GTM #216 - BRAWL
by Cheapass Games

BRAWL is a realtime fighting game of strategy and quick reflexes. Each of the six available BRAWL decks contain a unique assortment of cards representing all the tricks, strengths, and flaws of mixed martial arts students at Jackson Park High School. The second ever Cheapass Games title ever published, BRAWL was nominated for the 1999 Origins Awards for Best Traditional Card Game and Best Graphic Presentation of a Card Game. Now, BRAWL is back in friendly local game stores worldwide!

Playing BRAWL

In BRAWL, fighters are trying to score the most Base cards by playing more Hits on their side of the table. There are seven card types in BRAWL, each representing a fighting move: Bases, Hits, Hit-2s, Blocks, Clears, Presses, and Freezes.

Base cards are the foundations upon which all other cards are played. Hits are the most common card; every character has plenty of them. Hits come in red, blue, and green, and can be played on either end of a Base card or on another Hit of the same color. A Hit-2 is like a Hit; however, it can only be played on a Hit (or Hit-2) of the same color, and counts as two Hits in scoring.

Blocks stop Hits. Like Hits, they come in red, blue, and green. A Block can be played only on a Hit of the same color, and prevents more Hits from being played in the string. Press cards nullify Blocks. Clear cards remove a Base from play, along with every card played on that Base.

Freeze cards will always be the last cards in your deck, and are played on the middle of a Base. Once frozen, the Base and all connected cards can’t have more cards played on them, and can’t be affected by any other cards. When every Base in play is frozen, the game is over. Whoever has more Hits on their side of each Base wins that Base, and whoever wins more Bases wins the game!

BRAWL can be played in Training Mode or Tournament Mode. In Training Mode, players take turns, more like a normal card game. Training Mode is good for learning how all the cards work and for learning the strengths of a new deck. After training, move on to Tournament Mode, which feels more like a real fight. Players play their cards as fast as they want, without taking turns; experienced Tournament Mode players can play a game in less than 30-seconds!

Meet the Brawlers


Skill Level: Advanced

Bennett is a thoughtful fighter, the slowest in the set. He has the strength to accomplish anything, but is seldom sure of what he wants. Bennett is a slippery character with many Bases and Clears, but has fewer Hit cards in red and green than other characters.

Skill Level: Easy

Chris is a stubborn and level-headed fighter. She never strikes an opponent in anger, and is eager to meet any challenge. Her move set is balanced with a good mix of Hits and Blocks, but she’s also predictable; she has few of the more advanced cards.


Skill Level: Moderate

Darwin is versatile and strong, and always full of surprises. He can be selfish, creative, and aggressive, and never passes up a challenge. His move set is tricky, with plenty of Presses and Blocks, but he’s also reckless in that he has fewer Base cards.


Skill Level: Advanced

Pearl is a serious fighter: complex, bright, and very strong. She can be easily distracted, but loves the challenge of a good fight. Pearl has only one red Hit in her deck.


Skill Level: Easy

Hale is a powerhouse, the biggest and strongest fighter in the set. With many Hits and Hit-2s in every color, he’s a force to be reckoned with. However, his technique is very simple (with no Presses and very few Blocks), which can sometimes get him into trouble.


Skill Level: Moderate

Morgan is tiny, sleek, and devastating. She has a quick temper and a very simple fighting style, with plenty of blue and green Hits and Blocks but few advanced cards and only two red Hits. Because of her size, she must be fast to win!

BRAWL is for two players ages ten and up, and takes less than 90-seconds to play. Variant multiplayer rules are included for games for three or more people. Each BRAWL deck costs $8.50, and each player needs their own deck to play