Review: 8 Masters Revenge – vengeance is sweet

8 Masters Revenge - packaging

I have heard, that this is a place, where champions meet every year. For past month, I was hiding in a cave nearby, studying the surrounding area. I know every tree, stone and hole in the rock in here. I could never be better prepared. It’s been many years, since they rode through our village. Maybe they did not want to hurt anyone, but my little sister wanted to see, who’s coming and one of the horses swept her out of the way. They did not stop. I swore revenge on them. I will surprise them one after another, strike them down or die trying..

This is how story of brand new and polished board games coming to us from France might sound. Its name is 8 Masters Revenge. Its authors are and and former one also prepared illustrations for the game. Their work was published under flag of novice publisher at the end of . We are glad, that we got among choosen portals for review copy and because of that, we can now introduce the game to you.

All eight champions, great fighters, have gathered to present you with a portrait on an otherwise white box. This packaging has an elongated format. And welcomes us with white rulebook containing a total of four languages ,eight pages of text each, with rich illustrations and examples of game situations. This seems like a really simple game.

8 Masters Revenge - game is ready

But first we need other components, that are hidden inside, to play the game. Before their discovery, we must find them around in half-empty box. At the very bottom of it lies four half-folded game boards. Each page is devoted to one of the eponymous eight masters. There are six slots for cards on each of them (actually twelve in two rows, six for defensive and six for offensive position), outlined rules of the game and scale of life points, which is same for all. Its length is only graded according to the number of players.

There is also a sheet of tokens to fish out. Some of them will be used for monitoring lives, others to mark effects. Most important thing about the game is but a pile of more than a hundred cards. Eight of them are simple starting images with symbol of a bow (upright palm) and the value of one printed on its both sides.

We’ve got exactly one hundred gaming cards. They are wearing a semi-circle with numbers in it both on the left and right side. They determine strength of actual card both in defense and attack. They differ from each other also in four colors, number of hits in the top and special effect printed in the bottom frame. You should also pay good attention to upper part of the card with black silhouette of a dragon, that will allow you to repay your opponent’s attack.

8 Masters Revenge - game is ready

Each player chooses his character, he puts his board in front of himself and a pair of bow cards to start with. He puts them in two middle positions. From a shuffled deck, each participant gets two random cards with which he will launch into battle. After this, game can begin with a bow.

Players take turns, in which they can choose one of two activities. Peaceful option involves simply revealing two cards from the deck. None of the fighters can hold more than four cards in his hands. In this case, he must terminate drawing even after the first one, if he reaches four. As a bonus for non-aggression, player may also move one injury token to adjacent card or position on his board.

Much more important is attack on the enemy. To start the lunge, you must play a card from your hand, so that its neighbouring with one of the cards already played. You can therefore play it to the right or left of the current group of cards. This also means, that third card, which did not get a new neighbor, must go out. In essence, it represents your fighter has got ready to strike and this card is that attack. Value of the attack is ultimately determined by sum of large numbers (those, which formed a circle) on the cards, that stayed on the board.

8 Masters Revenge - game in progress

But this time its not essential to achieve maximum strength. Instead, you need to achieve with your two offensive numbers same sum, as is number in the opposing defense. Defender finds his value as the sum of the numbers, that are on exterior sides of both his neighbouring cards. In case of a hit, target of your attack must deduct as much health, as there are round cracks symbols in the top of the discarded card.

Before injury is dealt, player has option to block or attempt a counterattack. He can only choose one of these two options. To block, he needs to have card of the same color as is assault card in his territory. Player moves it to the bottom of the game board. This way, however, he becomes vulnerable against another possible attack. On the contrary, an attempt to counter a hit needs to play dragon card next to another card with a dragon’s ability lying on the board. Only by creating such a circle, dragon attack can also be averted, but counterattacks can take on, until one of the players runs out of proper cards.

A player’s turn is now coming to an end, but before the conclusion, he may choose to use the ability of the discarded card. It allows him to put additional damage token to some position on his board (on card or free space). These tokens then affect your attacks is positive or negative values or inflict damage while moving (playing a card) to this place. You can also move cards on your board (maneuver).

8 Masters Revenge - game in progress

In the case, you managed to put same two numbers next to each other (cards may not be of the same color), you can play again. Otherwise, game continues to another opponent and continues, until the indicator of life of all opponents except one drops to zero. Surviving fighter is winner of the deathmatch.

8 Revenge Masters offers a most unique view of the fighting games, we have ever played. It reminds us of the classical digital games. Whether it was Mortal Kombat a long time ago, or Virtual Fighter and Tekken on current consoles. We all know, what this is all about. To maneuver with your hero, deliver wounds and survive as long as possible. But we must admit, there are no quick exchange of blows in here, instead everything is going on with caution of true samurai masters.

Now in capturing this mechanism is this game more than successful. Cards with their continuous journey around the board represent maneuvering of both opponents and trying to catch each other on the hop. If you often attach them to one side, you find yourself on the edge of the arena, from where you will hardly get out. Suddenly your chance to play cards is limited to half (you can attach to one side), just as if you were pushed into a real corner.

