Mage Company are currently running a Kickstarter campaign for their coming release of 12 Realms. This is not a completely new title, 12 Realms by Ignazio Corrao already had a successful start as a Print-and-Play game with Golden Geek nomination in 2011. The PnP edition looks very good already, vividly coloured with beautiful illustrations, and the boxed edition kicks the quality up another notch with miniatures of all the heroes, even pre-painted depending on your pledge level.
The heroes, that’s Jeanne D’Arc, Robin Hood, Snow White, the Sugar Plum Fairy and others, because the 12 realms are the realms of legends and fairy tales. And, at least for now, the twelve realms are only four, the other eight will appear as expansions together with more cards and miniatures. The slight downside of this is that, with five or six players, you will be playing on all the available realms – but that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same game every time, you still play with different heroes and their different strengths against different Dark Lords of their respective realms every time. Two of the realms, Silver Kingdom and Fairy Forest, come from traditional European stories and fairy tales, Bone Island is pirate-themed and Cherry Blossom takes you into Japanese tales – all of them with matching Dark Lords and minions, of course.
In 12 Realms, finally, the dark side proves that you can be an evil maniac out for world domination without being a stupid, egotistical, evil maniac out for world domination: the Dark Lords have decided to team up and conquer their realms of interest at the same time to keep the heroes too busy to stop them. The heroes only chance is to team up as well and travel the realms to vanquish evil creatures and collect the powerful artifacts needed to challenge the Dark Lords. You guessed it, this is a cooperative game, the up to six heroes really have to work together and save the world(s). To do that, each hero must use their strengths against the minions weaknesses to destroy them. Fortunately there’s no randomness involved in that, except for one specific class of monsters, for the most part you can plan your turn and don’t find yourself at the mercy of the die.
We found 12 Realms to be on the light side of cooperative games, veterans of other such games will not have much trouble surviving the game. But it’s fun and interesting to play with adult gamers at the higher levels of difficulty while the easy game is accessible to kids who will really appreciate the theme. The Kickstarter pledge level to receive a copy of the game is a bit steeper than other Kickstarter game projects, especially when you include the shipping costs outside the US, but it’s not prohibitively expensive and does come with really neat components – even more of them when the project hits its stretch goals.
If you got interested, please check out the Kickstarter project.