Way down deep in the darkness of the world, at the very center, lies Hara - a place you can call on when you are at your weakest, most restless, or most frightened. Whether or not you've heard of it isn't the point, the point is that it needs your help! Can you take to the world and face the dangers that threaten this paradise? Or will you crumble at the hands of your foes and the monsters lurking in the depths? It's time to find out.
What Is It?
A gorgeous adventure game when players (i.e. the champions!) race around a changing board to the protect the dying world before them. (Talk about a demanding job, amirite?). Players will explore, defeat monsters, close rifts, and collect energy, to become the ultimate Champion of Hara.
Who Is It For?
The game itself recommends ages 14+ and I'd probably agree with that, or say just a bit older even. There's a lot going on on the board, and some of the characters are kind of complex since they have different and changing stats (like Persephone's fear). It definitely might be a hard one for younger audiences to handle.
I'd also recommend this one to players who like adventure games and things changing throughout the game (the board moves around a little bit, and event cards get revealed throughout which can impact different aspects of the game). It's got a ton of variety so it's bound to appeal to a wide range of gamers. It also has both co-op and competitive modes which is a nice choice to have as well.
Quality of Components
The miniatures are awesome, and I'm obsessed with them. The event/monster cards for each region are a little thin, but there's no excessive in-game shuffling, so they're not bad. There's a bunch of cardboard chits and plastic cubes, all of which are average and fine quality. The boards are big and very sturdy which is great since you do move them around a little. And the colors/art on everything are vibrant and gorgeous; a really aesthetically appealing and high quality game!
I'd say this is a solid 4/5 for your first game because there is so much to take it, but after your first play, it's probably a 3/5 (also depending on if you pick the same or a different champion of course). It definitely gets a lot smoother as you play as it all starts to click together, so one you're familiar with it, it is not too hard at all!
First and foremost, I'm in love with how pretty this game is, because that's such a big deal to me. Another big thing for me is theme and I think that this really brings you into the world you're trying to save and gives you very detailed characters to choose from, so it's great in that regard.
One big thing I noticed, speaking of those characters, is that your character choice is key. I played as Persephone the first time through, for no real reason, and quickly realized it wasn't going to go well, since she thrives after losing health, and I always do everything I can to avoid losing health in any game. So make sure you review your choices carefully!
Other than, that I think think this brings a lot to the table (physically and otherwise) and is definitely worth a try!
Publisher - Greenbriar Games
Designers - Walter Barber, Ian VanNest, and Andrew Zimmermann
Artists - Stephen Gibson, Hannah Kennedy, Jason Piperberg
BGG - boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/174805/champions-hara