I was at a local convention when I was approached by a man with a interesting game. The game was “RiftWalker” (As shown above) and he was showing it to me because I mentioned my blog. Now, I didnt really understand this game and honestly had never heard of it before the con but I was there to game so I said why not and we played around 4 rounds of it. During this I developed a strange fondness for this kickstarter game and so here I am, writing a Review for it.
Riftwalker, The Review.
Game in Question: Rift Walker
Created by: Angla Hikman Newnham & Julian Leiberan-Titus
A Storm Hallow Game
For 2-4 Players with no recommended age to it. I would guess around 13+ considering the mechanics of it run a little more tricky at times.
At a glance: This game runs off a exploration theme as you go from Rift to Rift exploring worlds. It takes an average of 10 minutes to learn and has a run time of 30-40 minutes depending on card draw and player experience. It is a game of scoring points and claiming worlds and is VERY child friendly. This game should be good with all audiences as it shares a basic concept and a beautiful world. The world itself and the art provided is from the original Storm Hallow game with amazing art and bright colors to show a unique world!
This game is up on kickstarter currently looking for funding! Fund Them Here!
Contents: 15 Element Cards, 52 Rift Cards
The Element Cards are double sided while the Rift cards are single sided with identical backs.
The Element cards have images of the six core elements each color coded accordingly with bright beautiful colors:
Wind – Purple
Fire – Red
Life – Green
Storm – Yellow
Earth – Brown
Water – Blue
These are used as the main economy of the game. The backs are randomly distributed through out the deck with one side being one element and the other being a completely separate element. These are organized into a 3 by 3 grid which is used to house the elements. the extra elements are placed beside the grid and are used through out the game to swap and trade elements.
The Rift cards are shuffled and put into a community stack. These will make the hands of the players and are the main cards of the game. Each Rift has a corresponding color to the elements shown above and the elements are used to play and explore the Rift. Most Rifts only have one element on it while others have two. Shadowlands being the only exception as it has the ‘Dark’ element on it but it is the only exception. The “Rifts” are complete sections of the world where you as the player are to interact with and explore the depths of. Each rift has 2 numbers on them numbering 3 and 7. These numbers represent how many points are scored when you finally “burst” the card and claim it. When you explore a Rift you turn the card and activate its ability. Turning it ups its point value but takes your turn, so plan accordingly!
How To Play:
The goal of the game is to score the most points, first one to claim or ‘Burst’ a certain number of Rifts wins! The number needed is completely reliant on how many people are playing at that moment for my game it was 7.
You shuffle up the Element deck and distribute 6 onto the field in a 3 x 3 grid. The remaining elements are set aside as a element deck and are used in the game to replace current elements or activate certain abilities. The Rift deck is shuffled next and you draw 3 cards. The deck is set to the side and a starting player is determined by player choice (we rolled a die).
The game itself is broken up into 4 main steps. Element, Rift, Burst, Refresh.
During the Element step the play can choose to flip one of the element cards and generate that color OR swap out a element card from the top deck onto the field and generate that color. Proceed to the Rift Phase.
During Rift you may choose to play a Rift from your hand or explore a Rift you already have placed onto the field. You can only interact with whatever color element you chose during the Element step. So, if you generated a Wind element you can only explore or play Wind based Rifts. When you play or explore a Rift its field ability triggers. That effect immediately goes off as the card states. Proceed to Burst phase.
During Burst you can choose to score a Rift. Keep in mind you can only score a Rift that has been explored at least once and put to the 3 point side. To burst the Rift you must have a 3 in a row pattern in the elements. Once bursted the Rift moves tot he score zone and is scored at the end of the game equal to the point value present on the card. Proceed to Refresh.
During Refresh you draw back up to 3 cards and pass the turn to the next player.
Simple, Easy and Clean.
So lets start with the things I liked:
- I love the simplicity of it. It is easy to learn, easy to play and has a low chance of repeating the same series of moves during the game.
- The art is drop dead beautiful! I loved looking at each card and felt like each one was a world I could enter. Beautiful job!
- The concept is amazing, I want to look more into the world of Storm Hallow after playing this as it left me thirsting for more!
After that lets move to issues I noticed:
- For one thing I did notice that on the card “Fire Dancers Revel” it says Replenish. There was no reference to this term in the book and we assumed it was Refresh. If this was the case check cards for consistency please!
- Shift ‘s Ability was unclear in initial description and further information was given in the questions section. I have to wonder why this bonus knowledge was moved to there rather then placed with the original ability.
- Shadow Lands was not clear as it was its own unique “Dark” Element. We couldn’t find in the book where this was explained.
I would say this game deserves a 7/10 Tankards of Rum. It is great in concept and execution but still has a lot of kinks to work out from what I can tell. I will definitely be adding this permanently to my collection and cant wait to see more from Game Salute! With alittle spit and polish this game will go a long way, but it still has a lot to get there!