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Batman: Gotham City Strategy Game - Board Game Box Shot

Batman: Gotham City Strategy Game

| Published: 2013
38 7 1

The Batman: Gotham City Strategy Game is a game for 2—4 players who will each take the role of one of Batman’s iconic Villains— The Joker, The Penguin, Two-Face or Killer Croc. Players collect resources of Information, Money and Threat. Threat is used to exert your rule over blocks in Gotham City— control of blocks will allow you to collect an income on these blocks of either Information or Money. Money is used for leveling and to hire henchmen who will not only help you exert rule in blocks but also help you in fights against other Villains and Batman. Information is used for leveling and moving your Villain and henchmen through the blocks of Gotham City.

The Batman: Gotham City Strategy Game is a unique combination of Euro-style sensibility combined with the best elements of Ameri-trash theme and design. The core game mechanic is worker placement—placing your Villain, henchmen and Threat tokens to control blocks of Gotham City so as to produce the most income possible—overlaid with thematic elements that bring the stories and the characters of DC Comics Batman to life. The struggles by players for control of blocks—through resource placement or through face offs between Villains—make for a high level of player interaction.

Each Villain has their own strengths and weaknesses and play much differently from one another significantly adding to the replay value of the game. We are confident that fans of DC Comics Batman and fans of tabletop and strategy gaming alike will both appreciate and enjoy the Batman: Gotham City Strategy Game.

User Reviews (4)

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Advanced Grader
Novice Reviewer
67 of 74 gamers found this helpful
“Batman let this go on too long.”

Batman: Gotham City Strategy Game is a game where you play as the villains of Batman, to lay your claim on the city of Gotham. You are tasked with building your reputation by leveling, hiring henchmen and creating threat to several blocks. During this time you will complete with other villains for control, as well as fending off Batman when he comes to reclaim his city.


The objective of the game is to reach level 10 with the chosen villain. Each level up requires something different such as paying an amount of money/information, owning a number of blocks or having a certain amount of henchmen. Every so often, the levels also give your villain new abilities to help you better your opponents. Laying down threat on blocks is how you take control of blocks, henchmen help you fight as well as count as threat for blocks, money is used to buy henchmen and information is used to move around the map.

Every turn you get cards that have 2 parts, in which the top half is always played and the bottom is optional. The top is either a resource gain for the owner of a block or it activates batman. The bottom half is a quest that you can either complete to gain the benefit or you can opt to not play the quest and gain 2 resources of your choice. When Batman is activated, he has his own deck where you pull a card to see what he does within the city. If given a choice as to where to put batman, the player of the card gets to choose.


-If you’re a fan of Batman, it’s fun to nerd out on the villains and their abilities. Each villain has their own abilities, and that plays into the strategy that you need to use to control your blocks.
-The game has a lot of nice pieces. There’s nice minis, cards, screens for each villain, custom dice, and personalized markers for each villain. The minis are also made so you can play the heroclix game, with changeable dials and cards for that particular game.
-Batman plays well into the game. If you want to fight batman, you have your opportunities to do so, but as a villain you have to remember that in the end Batman always wins and will eventually get to a point that he’s unstoppable.


-The game over stays it’s welcome. It starts out great and moves fairly quickly in the beginning, but it eventually hits a grinding halt towards the end making the game drag out. You could be ahead of the pack, but when you get towards the end the objectives take forever to achieve and everyone catches up. This makes the final objective of owning 7 blocks to take forever.
-The end is anti-climactic. This might be due to the first con I pointed out, but when you end the game you just feel like there should have been something else.
-Movement has no logistics. To move in this game, you pay one information and you can move your villain+all your minions anywhere on the board. I found that as a strange mechanism of the game being that they made this big map of Gotham, makes me feel movement should be similar to a Risk game, so you know the potential areas that can be invaded next.

Final Impression

As you can see by the cons, I didn’t have very many to list but having a fun end to the game is ultimately what’s going to leave a good or bad taste in your mouth at the end of the day. The game has some elements that really made me feel like this game had a lot of potential and could have been so much better. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed with how it played out. The few games that I have played ran for maybe 2-3 hours and for what the game has, that time just isn’t worth it.

I have read a few forums where the developer of the game has been looking into making a game variation that is shorter, so that could be promising. However, I would not recommend the game to anyone as it is out of the box.

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Greater Than Games fan
1A Games fan
66 of 73 gamers found this helpful
“Sometimes it's fun to be the bad guy”

It says Batman on the box but it should probably be named Batman’s villains because you play as his villains. Joker, Killer Croc, Two Face, and Penguin. You play as one of the villains and your goal is to take over as much of Gotham City as possible.

