Ascension: Return of the Fallen

RotF1

Today Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer has released its first official update, with a bunch of updated features, but also its first major expansion. However, rather than being treated as a simple expansion, this is a game that can be played as its own game in its own right. However, this is not a separate app, but offered as an in-app purchase of the original game. So you can combine the original with Return of the Fallen, or just simply play either alone. Note though, that RotF by itself can only played as a duel for two players.

The story of Return of the Fallen refers to the second chapter of this setting’s narrative. Samael, the Fallen One, has returned in his true form and has intentions on obliterating your world. The task of the players is ostenstibly to overcome his obstacles, assemble a mighty army, and end Samael’s reign once and for all.

Features

As an expansion of the original game, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, there is the continuation of the mechanic for building a centre deck with heroes, constructs, and monsters. Each turn a player recruits either heroes or constructs, or defeats monsters for the ultimate purpose of amassing honour (victory points).

Return of the Fallen includes 65 new cards in this expansion, and before buying the in-app purchase you can preview all the cards to see if even like them. There is roughly about 6 new types of cards for each of the four factions of Lifebound, Machina, Enlightened, and Void, as well as 7 new monsters (including the aforementioned Samael the Fallen).

It’s clear from a casual scrawl through these new cards and a couple of games using them solely and mixed with Chronicle of the Godslayer that they blend. This will undoubtedly save the good people at Blendtec line of blenders a question or two, and hopefully a deck from experimentation.

There is a new mechanic that is introduced in a number of the cards, which is a Fate mechanic. Its effect occurs as soon as it is drawn and placed into the centre row. This effect will befall all players equally, and reflects the dominant theme of each of the four factions (draw cards, banish cards, etc). One card that I was particularly impressed in seeing implemented was the Great-Omen Raven, which allows you to name a card, and then draw a card giving you honour if you guessed right. I was fearing that it would just great a list of all available cards, but instead opens a side scroll of all the cards in the remaining deck, and how many of each.

Verdict

Whether you’re new to Ascension, or whether you’ve simply exhausted the possibilities of gameplay for Chronicles of the Godslayer, this expansion will open you up to a much more intriguing and complex style of play. It you happen to be a casual player, for a couple of dollars, there are worse ways to spend an evening or two.

Keep your eye out for the next installment of Ascension: Storm of Souls, in a couple of months I expect.



There are 7 comments

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  1. VyC

    I’d love to play this game more, but the artwork of the cards is SO BAD, that I lose interest in the game whenever I launch the app. It’s really a pity that such a good game design is led by somewhat uninspiring artist :/

  2. Matt VanAndel

    @VyC I actually really like the artwork. It’s somewhat reminiscent of ancient tapestries, which I think may have been the artist’s intent. It’s also suitably alien, which fits the theme excellently IMO.

  3. Alan

    Agreed with Matt. I was introduced to Ascension when I bought Return of the Fallen at my friendly, local gaming store *purely* because of the art. It’s thematic, vivid, imaginative, and full of texture. I was disappointed when I got the original game, and it wasn’t the same art style. Lunar Stag for the win!

  4. Answulf

    I agree with VyC – TERRIBLE artwork, one of the worst I’ve ever seen on a card game. Good game though… You are missing out if you don’t play it just because of the art.

  5. Ascension: Storm of Souls review at iPad Board Games

    […] Something that is noticably missing is the option to integrate the Chronicles of the Godslayer and Storm of Souls. The physical game can be combined with the original to suit a game with players of up to four to six players (thereby being an expansion). For this option to be taken to its logical conclusion, the makers would have to allow an option for six players. Undoubtedly, this would be undesirable for most people who are wanting to play the game with the quick delivery the iPad offers. Nevertheless, you’d imagine that this would be an option for a four player game, but this does not seem to be the case. However, you can combine Storm of Souls with Return of the Fallen. […]


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