There’s no beating around the bush – the King is dead. Who will take up the mantle? An heir was never named… so what will this mean? As his inheritor, you must prove that you are worthy enough to be crowned the new ruler and lead the Five Realms. Build influence, gather the support of clan leaders, complete quests, claim honors, and eventually soar to victory. Go on – get started!
What Is It?
Hand Management – Players start with 10 cards in hand and will use those to take various actions (draw cards, gain quests, etc). They may want to keep certain cards in hand for quests or other scoring, or may want to rotate their hand quickly by discarding and drawing new cards. It’s all about knowing what to hold and what to discard.
Set Collection – Players will play influence cards to stacks in front of them in order from 1 to 6. They score for the highest number of each color at game end, so they want to really try and build those sets! Player may also want certain sets to complete honors or score quests.
Racing Element – Clans, honors, and quests are on a first come, first serve basis, so if players want them, they’ll have to focus their actions on trying to grab them sooner rather than later.
Variable Player Powers – During the game, players may be able to claim a clan card which will give them a unique one-time or ongoing ability, or unique cards.
End Game Bonuses – Quests score based on cards in hand, tomes score for majorities, and relics score for having played the highest number of a certain color (otherwise they score negatively).
Who Is It For?
- 2 to 4 Players – Scales well at any count. 2-player game uses less cards, just to shorten the game a tad, I assume
- Ages 12 & Up; Light to Mid-Weight Gamers – Simple rules and gameplay, but an interesting layer of strategy that may appeal to a wide range of players
- Players who like small rulesets, hand management, and set collection
- Players who don’t mind trying to race toward scoring opportunities
- Aesthetics – Great art and color scheme
- Components – Good quality cards, no complaints
- Reference Cards – Even having them is a big deal to me, but they are also very informative
- Variability – In which honors, quests, and clan cards are used each game, plus you have a bunch of options for actions turn to turn
- Rules – Clear and easy to learn from
- Easy set-up
- Smooth turns/gameplay
- Feels like a big game in a small box – nice level of complexity
- Luck of the draw – You might start an influence stack but then never get the next card you’re looking for, or you might never get an advocate card, while someone else sees and plays a bunch
- Theme doesn’t shine through a ton for me
- Length – Sometimes it can run a bit long for what it is
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this small box card game had a lot going on! I think your options turn to turn are interesting and there’s a nice balance of trying to build up your hand to go for certain actions versus just playing influence cards as soon as possible. I think the advocate abilities also make for some fun, strategic plays.
Some turns can feel a little bland – playing an influence card as your whole time sometimes gives off a “that’s it?” kind of vibe, but ultimately, it is worth a point, so it does keep you vying for the win. Plus, depending on what cards you’re playing, it can help you work toward getting honor cards for additional points.
I think that if you like set collection and hand management card games with a bit of strategy, then you’ll like this one!
My Final Rating – 7/10
Designer – Jeffrey CCH, Kenneth YWN
Artist – Roxy Dai, Coda Ho
Publisher – NorthStar Game Studio
MSRP – $19.99
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
If you like what I do, consider Supporting Me.