BattleCON: Trials of Indines Review

BattleCON: Trials of Indines Review

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Summary
Game Type – Fighting Card Game
Number of Players – 2
Mechanics – Hand Management, Bluffing
Difficulty – Medium
Release – 2017
Publisher – Level 99
MSRP - $40.00

Introduction/Overview
Welcome to the enchanting, magical world of Indines! This is a world of endless possibilities! Here you'll find unique magic, ancient cryptic histories, epic globe spanning quests, but mostly it's just a lot of people punching each other in the face. BattleCON: Trials of Indines is a game that simulates traditional fighting games like Street Fighter or Soul Caliber. It's set in a fantasy world with all manner of magic and weird powers. Think Lord of the Rings meets Guilty Gear X. I've been a huge fan of a similar game, Yomi, for a long time. I've heard this game described as “the Yomi Killer” for a long time, so I was very excited to try this out and see if if lived up to the hype. Let's take a closer look and see what I found.

Gameplay
In BattleCON: Trials of Indines each player chooses a character with various unique abilities. Each character has two sets of cards, style and bases, with styles being unique to each character and bases being the same for everyone. The characters also have a finisher that they can use when they charged up enough force. The game comes with a small board that has 7 spaces to represent movement. Players set up their character standees in the middle of the board 2 spaces apart and then choose and discard 2 base and style cards in 2 separate stacks. After that you're ready to play. During the game players simultaneously choose and reveal a style and a base card. These cards have a priority which determines who acts first, a power which determines the damage done, and a range which determines how far away you can hit. Some cards will also have special abilities that let you move or soak up damage. After revealing player's damage to each other in priority order, use any special abilities, and discard the cards they played. At the end of the turn players take the oldest stack of discarded cards and take a force token from the force token pile. This pile acts as both a game timer and a way your characters charge special attacks. The first player to reduce their opponent's life points to zero wins.

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Rule book
Everything here is laid out in a manner that is easy to read and they have a lot of pictures to help. There's also a page on the back with important terms. The best thing about the rules is that there is a QR code that links to the publishers website so you can watch a tutorial video if you'd rather not even read the rules.

Theme
For a game about people beating the snot about each other, there's a fair amount of flavor here. The game comes with a supplemental character guide that tells you about the world and has a one page bio for each character in the game. They really go above and beyond with the fluff. It also really feels like a fighting game and all the characters play very differently. Plus the abstracted movement represented by the board adds a nice dimension to what is pretty much only a card game.

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Set-Up/Takedown
Pile up some tokens, grab the box for the character you want to play, and you are ready to roll.

Components
Everything in the game is high quality. The tokens are fairly meaty, the cards are made of good stock, and the board looks great. The game also comes with tuck boxes to hold each character's cards, tokens, and their standee. The graphic design of the game is great too. The use of colors is very vibrant and the art not only looks good, but really invokes the feel of the unique characters.

Final Thoughts
After a few plays I can see why this gets called “the Yomi killer”. BattleCON has the feeling of a an old school fighting game more then anything else I've ever played and even if you don't like fighting games it's a great game in it's own right. The play is smooth and the rules are intuitive. The only thing keeping me from giving this a “buy this game now” rating is that some people may find to price point a little high. I think the game is well worth it, but I wanted to mention it. It would also be a good time to bring up that this is not the only game in the BattleCON series. There are 3 other games that use the same system so if you get tired of the ten characters included in the box, you can pick up one of the other games and add those characters to your collection. BattleCON lived up to all my expectations and then some. It's a beautiful looking game with unique mechanics, and variety that will keep you coming back.

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