Shuffle Criminal Plot deck and Batman deck.
Everyone chooses a villain and takes the corresponding player screen, figure, henchman, villain cards, pass out starting threat and information based upon player screen and deal out everyone 5 Criminal Plot cards. Place starting threat. (Make sure villain base dials are clicked to level 1)

*Check to see if your villain advances a level
*Play one card from your hand
**Follow the directions on the top of the card
**Follow the directions on the bottom OR ignore to collect 2 resources of your choice (information, money, or threat)
*Spend money to hire henchman
*Spend information to move villain and henchmen
*Draw one card

You resolve fights with other villains and henchmen using the dice. The Batman symbol on the die is a 0. When you fight Batman the Batman symbol is an autofail. If Batman loses he goes back to his Batcave and levels up.

The goal is to get to level 10 first or if the Villain Plot deck runs out and you need to draw another card. You get to level 10 by controlling areas, gaining henchmen, collecting money, and collecting information.

-storage solution in the box
-heroclix bases so the figures can be used in heroclix too
-interesting twist to play a villain
-unique abilities for each villain

-last longer than what box states, especially for 4 players
-rarely use the bottom part of villain plot cards, usually just collect resources
-rulebook can be vague

There are some downsides to this game and the biggest has to be the time to play. If you are playing with 4 players you will probably add another hour to what the box quotes. 2-3 players is a better number of players. When I play 4 players it comes down to just running out of villain plot cards instead of having someone get to level 10 (which is near impossible with all you have to control at the end.) Overall though I do like the game. It’s fun to control Gotham City and send Batman after your enemies. I like to be deceiving when I play. “Sure, you can take that territory.” (2 turns later) “Ha ha, I will now beat up your henchman and take that territory for myself!”

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Rated 50 Games
65 of 72 gamers found this helpful
“Batman Arkham City Escape The Board Game Review by David Lowry”

Alarm klaxons are blaring across the Gotham City night. A light cuts through the dense terror consuming the city. The people are panicking, as they know what those alarms mean, a jailbreak from Arkham Asylum. The one place all of Gotham City’s worst, most dangerous criminals are being kept off the streets from terrorizing its citizens. Across the night sky, the light is the beacon of hope for Gotham City as the signal calls for the criminal’s worst fear…. Batman.

Publisher: Cryptozoic Entertainment

Game Designer: Matt Hyra

Players: 2

Ages: 15 to adult

Playing Time: 30- 45 minutes

Contents: 126 Game Cards – 40 Villain Cards, 40 Batman Cards, 8 Utility Belt Cards, 10 Ally Cards, 10 Gargoyle Cards, 18 Setup Cards, 1 Batman Character Pawn, 8 Combat/Action Dice, 1 Batman Experience Die, 1 18” x 33” Game Board, 1 Utility Belt Board and 12 Charge Counters

Suggested Retail Price: $45.00

Parental Advisory: Safe for kids

Batman Arkham City Escape The Board Game is a two player that pits one opponent as Batman and the other as the criminals that Batman must face and recapture before escaping the walls of Arkham City Prison. The first player to 10 points either by Batman capturing 10 Victory Points worth of Villains or the Villains escape with 10 Victory Points of Villains and Hostages is the winner in this board game based on the wildly popular Batman Arkham City video game.

The game board is two sided to give a bit of variety to the movement and cards placements available to both players. Side A is the side recommended for use the first couple of plays. Each player then shuffles their 9 set-up cards (there is a set of nine for Batman and the Villains) and deals out 5 cards. Both sets of 5 are then shuffled together and randomly put face down on the board over the spaces marked by the The Riddler Trophy Symbol.

The player who is playing Batman takes the Utility Belt Board and chooses 4 Utility Belt Cards from the 8 possible and secretly and places them face down on the board in any order.

Each player then shuffles their deck of 40-cards and deals them selves 5 cards. There is no hand limit for either side in this game. Batman’s deck is full of combat maneuvers and the Villains deck is packed full of Villains and Action cards.

The Villain always goes first in this game. The villain starts every round rolling 4 dice to see how many actions they will have this round. Each A (Arkham City) sided die is a success, every Batman symbol is a failure so each turn the Villains will get between 0-4 actions unless card texts determine otherwise.

The Villain Actions:

Place up to 5 Villains from your hand onto the entry row of the map, face down.
You may perform this Action once per turn.

Move all facedown Villain cards 1 space in any direction.

You may perform this Action only once per turn.

Move 1 face-up Villain up to 2 spaces in any direction.

You may perform this Action multiple times during your turn, but not on the same Villain.

Move 1 face-up Villain holding a Hostage 1 space in any direction.

You may perform this Action multiple times during your turn, but not on the same Villain.

Draw 1 card.

