Review – Aeon’s End: The New Age
Every day we're (not) shufflin'...
|Jenny Iglesias, Nick Little, Kevin Riley
|Indie Boards & Cards
Aeon’s End: The New Age is a standalone sequel to the original Aeon’s End. Players will still have a mage character that they play as while they build up a deck of cards to help them fight back the evil Nameless bosses and their minions from attacking their home of Gravehold. Gameplay consists of deck management, coordination, and planning your spells and attacks. So, is this a successful trip to save your home, or should you have just left the spellcasting to the professionals? Read on for the review!
The New Age shares a lot of DNA with the original, so I won’t spend a lot of time rehashing the rules, but here’s the basics: You start with a choice of 4 mages, all of which have different starting cards and abilities. Some even have specific Breaches that provide bonuses when a spell is cast from them, for example Taqren has one that gives +1 health to Gravehold. Players still won’t shuffle their decks, so hand management and what order you put your cards into your discard is a big deal – oftentimes I would try to make sure I’d have a spell on the top of my discard deck to take advantage of a certain card that gave me a bonus if that was the case.
Gameplay is largely the same, but what’s different is how players interact with the game in-between sessions. New to the game world of Aeon’s End are Treasures, Barracks, and the Expedition Deck. Treasures are cards that players get to add to their decks, either taking the place of certain spells or in the case of some higher-level treasure, they’re a shared card that provides bonuses to everyone when triggered. My level 3 treasure gave me an Aether (Aeon’s End’s currency) whenever I gained a spell card. Other treasures give you opportunities for extra damage, or healing, or boost your spells.
The Barracks is where you’ll store all your extra New Age content when you’re not using it, or not playing. It has dividers to make setup and teardown easier and a much quicker affair (addressing one of my colleague’s only problems with the game). While it’s not a huge deal so far, I could definitely see the Barracks being extremely helpful if one bought several expansions and you wanted to keep them all organized.
The Expedition System is a deck of cards that will lead you through a 4-game story that explains what’s happening and links the fights together in an overarching story. It also directs you when and how to open the 7 envelopes and 11 sealed decks so you’re constantly getting drip-fed new content in the form of new cards, Mages, and Nemesis. They even included a First-game setup sheet and “End of Expedition” booklet that explains where to go after beating your first Expedition. For instance, players have the option of tweaking the difficulty of each Nemesis battle by upgrading the enemy’s cards, or they can play with variants or randomizers to make each decision different. There’s even instructions on how to reset the game back to the beginning, if you wanted to do so.
In the end, I liked my time with Aeon’s End: The New Age, even if I wished there were more than just the 4 bosses in the box. Each one was a fun and different fight, I just wished there were more. With all the different mages you have access to by the end of the Expedition, I feel like the player customization is high but when you’ll be facing the same 4 bosses without buying any extra content, it makes me wonder about replay value. That, however, is a minor gripe because I did enjoy the gameplay and working with my fellow mages. When you can get cards that start boosting each other and playing off-turn because their spell triggered something in your hand – it’s a lot of fun. I will also agree with our review of the first Aeon’s End that it’s probably best with 2, as 3 or 4 will start to drag in the downtime department. Aeon’s End: The New Age is a lot of fun, and any new Mages looking for a fun non-shuffling deck builder should check it out!
Want more Aeon’s End? Check out our review of the original HERE.
Want more shuffling and competition in your deck building? Check out our review of the newest Clank! HERE.
The Bottom Line
A lot of fun, and any new Mages looking for a fun non-shuffling deck builder should check it out!