The Dawn is coming. The Archmage will rise. Will it be you? Archmage Origins is a card game or 2-4 players ages 8+ From SolarFlare Games. The game plays in about 15 minutes or less and its small size makes it incredibly portable making it great for people on the go or looking for a small filler game.
In the game players take on the role of one of 4 mages trying to take control of the strongest army by manipulating the field of cards and playing cards from their hand in an attempt to influence the monsters. To play the game players shuffle the monster deck and deal it out onto the table in a 4×4 grid. Each player takes a hand of cards consisting of numbered influence cards, a hold monster card, and their unique special ability.
On their turn players may pick up and look at any two cards on the playing field replacing them in the same positions as before or switching them. After placing the cards they play one of their Mage (numbered) cards on the outside edge along either the row or column of the 4×4 monster card grid. Play continues in this fashion until all mage cards have been played at which points the game is over and scoring begins.
Once scoring begins all mage cards in play are flipped over then players flip over the monster cards one at a time. Players add the total value of their mage cards per that row/column and the player with the highest total wins the monster adding it to their score pile. The player with the highest total score wins the game at which point you can play again (or at least we did).
I liked that some monsters had more points or less points depending on which mage you were playing as which made you want to move those to areas you controlled or away from them. I loved the dragon in the game worth 5 points at the end we spent a lot of time trying to control it. The special abilities and hold monster cards added an extra level of fun to the game.
I liked flipping the cards over to move the monsters around trying to put them where you want them. The special abilities were a lot of fun and changed the game depending on which you played as . This is a really good game and I loved playing it.