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Stone Of Destiny Gamefound Review

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Quick Look: Stone Of Destiny


Designers: Guy Morag, Raz Morag
Publisher: Game Out Of Line
Year Published: Launching to Gamefound in 3 days! Link at the bottom of review!

No. of Players: 2-4
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 15-90 minutes.
 
Find more info HERE.
 
From the Publisher:

Stone of Destiny is a fantasy themed card shedding game with 104 cards (52 unique artworks) for 2-4 nobles played over multiple rounds where your objective in every round is to have the least number of points when the game ends thus proving destiny favors you above all others.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review:
 

It was not until I received Stone of Destiny in my hands that I realized reviewing and rating games that rely exclusively on a small deck of cards (similar in size to a 52-card poker deck) is an extremely difficult task.

 

And let me list off some reasons :

1) They often have shallow or simple gameplay that can offer little to no depth.

2) Multiple variations of the same core gameplay, with a lot of overlap between “different” games. 

3) There is seldom anything “groundbreaking” out there in terms of a pure card games. (I know a lot of people would say that M:TG was, but I disagree on this one, and will save that conversation for another time…)

 

I am sure I can think of a few other reasons, but for the sake of comprehensiveness, let me also cite a few games that I can think of that would fit into this category: 

1)21

2)Blackjack 

3) Speed

4) Uno

5)B.S. 

Most of these games use a standard deck of cards, while the other is its own proprietary product, but I think the same general idea applies to all of them ; they are (in the modern age of gaming) very limited in their capabilities. The one supreme advantage they offer is that of size/portability, able to be used in almost any situation. 

But when evaluating them in levels beyond this, I realistically cannot say that I could or would ever rate any of these games higher than a 7 overall. Most if the times I may rate them lower than that, but this only serves to make my point that I feel that as gamplay goes, something often feels lacking when judged in a modern light.

I have no idea what a perfect “10” would ever look like in the form of a simple card game, or even a 9 or perhaps even 8 for me.

So let me just get it out of the way in saying that when I attribute a final score for Stone of Destiny, it is with this in mind ; and the resulting verdict is not the result of flaws in design, but rather one borne of my own uncertainties for the genre as a whole. 

 

 

Let me also get it out of the way that the production value for Stone of Destiny is an easy 10/10. The materials are flawless, with a shiny,  glossy coating on a very durable set of two card decks (to enable either 2 or 4 player configurations), and a great, small box for storage.

The art and assets, again, are an easy 10/10. A visual feast with no blemishes, great and easy-to-understand iconography, and a rule set that makes it easy to learn in 5 minutes await players in Stone of Destiny. Thus, I will refer you to the rules (available on their GF page and website) rather than explaining them directly here, as they are that simple and easy to read.

 

But now, for a final evaluation of the game, where would it fall exactly? Most likely within the same range as all of the aforementioned card games I had listed above.

Before going into gameplay ratings, let me first state what the game does well.

It does a fantastic job with theme. Unlike games like Uno or Blackjack, this is a game that uses its visuals to create a sense of being involved in something other than just a card game. It revolves around the idea of mages/warriors at battle with each other for dominance, and this carries over well beyond the artwork (each card in a “single” deck is unique, but cards will be repeated if you add another deck to add more players).

And thematically speaking, it again creates a sense of being in battle by giving you means to use cards with various icons to attack, negate, repel and block and otherwise punish your rivals. 

If this were Uno, some of these Stone of Destiny cards would perhaps be most equivalent to things such as the Draw Four cards—in general, having more cards in Stone of Destiny is bad, so by forcing your enemies to “Summon” more monsters/cards when you take your turn, you are doing them no favors. Likewise, some of the ways to “deflect” enemy cards could “almost” be considered akin to using a “Reverse” card as a crude (though inexact) example. And in general, players will get penalized for having more cards in their hand at the end of a round by adding more to their score (fewer points is better in this game).

But thanks to the vibrant imagery, Stone of Destiny is easily able to take things a step or two beyond the bare-background placidity of Uno’s thematically bereft art in this regard. 

There is also a way to tally score between rounds (using a provided board and acrylic markers) which can keep things going longer for determining the ultimate victor—usually a game ends as soon as a party hits either 150 or 200 point threshold, and in this game, the player with the least points at the end wins. 

So if the thematic presence is so great with Stone of Destiny, why would I rank it similarly with other small card games?

For me personally, it still has to do with the limitations of using a small deck of cards—It still very much feels like a classic card game, despite the brilliant imagery and production. And I am sincerely hoping this does not come across as a slight or an insult to the development team for Stone of Destiny, because that is not my intention at all.

Rather, I think that the best and most fitting analogy I can think of relates to food and dining out.

Now for me, I love trying all sorts of Mexican restaurants, and make it a point to always try out a new one whenever I come across it.

Now you might think that I would immediately gravitate towards the most expensive and “mind-blowing” item on the menu when visiting such an establishment for the first time ever, but on the contrary, I usually opt for one of the most simple dishes out there—if I cannot trust the restaurant to handle one of the simplest dishes out there, I will not necessarily return to try some of the fancier stuff.

The meal in question is Chile Colorado.

When I explain this to my wife, I often say the same thing I would to you about the many card games I have played; I would never in my mind rate any particular serving of Chile Colorado much higher than a 7/10 for flavor. 

At its heart, the meal is a very simple, yet sincere dish. If one were to attempt to make it stand out and somehow be more “spectacular”, it would cease to be the food that it is and has always been.

I value the meal for the sense of warmth it brings. It is the consummate comfort food. It is already “perfect” with a 7/10 flavor rating. 

Thus, I would apply this same logic to many card games. They are designed to be a simple medium. One should appreciate them for what they are in this light. They might lack the complexity for more colorful board game “dishes”, but they may also represent those times of comfort we grew up with, playing games like Speed and 21 after school every day with friends.

Stone of Destiny holds the potential to be one of such games. With  no gameplay issues I can determine at this time (other than its relative simplicity), I see virtually no reason why the game could not become an instant hit for those looking for an easy way to pass the time with friends.

Thankfully,

7/10

 

After reading Jazz’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting Stone Of Destiny
will be live on GAMEFOUND starting early next week. Check it out and Follow it and or Back HERE and/or below!

 

 

Did you back it based on our review? Please comment below letting us know!
 

 

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Check out Stone Of Destiny and Game Out Of Line on:

       

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Paladin- Reviewer

 

Jazz Paladin is an eccentric at heart — When he is not learning to make exotic new foods at home, such as Queso Fresco cheese and Oaxacan molé, he is busy collecting vintage saxophones, harps, and other music-related paraphernalia. An avid music enthusiast, when he is not pining over the latest board games that are yet-to-be-released, his is probably hard at work making jazzy renditions of classic/retro video game music tunes as Jazz Paladin on Spotify and other digital music services.

CD’s are also available here!
See Jazz Paladin’s reviews HERE.

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