A few months ago, my friend and local gamestore owner handed me a demo pack of a game he received called Iconica. Knowing I was a game designer, he wanted to know what I thought, because the designer of Iconica lives in the same city as I.
I read through the rules and examined the cards and was immediately impressed. It was easy to understand, and looked quick and fun to play. I was also enamored because I have been developing a game with a similar concept for a while (although more complex and with a different combat paradigm) so I felt I had a small personal connection with this product. there’s nothing cooler than having an idea on your own and discovering that someone else had a very similar idea and brought it to life in a way very similar to the way you would have– it kind of makes you feel like that your ideas aren’t so bad and maybe there’s some hope for you after all.
Well, last night there was a demo night happening at the store, and I had the pleasure of meeting the designer of Iconica, Eric Torres. Eric and his crew were everything I had hoped to find in a local, independent game designer; someone like myself with similar attitudes and beliefs about games and the board game industry at large; along with a drive to just get something they really cared about out to the world, to share something they loved and put their own blood, sweat, and tears into and just share it with people. I was very pleased and honored to discuss Iconica and his World of Rynaga setting for both the game and series of storybooks. It turned out to be a lot deeper and well thought-out than I thought. (Did you know that all the art is comprised of a palette of a small number of simple shapes arranged, colored, and resized to create what you see as knights and archers? Brilliant!)
The game itself is amazing, it is essentially a turn-based RPG between two parties of characters. You select a predetermined number of characters with which to fight, and roll dice to determine what actions you are able to use. Special effects trigger based on how much damage each character currently has (or if they are defeated) and if you roll doubles. I had a blast playing it and the art style is very refined, vibrant, and consistent throughout. It is colorful and eye-catching, and takes about five minutes to learn, and fifteen minutes to play (or longer, if you want to set it up that way) No shuffling of decks or expensive card-collecting here. They sell singles at their events, but each set is fixed and has the same set of cards so you know what you’re getting if there’s a specific soldier you are looking for (although it sounds like he may begin inserting special promotional cards also, so more on that later I hope!)
We spoke for probably a good hour about how each of our own products came about and were developed and what we have coming out soon, like my project “Alchemy”. This is quality work from quality people and true to the spirit of having fun. Hopefully in the future we will be able to collaborate and help each other out finding homes for our ideas. I purchased the first starter set at the venue without hesitation, this game is HIGHLY recommended especially if you want to support the independent game community. Eric has established his own company and handles all publishing himself and with a local print shop. I am trying to talk him into starting some organized play around town and getting some promotional cards out as prize support and trying different ideas like drafting and sealed events like certain other card games that have dominated the market for more than a decade. So we’ll see what pans out!
If you’re trying to come up with an easy fun gift for someone, or are just curious about a new game that I believe is going to become very successful, please check out their website at www.rynaga.com or their Etsy page right here.
Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again soon!