Chimera Battle Royale actually came about as a niggling thought from Death by Cards (particularly the Walrus with Tentacles) But it eventually spiraled into a game about trying to build this monstrosity from a bunch of cards and then force it to fight other players.’
Originally this was a Trick Taking game, but playing things like Village in a Box led it to become a game set in two phases. The first has you trading and playing cards to make a Chimera – with the notion that your creature needs a head or a body to attack.
With that sorted though there are various combos (or straights/flushes) that you can build to make your creature the best on the Battle Zone you are currently in. If you can manage it there are even combos of famous creature-mashups both historical and present-day which can boost your power. Think of Sharktopus fighting a Centaur.
Once you’ve created your abomination – you then force it to fight others, and decrease their overall vitality. Once your Chimera ‘dies’ by losing all Vitality points, you join up with another surviving scientist as a team, sharing/trading your cards to make the best creature.
Eventually that battle comes down to 2 creatures, and whomever beats the other is considered the winner. What makes Chimera Battle Royale so much more fun though is that rather than just combining a Monkey with a spider – you also have access to Survival, Mutation, and Extinction cards. These can change your play from being the weakest to the strongest depending on what you draw/use. So I may be mostly an Insect creature, and the Extinction I draw forces everyone to remove mammal parts giving me an edge. However since you can only use a single Mutation or Extinction card per game, you need to choose wisely when to use it.
What makes Chimera so replayable though is that because of the possibility of combos and available cards you may find yourself finally able to make a difficult combo – and while next turn others may try to bring you to extinction, you have the ability to use those extra points given for making a truly remarkable specimen. Of course you could always make a squid living in a turtle shell getting around by lion claws.