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Digital Subscriptions > The Best Games of 2019 > The Best Games of 2019 > JUDGE DREDD: THE CURSED EARTH

JUDGE DREDD: THE CURSED EARTH

JUDGE DREDD: THE CURSED EARTH

The Lost Expedition was one of the small-box gems of 2017, with Peer Sylvester’s compact card game capturing the challenge and beauty of surviving – and dying, and dying again – in the rainforest. Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, themed after 2000 AD’s notorious arm of the law, remains just as punishing and visually breathtaking, swapping lush plant life and colourful creatures for brilliant comic-book artwork from Dredd artists Rufus Dayglo and Dan Cornwell, showcased magnificently on oversized cards.

The core of the action remains the same: players lay down cards from their hands to collectively form a row, hoping that their combination of symbols to spend and receive resources such as rations, ammo and expertise – rearranged consecutively in the ‘dawn’ round, left as-is at dusk – can be survived in order by Judges Dredd, Anderson and Giant. The added complication of radiation that must be balanced against health and the potential to use psi powers, which puts an interesting twist on the restricted co-operation with your fellow players, feel like natural additions given the setting and give more to consider without muddling the simple central gameplay.

The landscape takes on more of a role here too, as locations that the team travel to add one-off or ongoing effects, marking them out against the relatively samey forest cards of the Amazon. Applying even more pressure and changing up the pace is the fact it’s a race against a game-controlled gang of criminals to reach the slightly randomised destination of their target – the returning competitive mode pits the players against each other.

If you’ve played The Lost Expedition, it’s familiar territory but there’s enough here to present a new challenge and different feel. though a few unlucky draws can still leave you doomed, you’ll be heading back out on the hunt as soon as you can.

MATT JARVIS

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About The Best Games of 2019

Must Plays and more in our Best Games of 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Over the next 196 pages discover all of the most positively reviewed games of the year. With a massive 181 games reviewed, this is the definitive “what to play next” guide of 2019! Games reviewed include: Wingspan Copenhagen Hellboy: The Board Game Res Arcana Lifeform Century: A New World Megacity: Oceania Pandemic: Fall of Rome Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Rough Nights & Hard Days Azul: Stained Glass of Sinatra Tapestry Letter Jam Hako Onna Everdell Battle Ravens Dune + Many more!

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