Our kids love tabletop games. They are huge fans of deck-building card games and collaborative games, but it is really hard to find a good game providing for both. Most of the deck-building games are player-vs-player mode (the popular choices being Pokemon TCG and Magic: The Gathering). So I am genuinely interested in a new Kickstarter project: Luminous Ages.
What Is It?
It’s a card game, but a game that can be played in multiple ways. Player-vs-Player. Co-operative Play for up to 5 people. Competitive play for up to 6 people. Let’s just say, it covers a lot.
Luminous Ages is a card game based on the fantasy comics of the same name published by the creator, Anthony Christou. They are worth checking out themselves. We’re talking dragons and mages and dream worlds and stuff. Anthony gains inspiration from Lord of the Rings and Magic: The Gathering (and others), yet he has avoided some of the usual stereotyping pitfalls that litter the fantasy genre. Rather than stick to one cultural influence, the mythos behind Luminous Ages brings together ancient Greece, Egypt, Sumer, India, and China.
You, as the player, are a Mage working with Dream Magic in the world of Ekratoria. Your ultimate goal is to gather enough Dream Magic to summon a Dragon God and maintain them for three turns of play. You can gather magic from Lands, and use it to summon creatures, artefacts, or spells in your game. At the same time, you need to protect your Dream Life from your opponents: lose it and you lose the game.
What Do You Get?
The main Kickstarter Deal for a full game-playing pack is the Dragon Table Top Mode for $52 (Australian), shipping anywhere in the world. For your money, you receive:
- 120 cards (including creatures, lands, Dragon Gods, Generals)
- 2 x Token sheets
- 3 x Dream life sheets
- 2 x 30-sided dice
- 2 x 6-sided dice
- A Rule Book
All packaged up in a box (which we didn’t receive but sounds nice). Being Kickstarter, there is also a plethora of options on either side of this deal, depending on the size of your dragon-obsession.
The cards are simply beautiful. It is totally refreshing to have a card game the spawnlings are interested in, and I don’t have to filter out half the deck due to over-the-top horror images. Our 10 year old and 7 year old can handle quite a bit, but even they have been handing back some MTG cards of late. In Luminous Ages the characters are not overly sexualized in any manner, nor are they constantly portrayed in horror scenes. While there is no clear age recommendation, our 7 year old was absolutely fine with both the cards and the gameplay.
How to Play
The rules of the game are lengthy and fairly in-depth. This is mostly due to the level of detail in the cards, along with the variety of modes you can play. The card game itself can be played in either competitive or co-operative mode. From a family point of view, this was awesome—not every player out there is thirsting for dragon blood. We received a prototype of the card game for review purposes, and the spawnlings opted for co-operative play first. As per most Kickstarter expectations, some details may change between now and final production, but let’s see what Evil Genius Inc. had to play with.
There really is a huge range of cards to use in this game, and honestly, at first it was quite daunting. There are four different types of Lands to gain power from, and eight different types of creatures. However, both Sinister and Nefarious really enjoyed the variety from the very beginning. They both agreed it gave them the opportunity to really personalize their strategy. After a couple of rounds, I agree with them. You can interchange with whatever you think is going to work for you on that turn without having to be limited to one or two elements. This really opened up the imagination and appreciation in the game.
In Dragon Mode Co-Operative, we shared a deck for us all to draw from. Our goal was to defeat three Dragon Gods and their Generals, taking turns to build our Dream Magic and summon various creatures and spells to attack. It is a constant battle of points between your cards and the cards of the Dragon Gods. Start at 0 and work up to 30 damage to kill one Dragon God. It sounds fairly easy to win!
Yeah, it didn’t happen. We’ve had three attempts and the third was a pretty close call. I think it is my fault–I keep getting distracted with Quest Creatures and side quests, in the hope of gaining some extra power. Sinister is convinced he can build a deck with a better chance next weekend. The fact they want to try again next weekend is pretty impressive by my standards.
To help with the world building, there is a layout for the game. This is made a lot easier with the Gaming Mats available through the Kickstarter project, but they are not essential. With a little discipline, the spawnlings were able to teach me how to manage my own chaos within the game.
The Kickstarter Project starts today, October 12, 2016, with delivery for the complete game pack currently planned for April 2017. Head over to check out the artwork, and stay for the card game. We’re already booked in for another game on the weekend.
You can also learn more about the comics and the card game on the Luminous Ages website.
New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.