Sometimes it’s a good thing to be subscribed to the various boardgame company emails.
I would normally say “especially as a reviewer,” but that hasn’t really paid out much.
The game is designed by Tim Armstrong with art by Yaroslav Radetskyi.
What is Arcana Rising and why did I back it?
Let’s take a quick look.
Arcana Rising is a card-drafting engine-building game with some similarities to 7 Wonders. Each player will be dealt a number of cards each round, choose one to keep and then pass the others along to the player on their left/right (depending on the round).
Instead of resources/buildings/etc, you are instead drafting spells, all of which come in one of five different categories: Charms, Herbology, Blood Arts, Potions, and Alchemy (I’m detecting a massive Harry Potter influence, but maybe I’m wrong).
The game plays with 1-6 players and you will simply be drafting cards, trying to build up your spell-casting engine.
When you draft a card, you can either pay the necessary cost to add it to your tableau or you can discard the card to enable you to cast the spells that you already have on your tableau.
Casting your spells will allow you to cast each spell in one of two columns on your player board.
How do you know what spells you can cast?
That’s determined by the Moon tokens on the board, which are randomized at the beginning of the game. Depending on what round you are in, you can only cast the spells from one of the two classes of spells that match the tokens on the Moon Board.
In the final round of the game, instead of casting one column’s worth of spells, you cast the last spell in each of your columns. That’s five spells!
These spells, if you’ve built your engine right, will be either converting one type of resource into another or perhaps converting your resources into points that will be very important for your final score.
In kind of a cool twist, each player will keep track of their scores on an abacus. How old school!
The game looks really cool, especially if you’re a fan of 7 Wonders. The card drafting means that the game will be different each time, especially considering the Moon tokens and how they are randomized. Between not knowing what kind of cards you will get to also having to strategize when you’re going to be able to cast which spells, it all looks like an intricate puzzle.
The “cast all of the spells in one column” aspect reminds me of Deus when you are adding cards to your tableau, but obviously it’s much different here. First, you don’t get to cast when you add a spell. You have to instead decide whether you want to add the card to your tableau or whether you want to cast your spells.
The game is available to try out on Tabletop Simulator if you want to before deciding to back it.
For $34 US, you can get one copy of the Deluxe version of the game. For $23, you can get a copy of the retail version, which won’t have all of the upgraded components (it’s cool that they offer this level, though maybe most campaigns do? I’m not sure).
At the time of writing this, they are almost at $100,000 CDN (goal was $13,337 CDN, so that’s good!).
A number of stretch goals have already been unlocked and since they are still 16 days away from funding, there’s a good chance that more stretch goals will be unlocked.
Note that I have not tried this game. I’m not (at least not right now) a Tabletop Simulator or Tabletopia player, so I haven’t had the chance to try it out.
But the description of it just made me want to check this out. After looking at a couple of the videos on the page, I immediately backed it for the Deluxe copy pledge. That’s about $46 CDN for me (depending on the exchange rate when it actually funds).
I like that Grey Fox Games hasn’t made a bunch of different tiers for people to choose from. You can get the retail or the deluxe version. There’s also a Retailers pledge level for stores that want to get in on the Deluxe version (rather than just selling the retail version when it comes out).
Check out the videos. Try it out on TTS.
And see if you agree with me that this could be a very cool game.
You have until August 28, so get cracking!
The estimated delivery date is April 2021.
Maybe I’ll be able to actually meet people for a game by then!
Have you backed anything cool and interesting recently?
Let me know in the comments.