Once upon a time in Bore, great beings brought about a peaceful world for all to coexist. Generation after generation grew and flourished, and heard the legend of the past. The behemoth Guardians, tired from the rigor of creation, rested once the world was made.
But now, The Great Return is upon us. The time has come for them to rise again, and this time, they may not be so kind. In fact, they seem … darker now, fierce, and ready for a war. The first battle shall take place at the Foxen capital of Skulk Hollow. Can the tiny heroes mount their collasal foes and arise victorious, or will their kingdom succumb to the attack? It’s time to find out!
What Is It?
A 2-player combat game with asymmetrical player powers – one player taking command of the Foxen Heroes (4 leaders to choose from), and the other controlling 1 of 4 monstrous Guardians. Players must strategize, cycle their decks, gain power, and play cards to take actions in order to ultimately accomplish their goals. The Foxes are trying to take down the Guardian and the Guardian is trying to eliminate the Foxen Leader, or gain enough of their individual tribute.
Who Is It For?
The box recommends this to ages 8+ but I’d probably recommend it to a bit older, maybe 10 or 12, just based on my experience with kids around that age and the types of games they can handle. But, for more experienced gamer kids, this would be great!
Of course, I’d recommend it to players who enjoy that tug-of-war feeling in a game; this one does that really well thanks to the theme and the varied player abilities. Finally, I think this will be great for players who like to really get into a game and play a bunch of times in a row or just over a few days because the more you play this, the better you get at it and the more strategies you can find for each role!
Contents and Quality
I gotta say, I love everything in this box, we have some great quality in here! The cards, player boards, guardian boards, and main game board are all pretty standard, nice quality and everything printed on them all is very clear to read and understand. Almost all the tokens/pieces are wooden and painted (except the plastic, translucent power cubes, which are great) and also just really nice. It’s clear what everything is, the colors are nice, and everything is well painted.
The foxes also have unique symbols on them to make it easy when damage is dealt (and also help if anyone is colorblind!) and the Guardian tokens are rightfully large and chunky, as well as very unique, which add to the game’s appeal in my opinion.
All of the colors and art on cards are vibrant and dynamic as well, and all of this together makes for an awesome table presence. (Can you tell that I can not get over how great this game looks?) To round it out here, the rule book is detailed and clear, the box is an appropriate size for what comes in it, and the insert holds the boxes of character pieces in nicely.
- Gorgeous, high quality art and components
- Varied character choice for Guardian side
- Strategy and gameplay changes every time
- Good balance overall
- Clear and detailed rules with examples to help; detailed reference cards for actions
- Fun and interesting theme that works well with gameplay
- One player always has to be the Foxen Heroes so there isn’t a lot of choice on that side
- While the balance of the 2 sides overall seems solid, as I mentioned, it does feel a bit harder to play as the Foxen Heroes because certain foxes can be one-shot killed and others can’t hold power cubes thus aren’t able to get extra actions; this can vary based on strategy as well
- Some turns can stagnate due to bad draws or the game can tip in one direction quickly for the same reason
I think the difficulty of this one varies a bit depending on which side you’re playing, which characters you select (your leader or Guardian, and who they are facing), what strategy you employ, and of course . As I mentioned briefly, there is definitely some luck in what cards you draw, but there is still the choice to try cycling your hand, and what actions to play when, so there are meaningful decisions that can lead to a victory! Plus, the Guardians each have two ways to win, so there’s strategy in which way to aim as well! I think I’d give this a 4/5 for difficulty for beginners, but the more you play, the easier it gets, so it can go down to a 3 for sure, but I’d personally leave it there just because it can definitely cause a little bit of AP with deeper strategists. There is also the Ancient Relic Mini Expansion which can make it a little bit easier as well because it introduces a new way for players to get free actions beyond power cubes.
I had seen a bunch of pictures of this game before getting it to review, and was very excited about the look of it (did … did I mention it was attractive yet? Oh I did? Well, okay). It’s not the type of 2-player game I lean toward super often, but it sounded interesting and seemed to be more inviting than other combat-esque games with asymmetric powers. And it did not disappoint! I had a lot of fun through each play of this so far, and it really does change a lot every time because of the character choices and the different strategies. I definitely think this one gets easier the more you play it, as the strategies seem to make more sense, and you start to pick up on your best cards and moves once you’re more familiar with it all. I especially found this to be true on the Guardian side, since you only get 2 actions per turn (without using any power cubes, if you can hold them); the more you play the more you learn to better utilize the actions you have. It’s got fun pieces and meaningful decisions and overall is a great experience. If you primarily play two-player games and enjoy a tactical battle, check this one out!
Designers – Eduardo Baraf, Seth Johnson, Keith Matejka
Artists – Dustin Foust, Sebastián Koziner, Keith Matejka, Helen Zhu
Publisher – Pencil First Games, LLC, Thunderworks Games
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
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