Arkon Kickstarter Review

Arkon Card Game Kickstarter Review

I was going to start this review by saying that Arkon is a bit like Ronseal, and then I realised that not everyone in the world will be familiar with a wood staining product and its advertising slogan. For those who haven't got a nostalgic history of UK television commercials, Ronseal's slogan was "it does what is says on the tin" and I feel that by describing Arkon as a take-that card game with set collection and bidding, you more or less know most of what you need to about the game, but we have been tasked with reviewing this product and so we are honour bound to tell you more.

Like some kind of OCD Dungeons & Dragons player, the aim of Arkon is to collect clan cards of fantasy races, either four cards of either orc, human, dwarf or elf, or one of each. Of course, it's not a game without a sense of competition and there are only four of each card in the deck and you will be attempting to grab them off your opponent via nefarious card actions or, more commonly, starting an auction were players can bid on a card to add to their collection.

arkon review action cards

Bidding is relatively straightforward. Each card has a value printed on it and you simply bid in as many cards as you want face down. The winner of the bid loses their bid cards but gains a clan, but the players who failed to win their bid get to take the cards backs into their hand, allowing for a modicum of bluffing.

Although this bidding is at the core of Arkon, the majority of the game will be spent playing cards from your hands for a plethora of effects. You will probably know if you are going to enjoy Arkon based purely on this part of the game. There are those that revel in the delicious chaos of playing cards to steal clans or deplete an opponent’s hand, but similarly, there are players who will be ready to flip the table in frustration when they have nothing to counter a game winning move. This take-that card play rally comes into its own with 3 or 4 players, but as a two-player game, there really isn't enough going on and Arkon falls more than a bit flat.

arkon review clan cards

That's not to say there isn't any strategy, as those players who familiarise themselves with some of the cards will be rewarded with some tactical options. My personal favourite was discarding an elf card into a bid when another player needed that card to win, off it trotted into the discard pile meaning that player had to try and burn through the deck to bring it back.

However, Arkon isn't a particularly deep game and just like all games of this nature, you are often at the mercy of the deck. Although the cards are fairly balanced, a few bad draws can lead to 20 minutes of boredom as you watch everyone else play a game.

So, getting back to my wood stain analogy, Arkon plays more or less exactly as I expected it to. It doesn't really do anything particular new or exciting but what it does do, it does well. In other words, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Arkon is on Kickstarter now.

This Kickstarter preview is based on a prototype version of the game provided by the publisher; the final product may look, play or smell different to that used in this preview.
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