Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Puzzle heroes unite!:- Rising 5: Runes of Asteros

Game: Rising 5: Runes of Asteros

Publisher: Grey Fox Games

Designer: Gary Kim, Evan Song

Year: 2017

Rising 5 is a 1-5 player app-driven cooperative adventure-puzzle game in which you control a band of 5 of space's hardiest adventurers in order to save the planet of Asteros. This is done by fighting monsters, receiving help from locals, uncovering relics, and, of course, playing the 1970 puzzle game Mastermind. Along the way you'll have to use each of the character's special powers to good effect if you wish to succeed before the red moon eclipses the sun.

In Rising 5 each player has a hand of cards, these cards all depict one of the 5 heroes in your command. On your turn you may play multiple cards of a single hero in order to activate them once per card you play, after doing so you must draw at least one card, though you may draw up to your hand limit if you desire. After performing a characters action each character can use their special power, these range from delaying the red moon eclipse to getting a free strike against an enemy, but almost certainly most important is the ability to swap the locations of two runes.

Rising 5 set up ready to play, the runes we are currently checking are at the top, you start the game by checking these runes to give you a place to start deducing from.

 The runes are very much the key to victory in Rising 5, while you can fail in a couple of ways, success can only be reached by successfully arranging the correct 4 runes in the correct location. This is where the app comes in, at the top of the game board there is a location to pace the 4 runes you currently wish to test. When you are ready to do so you can scan the runes with the app and the app will give you an amount of information. Each rune is assigned to a constellation symbol, and the app will simply tell you which 4 constellations are present, which of them are correct, but in the wrong position, and which are correct and in thew right position. Should all 4 be correct in the right position then you have won the game, but until that point you'll have to use deduction to work out which runes are related to which symbols, and where they should be placed.

Of course it's not that symbol, in order to use the app you must first light 4 beacons, and upon using the app these 4 beacons go dark, it feels much like getting the next stab at the puzzle is your reward for doing well in the body of the game. As you move about the game board you will interact with 6 locations, each can contain helpful creatures who may light a beacon for you, or give you a clue by telling you which constellation is associated with a certain rune. But you can also face hostile monsters, killing these will reward you with the ability to light the beacons, but failure to beat them can result in the eclipse drawing nearer. When you fight a monster you simple roll the die, should your roll equal their strength then you win, if a monster is particularly tough then you may need help. Should another hero be in the same space you will gain +1 to your die roll, in addition other players can discard cards matching your hero to give you further benefits.

The app tells you which 4 colours you scanned and which constellations they relate to, just not in specifics.
Rising 5 is a game that I really enjoyed the puzzle is a fresh take on an old classic, there is enough restriction on changing the tiles to keep it difficult, but enough clues available to keep it solvable. The game in between is a solid card-driven adventure game, though the combat being dice based did surprise me. Particularly that you can assign a large amount of resources to a fight only to roll the eclipse icon and have it all be for nought. That kind of luck seems out of place in a puzzle game. 

The major issue is that the apps scanner can suffer from certain lighting, the scanner uses a small piece of cardboard to get a reference of what each of the colours looks like in the current light. While this should provide an accurate scan, if your light is straight above your game table then the shadow of your device can break this system. This in turn can completely ruin the game, if one round the game though you swapped in purple when in reality it was blue then things are only going to get confusing. That being said the app does keep a manual record of all scans that you can review, and you have the option to manually place the runes in position on the app if you are in a poor light situation.

Overall this slight issue isn't enough to ruin a really unique game. Rising 5 is well worth picking up for it's unique take on the cooperative genre. I enjoy having the extra challenge of solving the puzzle without reviewing the app history, having to remember which runes you have placed where makes the puzzle a far greater challenge over the 60 minutes or so you will be playing.


Rising 5: Runes of Asteros was a review copy provided by Asmodee UK. It is available for an RRP of £43.99 at your friendly local game store or can be picked up at http://www.365games.co.uk/.

No comments:

Post a Comment