Board Games adapting video games are becoming a pretty standard element of the Kickstarter landscape. Many players keep on waiting for their favourite titles to transform from bytes to miniatures, dice and cardboard. While most of these are video games from PC and consoles, mobile games also get adapted into the non-electronic medium and many of them are quite successful.
Today we have a pleasure to preview a game based on the popular Epic Seven franchise, that launched on Android and iOS back in early 2017. It gathered quite a huge fan following and often topped the “most downloaded” charts thanks to over 8 million players.
The World of the Goddess
The world where Epic Seven takes place was torn by numerous wars. In one of them a god called Orbis fell while his sister Diche managed to survive. Crushed with sadness she turned his body into a brand new world, named after him.
Meanwhile, another sibling of theirs, angry at the whole situation, sends an evil being called the Archdemon towards Orbis, hoping he will destroy it. Desperate Diche decides to solve the new problem by creating beings called “heirs”. Their goal is to save the world of Orbis and bring an end to Archdemon’s dark plots. Should the heroes fail, Diche “resets” the world, creates it anew, and gives them another chance. Right now, after 6 failures, heroes are born in the titular 7th world and hope to finally fulfill their mission.
Your Journey Begins
Epic Seven Arise is a tabletop game created with 1-4 players in mind. Each game uses one of the available scenarios and takes from 40 to 90 minutes, depending on player count and how well everyone knows the rules. The game is cooperative at heart, but at the end of a scenario only one player is crowned as the winner, depending on their contributions to the victory against Archdemon’s armies.
Every chapter has a main goal and a bunch of available side quests, that are worth completing for additional rewards and powering up your party. Chapters are stand-alone so you can play them in any order. So far 8 of them were revealed in promotional materials, and we have to wait until launch to learn if there’s more planned.
Every scenario includes its own set up card that dictates which components to pick and how to begin the game. Each also comes packed in its own box, stating its name and order in the story, should you want to play it this way. The plotline also gets its own card to introduce you to the events taking place in Orbis.
The main area of the game, apart from the map, includes a merchant board with skills, artifacts and magical potion tokens. We also have an adventure board used to host enemies as well as their attacks.
Assembling the Team
After picking a scenario you create its map with provided tiles, add encounter tokens to them and then decide on what character each of you will be playing as. Every single one has a set of unique traits and abilities, so making a team with proper synergy is likely to make your chances of winning higher. One of the heroes is also assigned as the leader of the team. Apart from the miniatures, all players get a set of 2 meeples that are used to mark the hero’s relationship level and the order in battle. Everyone also gets skill cards, healing potions and 2 cards representing abilities available to them.
Every scenario has a goal, often related to defeating a boss. The only way to win is to complete said goal.
The Battle Against Archdemon
Each chapter has its own deck of cards that dictate what is happening each turn. One of them contains a final boss, and you have to separate it, so you can use it later on to complete the scenario.
The game is divided into 5 phases that happen during every single round. In Story Card Reveal Phase a new story card is revealed and its effects get applied to the board.
In Exploration Phase your party needs to move together to another tile on the map and learn what kind of challenge and enemies await them there.
If any enemies have spawned during the previous phase, you fight them in the third, Combat Phase using your skills, stats, artifacts and in some cases potions. A resource called “souls” can be used to boost certain skills and perform other special actions. When your enemies get their chance to attack, they act according to their card and use dice rolls to determine their actions. If some of you happen to die, it’s possible to get revived.
Resupply Phase let’s everyone visit the merchant board, and get their stock of healing potions and new skill cards, as long as they can afford them.
The turn ends with Movement Phase where the party gets to a new tile, which will get explored next turn.
Epic Seven Arise on Kickstarter
Epic Seven Arise looks like a well designed co-op game with a slight dash of competitive gameplay. It manages to replicate the feeling known from turn based JRPGs from consoles and PCs. Apart from that, the new creation by Farside Games looks stunning especially for people who love anime and manga. Illustrations really shine and so do the well crafted minis that represent both characters and their enemies.