Terrene Odyssey brings a familiar spin to tabletop combat card games, combining two great things that go great together. Many players will already by familiar with party-based combat from RPG video games such as the famed Final Fantasy, where the player must determine the best way to maximize his characters’ powers into the strongest force possible. Here this concept explodes onto tabletops, giving players a new way to battle one another for victory.
One key of Terrene Odyssey that sets it apart from other combat card games is that it is entirely contained in one box. Instead of sinking tons of money into building a deck, players can start a game with a quick read through the rules and then crack open one of the pre-made decks ready in the box.
As players become familiar with the system, they will want to make use of the customization rules, building a deck that best suits their taste in combat. This makes Terrene Odyssey a strong contender for gamers just starting out to build their collections as well as for seasoned veterans who want to take on and master a new system.
Terrene Odyssey begins with each player digging through his deck and setting out four Characters to make up the party; an Item or Command bonus for each; and a Terrain card that will give further bonuses depending upon the character. As in most combat card games, turns go in phases of drawing cards and playing them in actions, but the real meat of Terrene Odyssey comes in cleverly aligning one’s powers through the Terrain, the bonuses, and special free actions like trading cards among characters to improve their potency. The game is over when one player has lost all of her characters or been dealt 50 points of damage to her own health pool, and games are played as best two out of three.
While the mechanics themselves are sound and enjoyable, the art in Terrene Odyssey is what make it golden. Along with the cards having clear directions and numbers, their eye-catching images hint at the sprawling fantasy world of Terreria. Characters reappear on Command cards interacting with each other in awesome snippets that create whole scenes in players’ minds. Beyond the cards, tokens keep track of bonuses or damage, giving a three-dimensional feel to the table as the game develops.
Terrene Odyssey is a combat card game for two to four players aged 12 and up. Due to the complexity of the game, younger players may have a tough time keeping up with veterans, but once they have mastered it, they’ll keep coming back to the table. Since games are based on the luck of the draw and the skills of players in deducing clever combinations, sets could be as quick as 15 minutes with one player coming out with guns blazing, or as long as an hour as players carefully ponder each action, battling in a war of attrition until one player stands supreme.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00MU1IJPA]