How would you feel if I told you that you could be a hero from a timeless classic story and go on an adventure to save an entire realm? What if I told you that you could also team up with other heroes on this adventure to save multiple realms from evil Lords of Darkness and their minions?
If you’re anything like me, a thought like this has probably never even crossed your mind, but now that you’ve heard it, you are totally in if given the opportunity? Right? Well, you’re in luck!
In “12 Realms”, a cooperative board game for 1 – 6 players, created by Ignazio Corrao, and published by Mage Company Games, you can take on the role of a classic hero like D’Artagnan, Snow White, Robin Hood, or The Nut Cracker and team up with your friends and family members to help save the 12 realms from the Lords of Darkness who are swarming in with their minions to take over and stay for good.
“12 Realms” is a family friendly, lighthearted, cooperative board game that is suggested for ages 11 and up. Players take turns moving to different realms and using their hero’s special talents to defeat minions that are popping up all over the place. Players can also spend earned coins to buy special items or solicit the help of others in the realm to help defeat the enemies. Eventually, each realm is invaded by a Lord of the Dark; a difficult enemy that is the leader of the other baddies that are invading each realm. If you’re able to defeat the Lord of the Dark and their followers, you’ve saved the realm! This is not always an easy task, and players need to work together, combining their special talents, to be successful.
I, overall, enjoyed this game. I love that its family friendly, and it has a very point and click fighting style that’s really fun. Let’s go into some of the highlights and lowlights of the game.
Beautiful Art: The first thing I noticed about this game was the amazing art. From the box, to the character cards, to the enemy deck, the art in this game is on point. My kudos to the artists: Ignazio Corrao, Jerome Jaquinto, and Michael Andresakis. The game has a very fairy-tale based theme and the art supports that with bright colors, and bubbly shapes (can you tell I don’t know artist lingo?) that help draw the players into the theme. I don’t in any way mean the art is simple, just take a look at the Dark Unicorn enemy card, to see what I mean.
Fast and Easy Fun: I know this is a cop-out highlight, but it’s true. This game is fun to play. I played with my gaming group (we are adults), and we had fun zipping around the board and defeating the bad guys. The mechanics are very simple; if you have a talent that exploits the enemy’s weakness, you simply defeat them. This makes it easy to run around defeating enemies all over the board, which, let’s be honest, is really fun to do.
Components: The components in this game are high quality. The cards are thick and smooth, the coins are shiny and thick plastic, and the miniatures are fantastic. I was honestly surprised by the high quality and detail of the miniatures.
Difficult Mode: The game has options to increase the difficulty of the gameplay, including setting one person against the rest, and this person control the enemies. This actually made the game much harder, which was really cool.
The Rulebook: This rulebook is honestly a mess. I read it twice and was still confused. Do yourself a favor and go to boardgamegeek.com for rule clarification. That’s what we did, and it was very helpful. This leads me into my next lowlight…
The Symbols: In the game there are many symbols used to help describe things like moves you can take or what certain cards do. I understand that making these symbols easy to read is difficult, but these reminded me of advanced algebra. I didn’t like algebra when I was in school, and I definitely don’t like it in my games. Keep the rulebook handy, since you’ll be referring to it a ton to decode the symbols during your game.
The Name of the Game: This might seem like I’m being picky, but this game is called 12 realms and the base set comes with only 4 realms. I have checked the website: magecompanygames.com, and they have expansions allowing you to get all of the realms (and other expansion items) but I just can’t get over how I have a game called “12 Realms” but I only have 4 realms.
If you want a family friendly, lighthearted, cooperative game that is fun to play with your friends and family, has a great theme, and high quality components (including miniatures), then this game is for you. If you tend to get annoyed by things like having to decipher symbols to figure out what cards do, or you enjoy more complex fighting mechanics, you may find this game frustrating and simple.
Play on boys and girls.