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An Age Contrived Preview

an age contrived (1)

Towards the end of last year, I had good intentions. I wasn’t going to back any more games on Kickstarter. I wanted to get away from the cycle of waiting for a game and then being enticed by the newest thing that was coming along. And then I was forwarded a link to a game and my intentions went swiftly out the window. Because this was the tagline I saw for the game. “An Age Contrived. A euro game of engine building and fantasy gods for 1-5 players.” -sigh- here we go again. (In a good way.)


The setting of the game is within the Eldranic Pantheon, where the players are gods, striving to develop the mortal realm and gain followers to their cause. Already a cool theme for someone like me who’s a big fan of pantheonic myths. Each god has their own special powers which are unlocked throughout the game, giving bonuses to the actions they take. How they take the actions is also pretty unique. Each player has a device which acts like a conveyor belt of Transmuter tiles, which are used to distribute energy to different actions along the track.

These actions are Deploy energy to the board, Reposition energy already on the board, Claim a new Transmuter tile from the Dimensional Corridor (market), Recharge your Channel Marker and Move either the avatar of your god around the board or up one of two tracks. You can do as many actions as you like on a turn, or you can take the Advance action, which move all the Transmuter tiles in your device to the right and slides new ones in, providing them with energy.

You’re ultimately trying to create combos on your turns to build out monuments, which magnetically snap onto the board, and to put as much energy out on the board as possible so that the puny mortals follow you. Points are scored for energy bound to locations of the monuments, milestones you can claim throughout the game, and a few other bits and pieces you can discover as you play.

One thing that is becoming increasingly important for me is the ability to play a game before I buy it. I spent a fair few weekends at game cafes and evenings playing games online, so I like to have the opportunity to play a game prior to purchasing. Happily, there is a Tabletop Simulator link for An Age Contrived in the Kickstarter so you can give it a go. So I did… sort of.

Our Play Experience

I sat down with my buddy, Ross, the night the Kickstarter went live to give this game a go. Now, there are a couple of caveats here – namely that we misread a rule which delayed our start whilst we tried to understand it and we had some communication issues with the internet. We also started around 10.30, which for a game which is 90-120 minutes, new to us and on Tabletop Simulator, was probably not the best time to be starting. So much so that we ended up stopping halfway through and going to bed…

HOWEVER! We really enjoyed ourselves, and once we got into the rhythm of the turns, everything went very quickly. I played as Rusne the Bulwark against Ignotas the Keeper and we both went for different strategies, which I think is a great sign of a game. When we scored, I lost but at the time, we both realised I’d set up to have a possible engine to blast up and get a solid chunk of points.

We didn’t rush to build the monuments, which are the end game trigger, as we wanted to explore the game as we went and it was well worth the journey.

Final Thoughts

Everything I’ve seen about this game, both digitally and physically through playthroughs and reviews on the Kickstarter page, is incredibly positive. I liked the gameplay and I liked the unique introduction of physical mechanisms in the form of the mechanical device for moving the energy about for the actions and the magnetic 3D pieces of the monuments. I can see this game getting whipped out at conventions and getting a big head turn for everyone walking past. The artwork is gorgeous and the theme is very in line with something I’d enjoy. I love an engine builder that revs up and throws the powerful combos all over the place, and An Age Contrived delivered that for me.

The Kickstarter is still open, and closes on 23/03/23, having already smashed through their funding goal and all the stretch goals set up at the time of writing. If anything of what I’ve written sounds intriguing to you, I highly recommend you check out the Kickstarter. Even if you’re on the fence, you can always do the $1 level and get yourself in the pledge manager, one of my favourite tactics for Kickstarters these days.