X-Men: Under Siege

Designer: Richard Borg
Publisher: Pressman Toy Corp.
Date Released: 1994

Number of Players: 2-4
Age Range: 10 and up
Setup Time: 10-15 minutes
Play Time: 60-90 minutes

Game Mechanics:
Cooperative Play
Dice Rolling
Variable Player Powers

Game flow:
Evil mutants have invaded the X Mansion, and you have to clear the school of all danger. You assume control of two X-Men and during a turn, search up to two rooms. You have variable hand sizes, based on how intelligent your smartest mutant is, and the cards in your hand dictate which rooms you can search.

X-Men04There are two types of cards: room cards and X-tra special cards. Room cards represent the room you can search. X-tra special cards can allow you to quick response (move an X-Man you control from one room to a room where another X-Man you control is fighting), add another X-Man to your team, heal your X-Men, or even deal damage to every X-Man on a given level.

You search the X Mansion and all its six floors (or levels): the Attic, Second Story, Ground Level, Basement, First Sub-Basement, and Second Sub-Basement. Each level is color-coded, and each room starts the game with a token (matching the floor level’s color). If the token you draw is blank on the other side, you clear the room. If the token has something printed on the back of it, you have to deal with whatever’s printed.

X-MenUnderSiege01Most tokens have “Evil Mutant” on their back, but a few have “X-Men” printed on them. If you find an “X-Men” tile, you can add another X-Man to your team and clear the room. If you find an “Evil Mutant,” you’re going to have to defeat the villain in order to clear the room by rolling special six-sided dice.

These dice have four possible outcomes: X-Men, Marvel, Evil Mutant, and blank. If you roll an X-Men, you deal one damage to the evil mutant. Marvel deals two damage to Evil Mutants. Results of Evil Mutant damage the X-Man rolling the dice. And naturally, nothing happens when you roll a blank.

X-MenUnderSiege02Each X-Man has a fighting ability, endurance, and a special effect. Fighting ability shows how many dice the X-Man rolls in combat, while endurance is how many hits they can take before they get knocked out. Special effects further separate the powerful X-Men from the not so powerful.

The game’s over when all the rooms are cleared. Then, you count up your points with a point given for every room cleared, evil mutant defeated, level earned (you cleared enough rooms in a given level), and blood blots (special chips earned in combat).

X-Men: Under Siege is special to me because I played it a lot with my family when I was young, but I’ll try to be fair. There aren’t too many strategic elements in this game. The only true choice you have is how you control your X-Men each turn. Do you split them up and search two rooms? Or do you not trust them on their own and only search one room?

X-MenUnderSiege03You may not have two room cards in your hand. Most X-Men have an intelligence of two and that’s your hand size. So, it pays to have an X-Man with a high intelligence. You’ll have a lot more options and with that being the case, intelligence is an overpowered stat.

Blood blots are too fluky to depend on for consistent scoring. Longshot’s special effect allows you to reroll blank dice—and this helps with getting blood blots—but it could just as easily get him hurt.

Despite its shortcomings, X-Men: Under Siege mimics the feel of the X Mansion, and you get to kick Magneto’s tail—hopefully.

Verdict: A faithful representation of the X Mansion and each X-Man’s ability (for the most part), but there isn’t too much strategy involved and the set up and play time hurt too.