Android: Netrunner is a re-imagining of the original Netrunner game from 1996 with some design tweaks, all new artwork and now in the Living Card Game format rather than as a collectable card game. The new version has been one of the biggest hits of recent years and was sold out for quite a while between print runs.
The game of Netrunner is an asymmetrical card game where players take it in turns playing one of the four Corporations which is trying to score its agendas while the other player takes the role of one of three Runners (hackers) trying to hack in and steal them. The asymmetric nature of the game means the two sides are playing in a different way, effectively making it two games in one.
The Corporations have three central servers, their HQ (the players hand), their R+D (the draw deck) and their archives (the discard pile). They can also create new remote servers and install various things into them (agendas, assets or upgrades). All their servers can be protected by installing ICE (Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics) in front of them to try and keep the Runner out. Agendas need to be installed and advanced before they can be scored. Different agendas are worth different points, have different abilities on them and also varying levels of required advancement. The corporation assets have to be installed in separate remote servers and can provide more money, distract and even damage or hinder the runner while upgrades can be installed along side cards in any server. They also have access to operation cards which are played out of hand and provide different benefits similar to assets. The corporation wins by either scoring 7 agenda points or flatlining (killing) the runner.
The Runners have their ID (hand and life points), Stack (draw deck) and Heap (discard pile). Runners have four types of cards available to them, events (equivalent to the corps operations), resources, programs and hardware. Installed Programs take up limited memory and are used by the runner typically to break through ICE, though there are programs that provide other features. Hardware can offer things like protection, more memory and support. While resources typically provide more money, protection, helpful contacts and other useful abilities. The Runner can win by running on a corporation server and stealing an agenda (the Runner doesn’t need to advance them). The Runner can also win if the corporation has run out of cards in their R+D at the start of their turn.
Android: Netrunner is a fantastic game that has a lot of depth, great artwork and is very thematic. The base game itself can be very engaging though as it is a Living Card Game new cards come out nearly every month.
These optional sets add more Corporation and Runner IDs with unique powers and more cards for both sides to create new decks and routes to victory. There is also a thriving tournament scene world wide for the game and you will need some expansions if you wanted to be able to compete in the fun world of tournament play. You can either get just the base game and treat it like the rest of your games collection or go deep into the rabbit hole and treat it as a hobby in itself.