Arcana Prophetia Kickstarter Review

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Quick Look: Arcana Prophetia

Designer:  In-house by The Aerie Games
Artist: Nayth Okutri
Publisher: The Aerie Games
Year Published: 2023 (Currently live on Kickstarter – Link at bottom) 

No. of Players: 2
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 20-30 minutes.
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com  

I connected with their design team a few months ago and had a great time chatting and interacting with them. Nothing but good things to say about their approach, personality, and professionalism. I agreed to take on this review and even a preview video for them to use for the game’s campaign. I was fortunate to have a chance to playtest this with them online (via TTS) and also receive a physical copy. I got to say, I felt like I was playing against a Psychic because they anticipated my every randomly picked number with nearly 100% accuracy. When we swapped roles, I didn’t possess the same ability.

For those that know me, you know that I’m not big on luck, prediction, or guessing games. That said, even though this game falls into that category, I think it deserves some attention and you should check it out to see if it could be a great fit for you. If I ended up enjoying it, then there’s more to it than it appears.

From the Publisher:
Arcana Prophetia is an asymmetric, tarot-inspired game where 2 players face off in a battle of wits and prediction.

One player takes on the role of the Fates, who seeks to usher in the end of days by corrupting the pantheon. Standing against them is the Last Sovereign, who attempts to surmount the odds and constantly tries to divine the Fates’ next move.

Each round, the Last Sovereign makes a prediction while the Fates choose a god to corrupt – represented by the Arcana cards. The Fates then plays the chosen card onto the Spread, on either its Corrupted or Sanctified face, depending on whether the Sovereign’s divination proves true. Every god has their own unique effects; flipping, moving or otherwise manipulating other Arcana cards and the Spread. Should adjacent Arcana sum to 10, they will bind together, locking them in place. After nine short-but-tense rounds, the game moves to its conclusion, where the player with the most cards aligned to them wins.

No two cycles of Arcana Prophetia are identical – each of the arcana features three different aspects, and the Fates can choose a face card that warps the game in unique, fun ways. Likewise, while the Last Sovereign often finds themselves on the back foot, they’re not without tools. With a limited arsenal Sigils and the Relic of the Dead God, they must work to have predictions strike true, lest the pantheon falls to chaos.


Disclaimer: The publisher provided the prototype copy of Arcana Prophetia. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.



Initial Impression/ Components:

My very first thought was that I was surprised they fit a playmat into such a small box! There were several thick cardboard tokens that were a good quality and visually nice. The prototype I received didn’t have a rulebook included but I received a PDF version from the publisher that looked like a final format. The art is pretty raw and edgy, but fits their theme. The cards themselves were thick and felt almost as if they were thin cardboard tokens too, but not quite. I’m not sure what will change, if anything, for the final production product but if I could change anything, it would be the tarot size card quality. Again, I had a prototype so that could already be resolved.
My favorite part, in contrast to my expectations, is how absolutely uneven the game is- on purpose. The game is supposed to be an underdog story and one where the underdog can be crushed mercilessly, or have an epic win. They lean gloriously into this part of the design and have done a fantastic job of making one side feel like they are really fighting against all odds. I don’t know any examples of games that are intentionally so off balanced. In spite of that, it is one of the most enjoyable parts of it. A real challenge and breath of fresh air for the genre.
 Least Favorite:
I’m not a fan of prediction mechanics. Even though it works well and is done successfully in the game, it just doesn’t fit my tastes.
– Deck Construction
– Tile Placement
– Variable player powers
– Variable Setup
– Zone/area control
– Prediction

I saw a PDF copy of the rules that should be the final draft of the rulebook. It is really thorough and has a nice FAQ section as well. However, knowing the game, I feel it could have been half as long. As a reference, if someone knew the game, It would take about 5 minutes to explain every rule and situation verbally.

The game plays around a contest of wills and prediction. One player plays a role that is most likely to succeed, and the other player is the underdog. The underdog must choose a number (1-9) each round and attempt to predict the order the other player will lay their hand. For ease of explanation, assume each card is actually a stone and a failed guess gets laid as black, and a success is white. The side with the most of their color at the end wins – the game is played on a 3×4 playmat grid they call the spread. Each card depicts a god with a special ability that will affect the game. Moreover, using the number on the cards, if any two adjacent cards sum to 10, then chains are formed. These chains will prevent abilities or movement depending on how many there are from 0-3.

Here’s a link to the full rules if you’d like to take a look

Areas they did well:
• Unique card (god) abilities
• Variable setup
• Slight influence, but not much, over other player’s choices
• Fresh approach at 1V1 game
• Interesting balancing
• Constant flow, little downtime
• Tokens for small boosts and a movable blocking token
• True underdog feel
• Different art style
• Build excitement/climax to the end
Areas they could have improved:
• I think chains populating at the end of each turn should not apply to chains just formed. It gives little to no time to do anything about the bonded pair.
• I believe the quality of the prototype I received was, or close to, a final product. I would like to see better quality cards and slightly better quality for the box.
• It might be interesting to start with the arch sigil as it’s a unique ultimate ability
This is a sink or swim contest between two players. It’s quick to play and that suits this game well as I don’t think it often ends in a photo finish. One side is likely to overpower the other – pending some great god uses and/or predictions. Their ideal audience isn’t afraid of a challenge, and does not get bent out of shape if things aren’t fair or going in their favor. They are in it for a nitty gritty battle of stacked odds and that’s what they get.
Final Thoughts:
This game won’t be for everyone, and I don’t think they make any attempt to make it for everyone. They go hard for their target audience and let the rest live with it. You can take that however you like, but in my opinion, I’d rather a game that invokes a strong emotional response (love or hate) rather than mediocrity. Funny enough, this is not my kind of game, but I’d still encourage you to check it out because if it is your kind of game, they have a really fresh approach to the genre.
I’ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,
Brad Hiscock, aka Zerility
Here’s a link to their Kickstarter page and website:
Players Who Like: b
After reading Brad’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting ARCANA PROPHETIA: A Game About Fate
will be live on KICKSTARTER until Sat, June 10 2023 6:59 AM PDT, and has surpassed funding goal of $5,497. Check it out and back it HERE.

Find out more at BGG.
Did you back it based on our review? Please comment below letting us know!


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Check out ARCANA PROPHETIA: A Game About Fate and The Aerie Games


Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.

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All of Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”‘s reviews can be found HERE.


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