The Average Gamer

Chaos Reborn – Early Access Impressions

Chaos Reborn 1
“Chaos: The Battle of Wizards” was a Spectrum game that I”d never heard of until I spotted “Chaos Reborn” on Steam”s Early Access list. It”s possible that the “Reborn” part should have given it away seeing as every popular game seems to be undergoing “re-imagination”, “rebooting” or just general “fiddling about with”, but still, I love turn based games and this promised magic, spell decks, and a bit of RPG thrown in for good measure.

You”re a wizard with a randomised, limited set of cards (containing both direct spells and creature summons) and a randomised staff. You”re dropped on to a hex-based board with your opponents, and simply put, the last mage standing wins. On your turn you can move, cast one spell and move or attack with any summoned creatures. It sounded easy, until the AI bested me several times in a row.

Alongside keeping an eye on what your opponents are up to, the map also features terrain. This can be used to your advantage to launch ranged attacks from, or to hide behind if you”re being pummelled. Another interesting feature is the “Order casino / Chaos” meter, this is a sliding scale between the two that”s affected by which spells are being cast (each card can be Order, Chaos or Neutral), so an “Order” spell would shift the balance, to yes, “Order” and in turn this would make it easier for spells of that denomination to be cast.

Which brings me to yet another complexity; each spell card has a percent chance of success. Weaker cards are easier to cast, stronger ones more difficult – results can be aided by having the sliding scale in your favour and by supplementing with mana (collected from the board and by sacrificing your cards). Summoning creatures is my favourite part of the game though. You can either choose to summon an illusion of the creature (with 100% chance to succeed) or a real version with a varying success rate based on the above. If you go with the illusion than an opposing wizard can decide you”re lying and zap away your creature on their next go, bastards.

Chaos Reborn 2When you put all of these facets together and then add in a good dose of pretty graphics, funny animations and a generally short play time per match, the result is a really addictive game. You”ll know what I mean if you”ve played “FTL”; the tension, the clenched tummy, and the “ARGH just one more go!” is here in droves with seemingly concluded matches suddenly turning around because a spell failed to land.

“Chaos Reborn” is definitely more fun as a multi-player game, though still being in Early Access means that it can be a little quiet on that front. What I”ve seen of the community is brilliant, with everyone being friendly and zero trash talk. Snapshot Games is also looking to add a ton of features to bring in the RPG flavours. This will include guilds, crafting and player generated maps, along with co-operative play against a boss AI. Even without those elements this is a fantastic game that I can only imagine will improve on each update.

Available on Steam for £14.99 this is definitely a game to keep an eye on.