Arena Review tagged posts

Arena Review: A Song of Ice and Fire RPG

In Brief

The ever-increasing popularity of George R. R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire book series finds its home in the sturdy and functional Green Ronin RPG of the same name. It uses its own classless system and has a steady emphasis on noble houses and the sweep of history. Green Ronin is a solid company with a good reputation and it’s simple and elegant Song of Ice and Fire system is definitely something to try out, especially if you want to make a big event of Sunday’s Season 2 launch with your gaming group.

Genre: Heroic fantasy-realism.
d6-based original system.
Potential Library: Small (3 sourcebooks and 2 adventures).
Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing.

The lands of Westeros sit upon a brink. Robert Baratheon sits the Iron Throne, having taken it in a rebellion against the Mad King, Arys Targaryen. The seven kingdoms are hardly at peace, however, when the Ironmen of the western islands are still fuming over their recent rebellion, the Dornish in the south still smart over the death of their beloved princess in Robert’s rebellion, the Riverlands lords and the Westermen constantly squabble, and the North and the Eyrie remove themselves as much as possible from supporting the king. Everyone wants the Iron Throne and they will need to go through King Robert to do so. But in the Game of Thrones you either win or you die.

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Arena Review: Ascension Leprechaun Promo Pack

With St. Patrick’s Day occurring this week, I finally have a real excuse to bust out the Ascension Leprechaun pack! This small expansion is similar to the Rat King, but instead of changing monsters to combat, it changes how runes are spent.

Recruit a Leprechaun to help you horde the gold, and get rewarded for getting as many Pots of Gold as you can! Leprechaun also lets players steal gold from other players, so keep on the lookout for other players taking advantage of the little folk to steal your gold!

Suggested Ages: 13+
Suggested Players: 1 to 6 players (Requires at least one Ascension game to play)
Playing time: 30 minutes
Contents: 3 Leprechaun cards, 9 Pot of Gold cards
Retail price: $4.99 at Ascension Games

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Arena Review: Ascenion iOS

After getting my tax return this year, I bit the bullet and got myself an iPad 2. But I got the iPad for a single reason: to play games. It really came down to finally upgrading my original Nintendo DS Fat or getting myself an iPad, and I went with the system that would let me play all the Ascension I wanted (and read comics).

If you’re unfamiliar with the game Ascension, it is a card game created by the former professional Magic player, Justin Gary. A card game that is essentially a cross between Magic and Dominion, you draft your deck while playing the game. For a complete rundown of the game, check out our reviews on both Chronicle of the Godslayer and Return of the Fallen as this review will also cover both of those games.

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Arena Review: Dominion Hinterlands Impressions

It’s hard to review a game like Dominion. The open endedness of it all means you can’t easily try out every single combination of cards, but the same is true for Magic the Gathering. But that doesn’t change the fact that Dominion Hinterlands came out and it is awesome.

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Arena Review: Eclipse Phase

Panopticon by Stephan Martiniere - Small

In Brief

I like to know what I’m getting into with a new game so here are the basic details about Eclipse Phase. The game is several years old but it’s made a big impact, winning the Origins award for Best RPG in 2010 and earning Gold and Electrum status for all of its sourcebooks on Drive Thru RPG. Its core book has Platinum status, putting it in the top 0.11% of sales for that site. For a single-gameline Third Party company, that’s damn impressive.

Genre: Gritty sci-fi.
d100-based original system.
Potential Library: Small (6 sourcebooks and 4 adventures).
Publisher: Posthuman Studios.

It’s the near-future and humanity is screwed. Military supercomputers, the TITANs, built to protect the free world took it over instead, going off the wall and firing nukes everywhere. Earth is an irradiated hellhole, remnants of the TITANs remain in quarantine zones, and humanity is scattered throughout the solar system.

