuff in the base set alone at a $50-$60 price point gives you a big bang for your buck.

Game Review – Archer: Once You Go Blackmail

Sometimes an easy game makes for a GOOD game, and Archer Love Letter does what it is supposed to do.

Archer: Once You Go Blackmail
(A Love Letter Game)
AEG & Cryptozoic
Players: 2–4
Game Time: 20 minutes

From the main AEG product page:

“Your mission is to dig up dirt on Malory Archer and sell it to the highest bidder. To succeed you’ll have to deal with secret agents, the HR department, ocelots, and a mad scientist.”

Review by Fish

Archer Love Letter is a fast paced card game based on the popular Love Letter series, with a few minor changes to fit the theme (dolphin tokens that I would have paid for regardless). The theme can sell the game on its own, but there actually is a really fun experience to be had here in addition to shouting “Dammit Archer!” every so often. In my opinion, the greatest selling point is the simplicity of the Love Letter series. Players only ever have 1-2 cards in hand and a few rounds of guessing games happen before a winner is decided. It is listed at around 20 minutes, but the reality is that you can fit several rounds in under 10 minutes once you know the rules.

If you’ve never played a Love Letter game, the overall goal is to force other players to discard the highest value card (Malory in this case) or to win a one of the guessing games built into the cards. There isn’t a lot of strategic thinking here, but the game makes for a good refresher after playing other more complicated, competitive tabletop games. Granted turns can sometimes end a bit too quick, if the right situation happens, but it doesn’t happen often enough to really impact the playability. Especially since the game runs through several rounds before points decide a winner.

Final Score: 8/10

Archer: Once You Go Blackmail is fun, with rules that are so simple anyone can learn after a few turns. To be clear, this game isn’t reinventing the wheel or providing a profound gaming experience, however that’s alright. Sometimes an easy game makes for a GOOD game, and Archer Love Letter does what it is supposed to do.

Buy if:

  • You enjoy games that can be played between other games.
  • You want nice quality dolphin tokens.
  • You enjoy games for more than 2 players.
  • You love to watch Archer.

Avoid if:

  • You want a complex gaming experience.
  • You prefer 2 player games.


Review by Jared

While I agree with my colleague’s assessment of the game, I feel there is something that needs to be elaborated. He mentions that the game does not have much in the way of strategic thinking. He is correct that it is just “draw a card and play a card”, but I feel he is not hitting the subtle depth and finer points of this game. While anybody can play this game, it becomes apparent that the more you play the less random winning becomes. This is not a game based on luck, it’s a game based on observation.

This is deduction-based game where the information is presented to you and players should be able to make an educated guess on what cards other players may have in their hands. I have played this game a lot with others and when we play, we are not just randomly guessing cards and hope to get lucky. We are observing the cards that are played as well the players revealing them. Everyone at this table knows how many cards are in the deck and how many of each card is available. As more cards are played, you can start narrowing down the information and make better guesses. People who are able to card count and read people will find themselves winning more often.

Final Score: 8/10

Still, this is a great quick game that you can play with just about anyone. It doesn’t have to be played as seriously as others, but the option to is there – I know I have! Whether you play casually or seriously, there is always fun to be had.