8 Masters Revenge - board detail

Playing cards for the purpose of forming pairs with throwing away the third one to activate its effect is a totally unique idea. It brings enough tough decisions to players. You must work well with cards in your hand, because you always have two options to play each of them. Moreover, you must not focus only on numbers, but also on the position of a special effect cards already lying on the table.

Equally important decisions are waiting for the defender, who can successfully block the attack. But he has to sacrifice one card for this purpose and thus actually identify it as the next one for disposal. Otherwise he will be very vulnerable to the next attack, which automatically increases power, if color is matching.

The game is definitely influenced by chance in the form of drawing cards, because you have only a maximum of four in your hands at all times. It is sufficient choice for playing any tactics, but if you have a bit of bad luck, you can get bad cards and be in a small disadvantage. But even then, you can play, because not every attack must necessarily be successful. You may just need to prepare ground for the next blow. In this regard, possibility of combining the values on the cards is virtually limitless and manages to create a feeling of control, which excludes a bit with beginning of this paragraph. But both proclamations are true and valid at the same time.

8 Masters Revenge - cards

But that’s not all, because in addition to the properties already mentioned, game offers much more. Each character has his own special features, that are available to them, once they enter a state of rage (you have placed two cards of the same suit on your board ath the beginning of your turn). We recommend playing without them in first few matches, you get a better chance to absorb an innovative approach of designers.

Although at first glance, game seems especially suitable for the duel of two opponents, it’s not quite true. Rules contain not only a solitaire game, in which you are competing with automatic mechanism, but also a game for up to four opponents. You can compete in teams, but also all against all, when you can only attack nearest opponent on the left hand. However, with employment of card effects, you can also hurt other rivals.

In two players, objective is clear from the outset. With more opponents, lot depends on what the differences are between neighbors. If you have a strong opponent, who is contantly pounding and someone else is weak, he will have a significant advantage at the end of the game (when there are just the two of you left) . Still, game is fun with four and has a great atmosphere altogether. This especially states for a team game, where players can work together.

8 Masters Revenge - board detail

Because card game is constantly pushing forward and number of lives varies depends on the amount of rivals, this game is really played within a half hour. And it is absolutely perfect number for such reckless fighter game. It enables you to pull the snow-white box out quite often, when you have at least little time. Game has a lot of interesting backup options to approach combat. Each match is different in the cards, you have on hand. You have to constantly adapt and try to outsmart the enemy.

Some fights are unfortunately not real. You can never confront the characters, that are located on opposite sides of one board. Perhaps only, when one of your friends had a second copy of the game. Generally, however, such a situation can be considered unlikely.

The game actually has no weak points. If you begin with the fact, that this is a lightweight player versus player carvings, you can not get disappointed in any way. Feeling, that the two cards on the board are your two hands and you have to maintain a good position in the arena to be competitive is simply exceptional. There is no problem to play it with younger players and experienced boardgamers. This game simply knows no bounds.

8 Masters Revenge - cards

There is not much to say to processing. Illustration on the boards of individual masters are beautifully detailed, cards have a clear and functional design. On both sides, you will find numbers printed, so it really does not matter, how are you actually holding the cards. There is more different icons with abilities, but you will pick them up quickly. Otherwise, game does not contain any text. The only complaint may be unnecessarily exaggerated size of the box, but it would then have not a chance to rise with white and majestic color, if it was smaller.

Fortunately, you will surely love to make place for 8 Masters Revenge on the shelf, even if it takes more space, than it could. Its simple mechanism for tactical body to body combat raises unique impression. All this means, that 8 Masters Revenge is yet hidden treasure for all fighters/players hungry for the blood of their opponents.

DesignerLudovic Roudy, Bruno Sautter
ArtistLudovic Roudy
PublisherIELLO, Serious Poulp
Year Published2013
# of Players1 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 1, 2, 3, 4 players
(9 voters)
Playing Time45
Mfg Suggested Ages13 and up
User Suggested Ages10 and up
(3 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(3 voters)
CategoryCard Game, Fantasy, Fighting
MechanicAction Queue, Hand Management, Team-Based Game, Variable Player Powers
FamilyAdmin: Better Description Needed!, Digital Implementations: Board Game Arena
Primary Name8 Masters' Revenge

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: 8 Masters Revenge – vengeance is sweet
Final word
8 Masters Revenge presents a unique approach to a fighting board game, where usually two opponents meet in a ring. They have only two hands at their disposal and use them to deal blows to their rival. By playing cards, they not only attack, but also prepare a defensive spot and by cleverly placing them, they move around the arena. Players can react to attack and even counter it, but they have to think tactically, although their chance of success is sometimes decided by cards drawn. Chances for winning in more players is based also on strength of your neighbour attacking you, which is not so good. Boards are two-sided, so some characters cannot meet in battle. 8 Masters Revenge are adding a tactical flavor to battle in the arena and present a really excellent fun, mostly for two (and two teams of two) players.
Reader Rating0 Votes
tense battle
characters have distinct abilities
different lives according to number of players
team play
battle and defense mechanic with chance to respond
tactical fight
problematic with three players
some characters cannot fight against each other
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