In another of our regular board game spotlights, Zatu Games reclines on a couch and lays bare its subconscious to a smug man in a scarf, along with its memory of Seasons, the 2012 release form publisher Asmodee and designer Régis Bonnessée.
Seasons is a 2-4 player game about a big wizards’ tournament in Argos, which, sadly, is a forest and not a revered catalogue retailer. The winner of the 12 seasons tournament becomes the unquestioned Archmage of the kingdom of Xidit, as I’m sure you know.
The game combines typical gamblers’ vices cards and dice into a two-phased, fantasy magic-based competitive colour gamestorm. The first phase is the ‘Prelude’, during which players draft cards to create their nine-card deck for the upcoming tournament.
Then comes the woodland event itself. Seasons dice are placed in the centre (one greater than the number of players). Dice offer different potential actions: allowing players to increase the number of cards they may have in play; allowing them to harvest elemental energy to pay to activate cards; turning the energy into crystals which can be used to pay for cards or as victory points; and drawing new cards.
Dice are colour coded by season. The first player rolls the winter dice, then selects a die to keep. The die that is left over at the end of the round governs the speed at which the game progresses, potentially shoving you into the next season and opening up a different set of dice and rules.
Once three bitter years have ended, points from cards and crystals are tallied, and the archest mage is chosen to rule over Argos and the surrounding fauna.
Asmodee is one of the biggest publishers out there. Founded in 1995, their games have won many awards, and they often co-publish with smaller partners to bring us games like Dixit, Splendor and 7 Wonders.
Régis Bonnessée is a French board game designer and the owner of Libellud, which co-published Seasons and is most well-known for Dixit.
If you like cloaks and twigs, buy this game from Zatu!