Saturday, June 22, 2013

Seasons - A Review


Hi everybody! I bet you thought I was dead. Well I was only mostly dead. Luckily I owed a debt to Miracle Max, he brought me back to life so I could pay it (to BLATHE). Anyway since it has been seasons since I brought you a new review I thought I might bring you a review of the wonderful family game Seasons.

Seasons is an example of how to do a family board game right. This game is perfect for everyone except the rules lawyer and the woman who loves grids. Even though I have never played it with an 8 year old, I’m pretty sure that this game could keep one entertained (though the box says 14 if you don't play with the advanced cards it should be good). So enough with that lets get right down to brass tax. 

As usual I will start with the box. Wow. Just wow. The box and packaging are actually what inspired me to write this review of the game. There is a compartment for everything, Dice, Trackers, Season tracker, and cards. They even fit flatly in the box due to the custom fitted trays. 

This is how you pack a game. Period. I don’t think anyone will ever pack a game better than this one. I mean, the box isn’t even over sized. It’s amazing.

The box isn’t all that’s amazing though. The art rivals even that wonderful organizational for-thought put into the box. This stuff is kid friendly with just that little touch of grim fairy tails meets marvel comics to give you that kick in the pants to really think you’re the archwizard of the seasons. 

 That's what happens when you give a rabbit coffee.

 Don't trust anything that cute. Ever. I'm sure it wants to eat your soul.

The physical aspects of the pieces are wonderful too. The cardboard the trackers and tokens are made from is that ideal thick board with the textured top that will withstand wear through the seasons (see what I did there? That was funny. If your not laughing you should go find a sense of humor.)

 That's my hand, sorry ladies this stallion is taken.

The dice are fantastic too. I have been playing this game on board game arena ( which is another article entirely and you should go sign up and check it out). I thought the dice would be these normal sized D6s but they are giant and easy to read. And colorful. And hefty. When you roll them ants might think Godzilla is coming to town ( more humor, maybe I should quit my day job).

Game play

It has some. The game is so easy I didn’t know what to do when I first played. You play the roll of  a wizard ( I like to pretend my name is Winter) who is vying for the title of archmage. You must acquire the most crystals over the course of 3 years to gain this title.

 In a nutshell this is a resource management game. You spend your resources to acquire crystals. These crystals come in the form of power cards or, um, crystals. The power cards you summon not only give you crystals but also special little abilities that might give you an edge in the long term. 

The season tracker and the crystal tracker. The die that is not chosen moves
 the season tracker forward the number of pips shown on it.

Well what are your resources you ask? They are elements you gain through the seasons. Each time a round begins the dice for that season are rolled and players take turn picking which ones they want. The first player to choose alternates so everyone gets a chance to choose first.
The dice give you elements, more slots to summon cards, more cards, or let you change elements into crystals to improve your score. Easy peasy. Each season has different dice and elements wax and wane in rarity (no not the pony). 

 The last cool element of the game (which is actually the first) is that at the beginning of the game you are delt 9 cards. You choose 3 cards to have in year 1, 3 for year 2, and 3 for year 3. At the beginning of the new year your cards you set aside for that year come into your hand, and no, you don’t have to discard the old ones.
These trackers are first class. You can track all the things!
There is even a handy reference for the help options. 

Also you can cheat if you want. There are “helper” options that give you things you might need if you end up getting screwed on the dice choices. Unfortunately they penalize you exponentially in the end for each use (up to 4). Guess its not really cheating then… However, this mechanic really lets you take your destiny into your own hands. Non of this, “well if I only had one more slot to summon a card I would have won”.


I guess there are a few. For one it is a very abstract game. There are no pretty miniatures and there is no gidded board. If that’s your kind of game this is not for you. The abstractness of the game can also cause one to be at a loss when they play it for the first time. That however, is a genre problem so it really doesn’t speak to the games quality. You have been warned. 

Ya that game isn't for everyone either.

What do I think?

I like it. This is a game I can play with my young adult group at church, or with non-gamers. It also seems very family friendly. There is no “sexy” in this game nor is their violence, just a bunch of mages hanging out and harvesting the music of the universe. 
It is also a very gender neutral game. I like that a lot. There is no machismo, there is no power babe. It is what you bring to it. The famililiars bring a strong sense of “other” to the game that will allow relatablility for many. 

What I’ve been playing but not reviewing.

Well a good friend of mine showed me board game arena. Holy $%&#snacks.

 Ya, the danger of never doing anything ever again but going on that website.

 Free to play online board games of some really good stuff. You can even play seasons there. Look me up, I, of course, am user name Antizombie. I usually play around with Gosu and Seasons on there. They also have Tokkaido on there. That is one game I want to play but do not want to own (so pretty).

In other news, I have also been playing Dreadball. This game is way fun if you just pretend your in a Pop Warner league instead of a super serious sci-fi league. My female human team is purple and black and called the Globo Gym Purple Cobras.

Keyflower, Boss monster, and Guilds of Cadwallon have also had a large amount of play time lately.

So that’s it for me. Yay for Miracle Max bringing me back to life.

 Hey look I still know how to paint! 
Until next time all you readers out there in Internet land, Derp like there’s no tomorrow.

Antizombie (Archmage Winter) signing off.

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