A new board game combines the one-on-one competitive cardplay of Magic: The Gathering with the art-fight arena battles of video game Splatoon - with a dash of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s chain combos thrown in there, too.
Re;Act: The Arts of War comes from designer Chris Lin, who melds the card game duelling of MTG with a grid board on which the players control standees representing two clashing artists and their minions. Publishing Re;Act is Brother Ming Games, the studio founded by MingYang Lu - creator of impressive fan-made board games for Fire Emblem and Persona 5.
Each character has a set of unique moves, which can be activated by exhausting their standees on the board and/or playing cards from their personalised deck of actions.
Performing an ‘intent’ action creates a chain of cards tracked at the side of the board, which can be built up into a string of ‘reaction’ effects by both players before being activated in reverse order - not unlike the combo chains seen in the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game - making combo play central to the gameplay.
Each player is aiming to deal three damage to their opponent first, and can play as many cards as they want on their turn - but only draws one card each round, making hand management key.
Playing three cards to form a character’s ‘masterpiece’ - represented by a panoramic image across the trio of cards - allows a character card to flip to their ‘ascended’ side, increasing their abilities and power. Illustrators wickedalucard and loxtix provide the game’s expressive anime-style artwork.
The roster of eight playable characters spans a variety of art forms, including a calligrapher who utilises ink splashes on the board, a ripple-forming dancer who can summon fish with their moves, a painter who swaps her deck of cards for a pool of dice, a graffiti artist who tags squares on the board with teleportation portals, a sculptor able to summon clay allies, a blood-wielding tattooist who withstands pain, an animator who creates summons from sets of frames and a fortune teller who plays cards facedown to the reaction chain.
Each character has their own distinct play style embodied in their standee and card actions, from the calligrapher’s board-wide manipulation to the tattooist’s ability to equip different tattoos to swap powers.