Tabletop Awards 2022

2022's must-play tabletop games revealed!

Discover all the big winners from this year's Tabletop Awards, from the best board games and RPGs to groundbreaking designers and publishers.

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Artsy two-player board game Re;Act is part Splatoon, part Magic: The Gathering

Two artists face off to build combos, summon units and defeat their opponent.

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.

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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.

The two-player board game will hit Kickstarter later today, ahead of a planned release in November 2023.

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About the Author
Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.

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