What others say about it
What is the game about?
Rise: A tale of kingdoms is a competitive game. You step up as the new ruler of your kingdom. Everything seems quiet at the beginning. You want to be a good ruler and do your best for your kingdom. But you are surrounded by neighbors, and each of them wants to be the most powerful king in the region. They attack you, try to rob you by unfair trades, and crush your kingdom down. You need to fight back or your kingdom will fall down ingloriously.
Each player controls a kingdom which is represented by the state of four resources – Influence, Wealth, Citizens, Military. The goal is really simple – either develop all your resources to their maximum or destroy your opponents by decreasing one of their resources below the minimum. But they are trying to do exactly the same.
The main mechanic is around collecting and playing the right cards at the right moment, complete successful trades with the other players, and prepare your defense wisely. Sounds simple enough, right?
There are several advanced rules which can be mixed up together and play the game the way you like it. There’s also a special section about role-playing which can be included as well if you feel so.
The players take turns in which they can perform one action:
- develop the resources of their kingdom
- attack one opponent and harm their resources
- trade with an opponent
- do nothing and draw a card
They can play a combination of up to 4 cards. The more cards played the greater the effect of the cards is. However, each development or attack can be blocked by any other player.
Trading is tricky. It can either help you collect the cards you need or you can be looted by your opponents.
The aim of the game is to become the ruler of the most powerful kingdom. So you need to increase all your resources to the maximum or slay your opponents by lowering one of their resources below the minimum.
There are six advanced rules which can be mixed with the core game:
- Leader – include Jokers to help you build card combinations.
- Change in seasons – the weather can sometimes be unpredictable and either helps your kingdom or put it to test.
- Act of God – once in a while you experience an event so strong that you can’t blame anybody but the gods. Their will can bless you or crush you down.
- Time shift – the deck you play with never runs out of cards until there’s one clear winner.
- Kingdom party – bring up to four players to the table.
- Tell the story – describe what happens with your kingdom during each turn. This one is for the role-playing fans.
How does it stand from the crowd?
Rise: A tale of kingdoms uses something which probably we all have at home – a deck of standard playing cards. The cards offer incredibly high replay value and unlimited possibilities. What the game does is to translate a deck of standard playing cards into a board game. There are only two assets you need – a scoreboard for each player and a table to translate the cards. The rest is left for your imagination.
The core idea of the game is to present you with something so simple that you don’t need to wait to be manufactured, delivered to your door, or even printed(if you don’t have a printer you can literally draw what you need in 5 minutes on a piece of paper and reuse it for all your games). The game finds a balance between simplicity and challenge. Each game is different than the previous one and the setup takes less than a minute.
Who is this game suitable for?
Rise: A tale of kingdoms is a game that can attract any player. It can be played by 2-4 players. The sessions are between 5-30 minutes. The game has the benefits of the games with standard playing cards – high replay value and super easy setup. You can start a session immediately after the previous one. Probably it’s not a game that you will spend a whole weekend with your friends. But it’s a game that you can play every day on and on. The advanced rules can add a unique taste to each game. You can use none, any, or all of them and play the game the way you like it.
Don’t forget the optional role-playing. Then tell the story of your kingdom and how it went through days of glory and how it slayed the opponent’s armies.
I created this game during the long periods of staying at home during 2020 (you all know what I’m talking about). I was bored and I wanted to have a game which is simple and I can play with my wife in short sessions. I’ve got inspired by the role-playing zine Beak, Feather, & Bone. It presented me with the idea of using standard playing cards mixed with board game elements. It just opened a whole new world for me.
Event though Rise: A tale of kingdoms is not a complicated game, it took significantly more time to develop it than I expected. I was naive to think that it’s something which can be done in a weekend. Actually, it took me several months (of course I was doing that in my free time). But I really like what I did in the end. I hope you’ll like it, too.