James T. Kirk, a thorn in the side of UFP bureaucracy and the greatest Starfleet captain in history. Despised by Klingons, feared and respected by the Romulans, loved by women. He’s the total package, only hampered by his ego and a weird speech pattern which makes him… SAY… things excitedly between… brief… pauses. Also, his shirt keeps getting ripped off during every fight he gets into, which is quite a lot of them. His signature move: Never giving up. He takes death and turns it into a fighting chance to live, every damn time.
Wesley Crusher, a walking internet meme and the most irritating know-it-all brat in the universe. Able to annoy just about everyone in Starfleet – including his own mother – to the point where they yell at him, he can get drunk and take over the USS Enterprise 1701-D any time he wants. His shirt stays on, which is a pity since for a while he wore one which had silly rainbow stripes on it. His signature move: Being told to shut up. However, it must be noted, he got really cool when he got older and told Starfleet they could take their job and shove it.
By all rights, Captain Kirk could beat Wesley Crusher in just about any fight. Only Wesley’s just beaten Captain Kirk, and because of that I’ve lost the game of Top Trumps that I’ve been playing. Apparently, Wesley is ten times more of a threat to the universe than Captain Kirk is. Which kind of makes sense, because he’s not only more annoying but he also gained universe-altering cosmic abilities in the TV show. It doesn’t hurt that the guy who played Wesley, Wil Wheaton, is a CCG-loving gamer in real life and beat Sheldon at Mystic Warlords Of Ka’a in The Big Bang Theory. In that show, he broke his own real-life rule, “Wheaton’s Law”.
So a Wesley Crusher card now beating a Captain Kirk card and winning the game… it’s either cruel irony or poetic justice. But either way, those cards look great!
Top Trumps has been one of the most beloved childhood card games for nearly fifty years, with decks of cards ranging from supercars and fighter jets to movie stars and Doctor Who. One of the latest, Star Trek – Who’s The Boldest?, is now available and as always offers lots of fun in a somewhat educational way. The usual statistics which players compare in order to win are divided in to Year Of Birth, Threat To The Universe, Starfleet Authority, To Boldly Go, and Cunning. As you’d expect, there’s also a photo and a brief bio of each character which help to teach players a little more about them.
While each of the main timeline series is represented (The Original Series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise), it’s only the original series which has a card for each of the major characters. Doctor Crusher doesn’t feature in the Next Gen group, Doctor Bashir isn’t in the DS9 group, while Voyager misses out on B’Elanna, Harry Kim, The Doctor and Tuvok (amazingly, Neelix gets his own card… uh…) and Enterprise only gets Captain Archer, Trip and T’Pol. It’s unfortunate, but the deck still covers most of Star Trek’s beloved characters and the cards are beautifully designed.
On the plus side – at least for old-school Trekkies – the deck doesn’t feature anybody from the rebooted “Kelvin” movie timeline. Also, because this set was released before the dismal new f-bombing Discovery show, players are spared from seeing any more of the appalling Captain Lorca than they have to. Whatever statistic that character would be given as being a “Threat To The Universe”, it couldn’t match how much of a threat he is to the entire Star Trek franchise. Instead, these cards show the best and brightest Star Trek has offered the fans over the years and it’s a reminder of how great the shows were.
This Top Trumps set is great fun to play for fans, young and old alike, as well as being attractive enough to make a wonderful collector’s set. And while it’s disheartening to see that Kirk can be beaten by Wesley in being a threat, by Captain Janeway in cunning and by Captain Sisko in boldly going, the message behind his card’s statistics are just like the game itself – keep on playing, and never give up no matter what hand you’re dealt.