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Game review: Krosmaster: Arena has lots of charm

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9 2013 3:16 p.m. MDT

Krosmaster: Arena has a 3D game board with trees, crates, bushes and highly detailed miniatures.

Courtesy of Japanime Games

Part of the fun about board games is the bits and parts that come in the box. Sometimes a game that is visually appealing is more fun to play. Krosmaster: Arena by Japanime Games contains eight of the most beautifully decorated anime miniatures I've ever seen. Each one represents a unique warrior that goes head to head with other warriors in a 3-D arena right on your tabletop.

A pair of cruel demons have summoned some of the greatest warriors from around the "Krosmoz" to fight in an arena. Each character has its unique powers and abilities. Players begin by choosing a team of warriors to compete with. The game allows for two or four players split into two teams. To win, only one player may have figures left in the arena or the player must be the only one to possess gallons of glory.

The full-color rulebook is extremely well done and features a multi-stage tutorial that introduces new rules a step at a time. To learn the game, a player actually sets up the tutorial game right in the rulebook and plays along. Upon tutorial graduation, a full double-sided game board is populated with 3-D bushes, trees, crates and, of course, the awesome figures.

The charm of the game centers around the miniatures. Each highly detailed character figure has a card featuring its special abilities, health, movement and action points. Some characters can summon creatures, attack from a distance, swap places with other figures, leech health or plant water bombs. Spread around the arena are kamas (money) that can be collected and used to buy rewards that grant additional special powers.

There is also an online version of the game at www.KROSMASTER.com. On the site, players can gather warriors into their collection and send them off to battle against other players from around the world. A person will need to create an account and login to play. There is a free online tutorial that can help you understand both the digital and cardboard game.

The game is marked for ages 14+, I think mostly for the complex nature of the game. The theme is set in a fantastical universe with creatures, demons, spells and weapons. Some of the figures have scanty costumes on. Overall the art is whimsical and created in a Japanese animation style. Additional figures can be purchased in add-on packs. Pictures of all the figures can be seen online.

Ryan Morgenegg is a multimedia specialist for the Deseret News.

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