Some of the students at our popular SISG really enjoy playing this board game. For $15, it's a steal! If your child or you have been thinking about Arena of the Planeswalkers, now is a great time to get the game. I suspect, hasbro may stop supporting it and it will become hard to find.
Before you click buy on Amazon, be aware that w/ shipping and taxes, the game will be $29 (shipping to Ottawa). That means you really are not saving any money and can buy the game in a physical store for $29. If your order is over $35 shipping is free. I suggest waiting until you can fill your cart w/ an order over $35 then this becomes a great deal!
Arena of the Planeswalkers (AOTP) is a board game based on the Heroscape rule set. Wait..what...Heroscape? You lost me at Magic the Gathering, my nerd tolerance is low.
Hey, dont worry, Heroscape is a popular board game made by hasbro and discontinued in 2010. The game has modular parts for building huge maps (think minecraft but on a table), and uses miniature armies to battle each other. Since discontinued, it can be bought for hundreds of $$$ on Ebay, thats how popular it is. So AOTP is very similar but for a much cheaper price. It uses characters from the card game MTG and thats about as far as it goes. The game mechanics are in no way similar to MTG. But this does not matter, what you are getting is a fun miniatures game based on a popular existing set of rules. AOTOP has large map pieces and some modular parts to create varied adventures where 2-5 armies can battle each other. It takes some strategy, lots of communication and co operation if you play in teams. Students who enjoy games w/ depth and longer playing time enjoy this game and the one feature they enjoy the most, HOUSE RULES. The games has so many creative options, you are in no way limited by the rules, a little creativity, imagination along w/ a few friends and you will have a large advenutre sure to keep the kids and adults busy for hours!
AOTP is rules heavy, for the teens who enjoys getting caught up in details, this game is for you. The base rules are very clear and make for a fun game. With 2 or more players, your child will get a social opportunity to communicate and co operate around an engaging game that can take and hour or more to play. For imagination and an immersive experience, I give it a 10/10.
I have bought the 2 expansions and second version of the base game to ensure there are enough parts, armies and maps to create larger scenarios. The game is meant to grow via expansions and the addition of modular parts, similar to Heroscape. So far, Hasbro has been pretty chintzy with extra parts in the box. W/ the addition of a second base game, the maps can now become much larger and armies massive for some truly epic battles. One con with the base game, the maps are one sided. W/ the expansion (see below) you get double sided maps for more adventure options. For added value and longevity, I suggest creating House Rules. This way you can create larger scenarios using all the map pieces, summon larger armies and come up w/ your own goals.
Is the game worth it, yes and no. For $15 it is certainly worth getting. Initially I bought it as a resource for our social group. Having played it a few times, I like it and would own a copy for personal use. It is a game revolving around communication and co operation and attention to details. Socially, its a heckuva fun game.
The base game is a lot of fun. Friends could purchase the expansions to add to the fun thus sharing the cost. My idea of buying 2 base sets and 2 expansions, you would need to be a super nerd or run a large social group like I do. Try the base game out as it's currently on sale and if you like it, I recommend Shadows over Innistrad as the first Expansion to buy.
My main gripe and in fact most peoples gripe:
The idea of the game is for it grow, currently, Hasbro has not brought much else to the table in terms of adding modular parts for larger, creative and more diverse playing fields. As it stands I give the game a 8 our of 10 for fun. The other challenge is the relationship to Magic the gathering, it's in name only. People coming to the game thinking they will be getting a MTG experience will be Disappointed. Lack of growth is the other big complaint....c'mon hasbro, make some stinking parts.