Ever since Pickle Rick was introduced into the lexicon of Rick and Morty, you had to know a board game was destined for that cash cow. Who knew much much merchandise you could make off of one episode with a total of 12 minutes of content focused on a mad scientist transforming himself into a sentient pickle just to get out of therapy. We make fun, but really, it is amazing how well the character has done. To the point where we now have a board game based on part of the episode with The Pickle Rick Game.
The game itself is pretty simple. This is a two-player game where one of you acts as Pickle Rick and the other is Jaguar and the guards of the qazi-Russian-inspired embassy. As PR you have one primary goal: get the hell out of the embassy and onto the helicopter. As the embassy, your mission is clear: destroy the pickle man at all costs. And you get to act all of it out with these small figured that, if you truly wish, you can prime and paint to look like both characters. (Why not paint the figures when you already went to the trouble of making a box shaped like a pickle, we don’t understand.)
You start off with this basic map of the embassy, a pretty straight-forward path to get out with two guard posts along the way. It seems like a straight enough challenge, but Rick never does things by the rules. As you move, you can add tiles to the map which include events for Rick to maneuver through and escape the other player. Its a nice mechanic to avoid having to deal with the guards, but the other player also has options to lay down guards in your path, so shortcuts won’t always get you where you need to go.
The guards themselves are operated by cards in your hand, which we’ll get to in a second. They have the ability to shoot and do damage to Rick, taking points off his life. But Rick also has the ability to shoot the guards down, who are basically one-hit pawns that serve more as a blockade and annoyance to Rick and a helping hand to Jaguar.
Jaguar himself requires special conditions to be released and onto the game board. Once unleashed, the embassy player can utilize him to do harder hits of damage to Rick. Both sides use dice (as you see int he picture below) that give them special abilities that allow them to arm their weapons, run like hell, get cards for their hand to do special abilities, and find ways to get the hell out of the embassy.
Both players also have a card that shows their character’s life and special abilities they can play at any time. You use the face counter off to the right to mark where your life is. When Rick dies, the game ends and the embassy wins. If Jaguar dies, he is simply out of the game and Rick needs to make it to the end before you run out of tiles for him to play on.
The last piece of the puzzle is the cards in your hands. There are two decks, one for each side, which have specific abilities that can help get you out of a jam in a hurry. You play them using the dice if you haven’t used the dice for other means. Rick has what I would call a small advantage if he’s in the right position, but if you’re one of those players who likes to hold onto stuff until the last minute, you’ll basically hand the game over to whoever is playing Jaguar.
Ultimately the game is a hell of a challenge for both sides as there’s no clear-cut way for either side to get to victory. Jaguar has a number of tools at his disposal to make life hell for Rick. On the same token, Rick has a number of abilities that make him slippery and can get him out of danger if played perfectly. There’s no wrong way to strategize how to get around to each other, only various ways to die.
I enjoyed The Pickle Rick Game. It is, by far, of all the Rick and Morty merch out there, one of the best uses of the show’s assets. To get this much of a game out of material that doesn’t even make up half the episode is pretty cool. However, I played this with a non-R&M fan and they found it boring. So keep that in mind before you buy it, you need some like-minded people who love the series and get the jokes for all of this to mean something. Which I guess shows the divide among fans and people who don’t care to watch the show.