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REALMS of WONDER  Published by Tactic/Mindwarrior Games Designed by Max Wikström  RRP £29.95

REALMS of WONDER is due for release in August and is scheduled to be TACTIC's
showpiece at Spiel, Essen in October. Recently I played one of the rare prototype copies
and would like to share my first impressions.

After reading the rules and seeing how the game plays my first thought was that Realms
of Wonder utilises numerous mechanics from other games such as a revolving board (it
has two parts that revolve), landing on spaces containing face-down event tiles, turning
these over and reacting accordingly (collecting a card or item, fighting a monster etc), or
getting to the centre of the board with the correct resources.

This is not a bad thing as, let's face it, most of the best mechanics have already been taken,
plus the current trend is to meld the best parts of several games together with a good theme.
Realms of Wonder does all of this, combined with exceptionally good graphics.

The rules booklet isn't as large as one might expect for a game with so many components
but probably because it is translated into English it could do with proof-reading and maybe
rephrasing. Something it definitely needs are reference sheets to define the cards and tiles.

Combat is very much part of the game, either against the monsters - Dragon, Eye Monster
and Vampire - or the other players. It is basic and fast. You play cards to modify your die roll
prior to making the die roll and the winner is the character with the highest total. If  you win
against a monster you gain a reward depending on which monster you fought, if you lose any
combat you return to your Home Castle or any Stronghold you have built. The game is designed
to be played in under an hour despite the number of options players have at their fingertips each
turn.

The player characters are plastic miniatures that are very nicely sculpted and detailed. Each of
the characters has its own starting space and special ability - these are one shot only unless you
find a spell that lets you have a second shot - but none of the spells are particularly powerful and
most seem to be available for all players as spells if you are lucky.

REALMS of WONDER will soon be available in the UK from an exclusive English distributor.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015