Sunday, April 21, 2013

Card Game review - Kanzume Goddess (Japanime Games)






So one of the really cool things about Anime Conji was playing new games. We got to play Alien Labyrinth, KrosMaster, and Kanzume Goddess.  The review is an early review, I plan on updating it more as the boys and I continue to play it. It's fun and I know we will continue.

It was the age of gods and goddesses. Zeus, “King of the Gods;” Poseidon, ”Lord of the Seas;” and Hades, “God of the Underworld” had agreed to separate the sky, the ocean, and the underworld. Athena, “Goddess of Wisdom,” would rule over the rest of the earth.

But the Norse gods were displeased with the decision. They called warriors and disciples to take the world from the Greek gods. The gods atop Mt. Olympus also called warriors and disciples of their own.

During this war of the gods a mass of warriors died and their souls were sealed in a jar.

And now, they are waiting for you to release them.









Overview of the original Japanese version.

Image-196776-full
It comes in this nice tin container.


 Originally a Japanese game, Japanime Games brings the games from other countries to America. Kanzume Goddess was done as a Kickstarter, and now we have a copy of the game. We got to play in the mini tournament at Conji, and Ian and I had a blast. One of the best things about the game is its unique, chaining mechanic.

The chaining mechanic works like so, each of the Warriors, has a colored symbol at the upper left, with two additional colored symbols. The sub-symbols set which color warrior can be played after the first. It is an amazing mechanic, and can lead to long chains of play. When the boys and I played our first game at home, I got a chain of 7 and Ian got a chain of 6.

Image-165531-full

Like most Card Games, in this case, non-collectible, each card has an action, reaction or special ability. The game is part deck builder and part PvP. You play the part of a god of Olympus or Asgard, utilizing priests and bishops (Disciples) as the currency, via faith points, priestesses provide +1 Faith Point, bishops +2 Faith Points. Once you begin collecting Faith, you can begin to purchase Warriors. The warriors are mostly named after the astrological signs, except for the "stars", Noble Star, Fierce Star, etc. Each Warrior has a set of abilities, ranging from basic attacks, defenses, and draw cards; to specific abilities which deal with the Necropolis (removed from game pile).



Image-165533-full

With 12 starting gods, you can play many times and each god plays differently, based upon their abilities.
So for example, Zeus, King of the Gods, is one of the Greek gods of Olympus, He has the Rage and Lightning abilities. Rage lets him skip the play phase and directly attack the other gods with a 1 attack, not extremely powerful but unique to him. The lightning ability lets him destroy warriors in the opponents hand at a cost of energy to himself.  Energy is how you win the game, in solo games, you must drop your opponents to 0 energy or...rise to 25 energy. In team games, one player plays the main god (starting at 20 energy), and the other plays their subordinate, starting at 10. With the goal of eliminating your opponent's chief god.

Image-165532-full

Like any deck builder, strategic play is necessary, and like any PvP game, a good grasp of attack and defense is needed as well. Though nothing like Magic, the chains can definitely make large impacts with the way they play, but in general play is excellent and extremely fun, the boys both picked up on the play in a VERY short amount of time, even to the intuitive point, where they knew exactly what to do.

A note about the art, it is definitely a stylized objectified anime art, with oversized  breasts, and not exactly what you would expect gods to look like. I never thought of any 'godlike' being needing glasses personally, and some of the gods which are traditionally thought of as male, are given female artwork, for example, Poseidon.

Overall I would rate the game a  19 for game play (it can drag a little bit near the end with certain gods). I would caution parents about it, merely for the objectification and exaggerated proportions of the females, so I would say its a teen game. (And I'm sure many teens would enjoy being distracted by the artwork.)

Image-146714-full
Image-146715-full Image-146717-full Image-146720-full

The game retails for $34.95, look for it at your Friendly Local Gaming Store.

Tanto Cuore is also put out in the states by Japanimegames.com, See also the Kickstarter for KrosMaster Arena