Fire of Eidolon Review

Fire of Eidolon board game review

Year Published: 2016 | Number of Players: 1-6 | Game Length: 30+ minutes

This Fire of Eidolon review was made after playing the game six times.


What is Fire of Eidolon?

Fire of Eidolon is a cooperative dungeon crawl in which you’re attempting to explore an evil sorcerer’s dungeon, destroy three relics, and escape with the Fire of Eidolon artifact. Along the way you’ll collect Tokens of Power and fight off cultists who are attempting to complete a ritual that will send the Fire of Eidolon into the Void.

Fire of Eidolon was designed by Michael Lipton and is published by Magic Meeple Games.


Fire of Eidolon Gameplay

Fire of Eidolon review - components

Throughout a game of Fire of Eidolon, you’ll be moving around and exploring the dungeon. The majority of the heroes have three action points to spend each turn, and most actions will be spent on moving, exploring, collecting Tokens of Power, and attacking cultists. Heroes also have unique Basic Skills they can use throughout the game, and very powerful Master Skills that can be used once per game.

Every time you explore a new Basic Chamber tile, you’ll find one of the three types of Tokens of Power (Strength, Dexterity, and Intellect). You can spend action points picking these up; the amount of action points you’ll spend depends on your hero’s star rating for that particular attribute.

If any hero ends up with six of one type of Token of Power, they can go to the corresponding Special Chamber to destroy one of the relics. If you’re able to destroy all three relics, you’ll want to go to the chamber containing the Fire of Eidolon, grab it, and then get back to the starting tile (Vestibule).

Fire of Eidolon review - gameplay

After a player has used up their action points, the Cultists’ Ritual takes place. During this phase you’ll look where the current Threat Level is and draw that many Ritual Cards. If a card matches one of the tiles that is in play, you’ll place a cultist token there. If you place a second cultist onto a tile, that tile goes into the Void and is lost for the rest of the game. If a hero happens to be on a tile that is sent to the Void, they have to “dive” to an adjacent tile or, if they can’t, they are “lost” for the rest of the game.

The game’s Threat Level goes up every time the Ritual Deck runs out and when the heroes have destroyed the three relics. As the Threat Level goes up, you’ll have to draw more cards during the Cultists’ Ritual.

If you’re able to get the Fire of Eidolon to the Vestibule and all remaining heroes are on that tile, you win! You’ll lose the game if all players are lost into the Void, if the Threat Level reaches the top of the meter, or if it becomes impossible to get the Fire of Eidolon back to the Vestibule.

Above is how the basic game is played. There are also additional Ritual Cards, chambers, and scenarios you can add in to change things up a bit.

Fire of Eidolon review - character standee



Pros

  • There is a ton of content in this little box. You have 12 heroes to choose from, many difficulty levels to test out, and multiple scenarios you can play. There is a lot more game here than I expected.
  • Even at the Normal difficulty level, this game is very challenging. You do learn how to deal with the threats a bit more efficiently after a few plays, but I don’t imagine too many people have a win percentage over 60.
  • The Basic Skills help to make each character feel different from the others, but it’s the Master Skills that really make you powerful. They also help to make you feel important in your group because there’s a pretty good chance that your Master Skill will help turn things around in your team’s favor.
  • It’s also very cool how the Normal and Hard Threat levels work. You actually go from drawing two cards back down to drawing one card at certain points, which means you can time it so you quickly skip past the two-card levels.
  • The box says that Fire of Eidolon is for ages 14+, but I think this is a good family game. It’s a very light game, so older kids should have no problems figuring out all of the actions they can take.

Cons

  • Early on the game can be pretty repetitive since you’re mostly just adding tiles and moving. The action does pick up around the mid-game, though.
  • It is great that there are so many heroes to choose from, but some combinations of heroes are clearly worse than others. For example, if you’re playing a two-player game and both heroes have to spend three action points to pick up Tokens of Dexterity (the green tokens), chances are you’re going to lose. This is not the type of game where you should randomly draw your characters.
  • The one set of enemies that you see in the game are represented by tiny triangular tokens with the cultist symbol on them. I get why they chose not to use standees for the cultists, but bigger tokens with better artwork would have been great.
  • It can be pretty tough to locate the different tiles when you draw Ritual Cards. The art on each card does match a tile, but the colors kind of blend together once you have a bunch of tiles on the board.

Final Thoughts

I wouldn’t say there’s anything brand new found in Fire of Eidolon, but I do know that my group will continue to play it. And that’s because there is so much content in the box (we’ve only added one of the variant chamber tiles so far), the 16-bit artwork is nice, and it’s a really good challenge. It’s also a borderline filler game, so it’s one we can play before moving on to the main course during our game nights.

I actually think a lot of people will like this game. Some have compared it to Forbidden Island since both games have tiles that go away and you need to gather items and get out, but no one in my group mentioned Forbidden Island at all while we were playing Fire of Eidolon. In fact, I’d say if you do enjoy puzzly games like Forbidden Island and you like this theme, chances are you’ll get a kick out of Fire of Eidolon. Also, people looking for a more challenging cooperative family game will probably enjoy this one.


Fire of Eidolon Links

BoardGameGeek | Amazon | eBay


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