Rising Sun by CoolMiniOrNot on Kickstarter is rising in popularity and people are going nuts for the up and coming board game. Recently, they uploaded a full series of gameplay videos to their Kickstarter page and showed off just how the game mechanics should work and it’s freaking amazing.
First, the artwork to the game is incredibly intricate and gorgeous. Each figure is crafted to fit the style of each of the five clans (koi, dragonfly, bonsai, lotus, and turtle) and no two oni figures look the same. The oni are also significantly larger than the human-sized pieces and it adds to how ominous those figures are when in play on the board. I mean seriously, look at this scale:
Now, I realize that aesthetic only goes so far; there are many games with great designs but the games themselves aren’t actually enjoyable. But, upon watching the gameplay video, this game seems to be highly strategic but also highly engaging. Rising Sun allows for varying strategies and a lot of table talk. It can be played with anywhere from 3 to 5 players and each player picks a different clan with a different ability; for example, the Turtle clan gains mobile strongholds but the Dragonfly clan can fly to anywhere on the board.
The game is played in four seasons and it ends when winter comes around. Every season has a Political Phase and War Phase. The Political Phase focuses on political mandates and political alliances; during this phase, players are encouraged to form and/or betray alliances to gain different benefits. During the War Phase, players duke it out on the board for different territories. Allied clans do not fight each other during the War phase. This allows plays to talk, plan, and decide if they want to play more honorable or less honorable and there is no wrong way to play the game. In the video, one player makes it to second place with high honor in spite of her betrayal and the player who won had the least honor the whole game but never betrayed anyone.
This brings me to another mechanic that ended up being incredibly fascinating was that Honor was a tangible way to gain points and keep yourself in the lead. Having less Honor meant access to nightmarish oni but being more honorable meant gaining better and more interesting political mandates. Like I’ve said prior, there is no right or wrong way to use or lose your Honor.
Overall, the game reminds of games like Risk or Civilization; it is all about total domination either through diplomacy or war and it’s incredibly intricate in its varying strategies. I would say that Rising Sun seems to have a lot of replayability and you would never play it the same way twice, which is nice for a game of this style. It also never seems to grow repetitive, which is something that people often complain about with a game like Risk; with the encouraged table talk, it kept itself engaging and interesting to see what the outcome would be. I’m definitely excited for this game and cannot wait to get my hands on it and try it out.
Be sure to check out Rising Sun’s Kickstarter and see for yourself how awesome it is.
What do you think of this game? Are you excited to try it out? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Credits: CoolMiniOrNot (Overlays by Blythe Wiedemann)