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Ben Baldanza
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The makers of Train Raider and Mermaid Rain, two quality games that show a good trend for development in Japan, released a card game called King's Blood. The game is lighter than their larger board game projects, but like those it uses some novel new ideas and is produced to high quality standard.

The card deck consists of character cards with three characteristics: a color, a number, and a sex. Players play cards to the center of the table to create genealogies, with the goal to empty their hand before anyone else. One card is played per turn, and cards can be added to extend the genealogy by matching the color or number characteristic to a previously placed card. When two cards with the same color but opposite sex are paired, they have a baby and begin a new generation that is placed one level lower on the table. In this way, multiple generations grow and opportunities to lay cards increase.

Some cards also have events associated with them that spice things up. These reverse the playing order, force players to take cards, or skip a player in the order. The result is an original game that plays quickly. The choice of play is determined by the cards in hand, so the decisions are not great and luck is significant. But the idea is good and the time of play is appropriate for the level of control. This would be an interesting pickup for those interested in the new game ideas coming from Japan.

This review originally appeared in Counter Magazine.
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