The Daily Worker Placement

Monday, May 23, 2022

Preview: Ryozen

by | published Thursday, December 16, 2021

Recently I got the chance to preview a game on Tabletop Simulator called Ryozen, which is coming to Kickstarter early in 2022.

Ryozen, which is being published by Tabula Games, is designed by Martino Chiacchiera and Michele Piccolini with art by Andrea Butera. The 2 to 4 player game is a worker placement game that has a layered rotating board. The game is played over three rounds, each of which has  three phases: Daytime, Nightime and Dawn. 

During Daytime the players in turn put their Kin, or workers, out to one of the six gate sectors or the palace sector. When Nighttime comes players compare their influence in each sector to gain rewards. At Dawn everyone reclaims their Kin.

So most of the gameplay decisions happen during Daytime. Some of those decisions include gaining resources (coins, scrolls and sparks), using resources to get points and upgrading your Kin. There are also Revelation cards, which if you acquire can make certain actions stronger or easier to accomplish; and Event cards, which can ruin all of your good plans unless you deal with them.

While worker placement is the bulwark of Ryozen, area control and set collection are vital aspects of the game. The winner of the game is based on who gets the most points, or as the game calls it Prestige. You will be getting Prestige through your Daytime Kin/worker actions, and also through collecting sets of shards, which you acquire for having the most influence during Nighttime. 

The game I played was a four-player game (note there is another side of the board for two players and a solo player version that is still being finalized) and I found Ryozen was a tight worker placement game. However, the Palace sector, where anyone can place at anytime, means even if you can’t get the exact placement you want there is still a good option. Where you place your Kin, which Kin you use, how you use them (you can place them face up or face down, with face down counting double towards area control influence) and when you place your Kin, will determine how well you do in the game.

Ryozen is listed as a 20 to 60 minute game, which seems doable if you are playing with experienced players, but with new players it will go longer. While I only got one game in, I do see Ryozen having a good deal of replayability, as each game will be different based on which Kin are available to be recruited and which Event and Revelation cards come out.

Playing over Tabletop Simulator is a good way to get an idea of gameplay, but I am very intrigued what Ryozen will look like on the table. What I’ve seen of Andrea Butera’s art looks very good, and I really want to see the Palace sector in person. Based on Tabula Games’s other productions, such as Barbarian: The Invasion and Icaion, I am optimistic they can pull off the production quality that they are pitching for Ryozen. I imagine the game will have a wonderful table presence with the large rotating Palace sector in the centre and the double-layered Gates sectors.

For anyone interested to find out more about Ryozen, check out the website https://tabula.games/ryozen-coming-soon. Also if you are interested in playing the game on Tabletop Simulator, there is a closed beta that is accessible through an invite to Tabula Game fans. Subscribe at: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/350610/ryozen to get more information on the digital prototype.


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