You may perform this Action multiple times during your turn.

Batmans Actions:

Move Batman once per turn using one of the following 3 options:

Move Batman 1 space in any direction.

Grapple to a Gargoyle up 2 spaces away from Batman. Batman may move to any number of Gargoyles as long as they are no more than 2 spaces away.

Move from one Sewer space to the other Sewer space (2 on the board). Batman must currently be on one of the spaces to use this option.

Flip any number of Utility Belt gadgets face up. In order to use the gadgets they must be face up and have charges left on them to use.

Fight any number of Villains that in Batman’s space. Batman must fight when either he or a Villain move into the same space. If Batman starts a turn in the same space as a Villain he can chose whether or not to fight that Villain.

When Batman is in a fight, the player may play any number of Combat cards to aid Batman in capturing that Villain. These cards can becombined for Combo points or Batman may chose to not play any combat cards unless a card text says other wise.
Each Batman symbol is a success so if Batman ties or surpasses a Villains Capture Rating, Batman is successful in capturing that Villain and adding them to the Victory Point pile. After a successful capture, Batman get to roll the XP die and receive the reward shown on the die.

Batman can’t fight the same Villain in the same turn. If Batman is able to clear the board of all Villains and all facedown cards including the Setup cards, Batman instantly wins the game. If at anytime either player runs out cards to draw, reshuffle the discard pile.

Combat cards have a combo point value up in the left corner. Each point is worth 1 die to Batman during his combat roll. There are only 8 dice in the game so while Batman may play more that 8 combo points worth of cards, he will never role more than 8 dice. Many of the Combat cards have a text to resolve.

If Batman doesn’t roll enough Batman symbols to capture the Villain, many of the Villains have a retaliation text on their card to have a negative effect on Batman.

When the Villains move around the board, if they stay facedown, they have a better chance of making it to the other side and escaping. However, if they land or pass over a space with a facedown setup card, then they and the setup card are flip over and depending on what that setup card is, its text may activate almost immediately. Batman has some allies that get revealed this way, which give Batman a benefit. The Villain also has half of the board covered in their setup cards with give them bonuses.

Batman: Arkham City Escape The Board Game is a quick romp that really doesn’t feel like the video game it was based on at all. Batman is a bit trickier to play than the Villains and it requires a few plays to get the turn sequence down and see what the different Utility Belt gadgets really do and how to best use them. There is a bit of strategy to this game but it is not heavy by any means. It is a decent enough game especially for kids that are really into Batman or die hard Batman fans, but it doesn’t scratch that Superhero itch that needs to be scratched. While I enjoyed playing the game more after a a couple games, it isn’t one that make have to have it in my collection. I wouldn’t turn down a game, but there are much better 2-player games out there that give you that satisfied feeling of having really just been challenged. This is just another fun game that is decent to play but doesn’t really knock it out of the park.

The components on this game are well done. The cards are good weight; the board is large with plenty of room for the cards to be played on it. The artwork on the board is ok, but not amazing. The box art on the other hand is visually eye catchy and well done. The rulebook sticks with Cryptozoic Entertainments usual format and is easy to read. The game is easy to understand but the rulebook could do with a bit more examples or details to better understand how a few of the situations work out. The box itself is big and if no expansions are forthcoming, it is to big. But if expansions are forthcoming then there is room to spare to hold extra cards.

I am not sure that what you get is worth the $45.00 you have to spend to get this board game compared to others as there isn’t that much to it component wise except for understanding how much the licensing might have to play into that cost.

All in all, Cryptozoic Entertainment has put for a solid effort and made a game that is enjoyable for a light gaming session as long as you aren’t expecting a major Batman fix.

I will give this game about a 6.5 out of 10 stars as it does lack depth and doesn’t quite live up the game it is based on. However, for a quick game it definitely has its moments of providing a bit of that game excitement and stress we all love. [rating=6.5]

I was not provided a review copy of this game.

Player Avatar
Critic - Level 1
66 of 79 gamers found this helpful
“I Wanted To Like This Game......”

And like Cranekick, believe it has a lot of potential but lacks a number of mechanics that would allow it to reach that potential.

It does bog down in the final rounds.

I really dislike that you can move all your minions and villain anywhere on the board by paying one small token. It feels…..wrong.

I’ll add another minus: There are just not enough cards, especially Batman cards. The game becomes extremely repetitious because the same cards are played over and over and over again.

Great minis that can also be used in games of HeroClix, which I don’t play. The minions are microscopic, and for people with large hands (like myself) they are somewhat hard to handle. I do like playing the villains, though. But I think I’ll take Crankick’s idea of Risk-esque movement and incorporate it in my next game…..if I can find anyone willing to play it.


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