Designer: Régis Bonnessée
Players: 2 – 4
Play Time: 60 minutes
Setup Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Difficulty Rating: 6
The greatest sorcerers of the kingdom have gathered at the heart of the Argos forest,where the legendary tournament of the 12 seasons is taking place. At the end of the threeyear competition, the new Archmage of the kingdom of Xidit will be chosen from amongthe competitors.Take your place, wizard! Equip your ancestral magical items, summon your mostfaithful familiars to your side and be ready to face the challenge!
Let’s face it by now you should all know that if a game has magic, cards, dice and requires some strategic thinking and offers a strong sense of competition… I am going to be all over it! Seasons has all of this and more! I’m a big believer in judging a book by it’s cover, if it can grab my attention then it’s done it’s job and if it can keep my attention then that’s a bonus. On a window shopping trip around BoardGamer.ie (by window shopping I mean picking out all things the other half will have to buy me) I came across Seasons and the art on the big box caught my eye and the product description had me sold.
The box arrived and while I wouldn’t consider myself a seasoned board gamer, I am no longer phased or at least not as a dramatically phased by the initial opening – that moment when you break the seal and stare into what can sometimes feel like a bottomless box filled with convoluted and bamboozling cards, dice and equipment. That doesn’t happen anymore! Thankfully! It is still a big box though and my first thoughts were of admiration, it was compact, tidy but above all else it looked well.
Enough of that though and on with the review!
Looking at the rule book (it’s the same size as the box but thankfully not as deep) before I started shredding the wrapping on the decks of cards or haphazardly assembling the playing field, it was clear that it was going to be one of those games that’s easy to pick up but still offers a challenge and a variety of ways to play – the box contains player boards, a time wheel, four sets of dice, marker cubes, two decks of cards and season tokens .
As a player in Seasons, you can take on the role of one of four mages, competing in a tournament that is spread out across three years; in that time you must earn a name for yourself, show off your skills and amass a fortune built of gems. You will summon familiars and powerful magics, command the elements and even control time all in an attempt to win the title of ‘Archmage’.
The game can be split into a beginner and advanced level of play by selecting decks with the first 30 issued cards designed for new players and those still learning the ropes, the second deck can be played by those with more experience or those seeking more of a challenge. After selecting difficulty players then setup the play area and draw nine cards each and then from this hand pick one and pass the other eight to the person beside them, repeating this process until everyone has selected nine cards – these nine are then split into three piles of three and marked as year i, ii or iii cards.
The game begins in year one and the first month of winter, the player going first roles the winter (blue dice) dice, equal to the number of mages playing plus one and then selects one dice from the roll. The last dice remaining after all players have picked will indicate how far in time the next round will occur. During their turn and depending on their status players will be able to do everything from transmuting their energy/season tokens into crystals, summon cards from their hands and plan out their strategies for the coming turns.
The aim of the game is to earn the most amount of points while incurring the fewest penalties, as the players move from winter to spring to summer, to autumn the time passes and after a full circle of the board is complete they move into year two and the year ii cards become available to play and suddenly the game kicks off as current strategies need to be reworked to suit that original plan you had at the start.
Seasons is addictive, colourful and fun – the game can be built to suit the experience of players and like I said above it’s picked up pretty quickly, symbols and glyphs become second nature, the confused conjurer slowly becomes an almighty mage, transmuting energy into coveted crystals, enhancing their power levels and amassing a hand of powerful creatures and ancient artifacts. If you can peel your eyes away from the beautiful artwork to focus on your game then you will be going well and while it’s suggest play time is around the 60 minute mark, it can be over in the blink of an eye. Plan well! Plan smart! React fast!
If you want something fun and clever while offering an engaging and competitive playstyle then do not pass up the opportunity to pick Seasons.
[easyreview cat1title=”The Arcade Verdict” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”10″]
If you want to pick up your own copy of Seasons then the Arcade recommends you check out BoardGamer.ie
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!