Here at the MommyHack home, we are huge fans of Geek Dad from I get a lot of ideas from him, but then usually have to ‘hack’ them to fit whatever age of whichever child/ren I am doing it for. We have such huge age gaps in our children, it’s hard to do things for all of them. This idea specifically came from a combo of reading something from Geek Dad and my 10 year old’s love for Collectible Card Games.

A Collectible Card Game (CCG), also called Trading Card Game (TCG), is sets of cards made to play strategic games, very closely to Role Playing, but with cards as your characters to collect damage. The first modern CCG was Magic: The Gathering, a game that I was introduced to in ’95 while trying to kill boredom working at as a pizza delivery girl during the day. My co-worker, Travis, brought them to work and we would play in the back for hours on end. A game could last from 30-45 minutes to a couple hours. I eventually bought a couple decks and brought them home and taught my husband to play. His interest waned after 2 games and I never picked them up again.

My oldest, A, has had a slight interest in them, but his interest is more on the Role Playing and LARPing side, as it is more interactive and complicated. He has asked several times over the years for my Magic decks, but alas, I have lost them in the myriad of moves since ’95. My second, C, is absolutely in love with CCG’s. He loves everything about it: the collecting of the “It’s an ULTRA RARE CARD, MOM!”, the game play, and the quickness of it compared to the months (and sometimes years-like our current family campaign) it takes to play a Role Playing campaign. Sadly though, this gets expensive, and since he only earns a dollar a week per year of his age for allowance, he doesn’t get to have as many CCG cards as he likes.

And that is where Mommy comes in with help from Geek Dad! Make your own CCG! This saves the cost, and man, the excitement to make your own character cards and make your own special rules and attack cards and bonuses is through the roof! Plus tons of imagination and it even caused tons of dialog with A, who initially never has anything to do with what C is doing, about the rules and slight nuances of the rules and possibilities and loop holes and how to fix them, days later. As I type this, A has walked in 3 times with suggestions, and C is teaching his younger siblings a version of the game so they can play as well. I LOVE crafts that have more than 1 day use. 🙂

Making the Game:

You will need:

  • Regular deck of playing cards
  • Markers
  • Stickers

(we picked up everything at the Dollar Store)

Seperate the face cards, Jokers and Aces.

Markers and stickers to make Character Cards with.

Separate the face cards from the number cards, and keep the Jokers. Our variation also separated the Aces to use as special attack cards.





Decorate the face cards into Character Cards using the markers and stickers. C loves Pokémon and comic book heroes, so he grabbed those stickers and used the Pokémon stickers on the Character Cards and the comic book heroes on the Special Attack Cards, hence the name of his game. He then named all the characters silly names like ‘Turtle of Terror’ (my fav) and ‘Boring King of Ham’ (his fav). For the Special Attack Cards  (the Aces) he chose four different attacks and wrote what they were on the face of the card – i.e. Reshuffle and Stun x 3 (A HATES that one, because it has been used on him so many times 😀 ) then put the hero stickers on the card. The Jokers we decided to make as Revive Cards, and they are used to ‘revive’ a dead character out of the Graveyard Pile. He placed a Pokémon stickers on each Joker and wrote ‘Revive’ along the top.

M watches as C creates his Character Cards

Character Cards

Special Attack Card and Revive Card



That’s it!

Game Play and Rules


-Shuffle character cards and deal two to each player who then place face up in a row in front of them.

-Shuffle remaining Character cards in with Number Attack and Special Attack cards and place in a common draw deck between players


Each round player draws from the draw deck. Then has 5 options. (Each Player only can do one option each turn.)

Use an Attack Card: The player may use the same suit as the character card to attack. The number on the card is the amount of damage the character takes. Each Character Card is understood to have 11 Hit points, and any attached Attack Cards will be stacked face-up below the attacked Character Card to represent damage. After a Character Card has accrued 11 points of damage, its Hit Points have been exhausted, and the card is put in the Graveyard Pile (and any attached Attack Cards are placed face-down in the Discard Pile). If, at any time, a player has no character Cards in play, s/he is out of the game. There are also 4 Special Attack Cards (Aces) and written on them are specific instructions to follow.

  • Reshuffle– Play on yourself or your opponent, cause them to take all cards in their hand  (not characters currently in play) and place in the Discard Pile and redraw the same amount of cards they had to discard.
  • Bonus +5 – Adds 5 Hit points to any attack card and can be played at the time an attack card is.Or can be used on self to a Heal Card.
  • PayBack – Allows the holder to take the damage that was just dealt on their character and play it on the person who dealt the damage on any of their character card (suit does not matter). Used Instantly.
  • Stun x3 – stuns a player for 3 rounds of play. Can draw on turn, but nothing else.

Use a Heal Card: The player may use a same suit card on their own Character Card to heal that card the amount of points showing on the heal card. Heals may be applied only to damaged Character Cards, and recovered Hit Points – represented by the Heal Cards being stacked face-up above the Character Card- may never exceed the original 11, once a Character Card is completely healed, the heal/attack cards on it are placed in the Discard Pile. If a Character Card is taken out of play, , these Heal Cards are also placed face-down in the Discard Pile.

Pass: The player may simply add the drawn card to his/her hand (with the face value concealed from other players),  take no further action, and pass clockwise to the next player.

Use a Revive Card: There are 2 Revive Cards in the deck that can be used as a turn. This can be played by grabbing the top dead Character Card in the Graveyard Pile and putting it in your hand to use on another turn, while placing the Revive Card in its place in the Graveyard Pile.

Call for Reinforcements: Should the player draw or have in hand a Character Card, s/he may place it face-up on the table adjacent to his/her other Character Cards, thus supplementing his/her defenses.

Play continues until only one player has in-play Character Cards remaining, and that player is declared the winner of PokéHero! Should game play exhaust the Draw Deck before a winner is determined, the cards from the Discard Pile only may be shuffled and recycled as the new Draw Deck.

My hand as I play with C, M and A.

There are countless variations to this, and it all depends on you and your child’s imagination and how involved they want their game to be. We use just colors instead of suits when playing with the younger kids.

C playing the colors variation with J and M.