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Arena Review: Penny-Arcade: the Game – Gamers Versus Evil

There are few brands that I truly trust. I am fiercely loyal to King Arthur flour and would give LEGO a kidney if they asked, but in the realm of gaming there really isn’t anyone more trustworthy than Gabe and Tycho of Penny-Arcade. Sure, they have had a few missteps over the years like the whole Spider-Man 3 debacle (which honestly, none of us saw coming) or there was the whole thing with the Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness which ended when they finally admitted they’re much better commenting on games than making them.

But for those few mistakes, they usually lead you in the right direction. My love of Puzzle Quest? That was them, same with my adoration of Torchlight and Minecraft. And is there any better gaming experience than PAX itself?

So when Penny-Arcade said they were releasing their own card game, I immediately ordered a copy to see what it is all about.

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Game Review: Ascension Storm of Souls

After playing so much Ascension that my hands actually started hurting from shuffling so much, it comes as no surprise how eager I was to get my hands on the first standalone expansion – especially after getting the chance to speak with Justin Gary about it before its release. Well the long wait is finally over and after spending the holiday playing the latest version of Ascension I can say that Storm of Souls is better than the original in every way.

Samael is defeated, but the world of Vigil has been left in turmoil in his wake. In Storm of Souls, players will see different factions rise to prominence with the new Event cards, and have powerful new Trophy Monsters to hunt! In addition to the brand-new mechanics, players will also see powerful new takes on popular mechanics from past Ascension releases.

Suggested Ages: 13+
Suggested Players: 1 to 4 players (5-6 players when combined with Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer)
Playing time: 30 minutes
Contents: 200 cards, 50 honor tokens, full-color rulebook, game board, storage tray
Retail price: $39.99 available at Amazon or Ascension Game

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Arena Review: Munchkin Reindeer Games Booster

We’re smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season, and for fans of Munchkin that means a new holiday-themed booster has been released!

Those scary Reindeer are back! And they’ve brought new Santa monsters like Teeny Tiny Tim, Recalled Toys, and (eek!) Mrs. Claus. You know what you have to do. Kill them and take their stuff! Armor yourself in Tinsel, and grab the Snow Shoes and the Reindeer Hat. Celebrate Christmas the Munchkin way – with Reindeer Games!

Suggested Ages: 10 and up
Number of Players: 3 to 5
Playing time: 1-2 hours
Contents: 15 cards (9 door, 6 treasure), rules insert
Retail price: $4.95 available at and Warehouse 23

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Game Review: Ascension Rat King Promo Pack

If you’re a child of the mid-80s, the odds are good that when you hear Rat King, you immediately think of the Ninja Turtle anti-hero/villain. If you’re a history buff, you might think of the legendary rat king which is disgusting. But from now on, Rat King has taken a whole new meaning for me in the game Ascension.

Ever felt like the Cultist needed some help taking care of those bullies who keep picking on him? Now he has it! The Rat King adds a whole new dimension to Monsters in Ascension! While up until now Monsters have only impacted the game by providing a reward to the player who defeats them, the Rat King leads his hordes of Giant Rat minions to swarm all over the center row and wreak havoc on the best laid plans. Unlike the rest of the Monsters in Ascension, the Rat King’s Giant Rat minions aren’t shuffled into the center deck, but are rather set aside to lay in wait until their master shows up.

Suggested Ages: 13+
Suggested Players: 1 to 6 players (Requires at least Chronicle of the Godslayer or Return of the Fallen)
Playing time: 30 minutes
Contents: 2 Rat King cards, 10 Giant Rat cards
Retail price: $5.00 on eBay from Board Game Geek

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Game Review: Ascension: Return of the Fallen

After picking up Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, I knew there had to be more to the game and immediately grabbed the first expansion – Return of the Fallen! An assortment of new cards that works as both a two-player stand alone game or a way to buff your existing Ascension experience up to six players, this isn’t something I often say but, if you like Ascension then Return of the Fallen is a must buy.

Samael the Fallen God has returned in his true form, and is intent on obliterating your world. Will you be able to overcome monstrous obstacles and assemble a mighty army to end Samael’s reign once and for all?

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