I was fortunate enough to get an unexpected demo of Achroma and I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed! After going down to ‘Hidden Gem’ to play a skirmish game of Star Wars Legion, Hen (the owner) offered to show me Achroma, a fantasy card game created by local entertainment studio ‘Realm Runner Studios’ right here in Dorset.
He recommended downloading their app to aid in the experience and explained the game to me whilst it was downloading. It is a simple yet fun game where you spend ‘shards’ (which are a combination of resources and life points) to play cards, trade cards to gain shards and gain/lose/steal shards from the cards you’ve played. Once a player reaches 30 shards or runs out of shards, the game ends. The app tracks the addition, loss and theft of shards between the players and keeps a track of the victory. Whilst the app is not essential to play the game, it definitely adds a nice element and simple tracking mechanism. There are 3 play styles within the game; shard gain, shard loss and shard theft. These can be played exclusively or you can combine them within your deck to create a style to suit you. Providing all your cards are from the same realm (faction) there are very few limits to how you build your deck.
I used one of the basic starter decks and picked the game play up quickly (the app talks you through how to play if you don’t have someone to explain it to you or the rules can be found on the website). Each turn is relatively short consisting of 4 phases each (draw/trade, play, resolve, draw/trade) It’s a fine balance between spending shards to play cards and keeping yourself afloat enough to not run out of shards. I nearly beat Hen twice by stealing/taking their shards but ultimately I was beaten by Hen reaching 30 shard! (Those Dragons are powerful once they build up!) We played the basic Canvas version of the game, but there is also a Heroic version already released and an adventure version on the way.
Overall, I was really impressed, the artwork is simple but well designed, the game play is easy to pick up and the app adds a lovely element to the game. There is plenty of content already released at an affordable price (especially if you split a pack with a friend) and more on the way.