Review written by Chelsea Siaca
The land is currently plagued by war and famine. Omens are appearing and they are foretelling the arrival of the Angel of Death. He will bring forth the End of Days. There are a few chosen ones, they will follow their Destinies and will shape these tumultuous times; they will bring both salvation and punishment. Their choices will shape their lives and world…
Welcome to Destinies
Destinies is a 1 – 3 player competitive, story driven, app supported sandbox type of game. You play as a specific character and each one has their own Destinies they need to fulfill to claim victory. Beware that the heroes’ Destinies can be in conflict with each other.
Destinies is an extremely detailed game. It doesn’t matter what component you are looking at, you will be captured by the attention to detail. The base game comes with 31 miniatures, which will represent either the characters or NPCs that you will interact with throughout the game. The detail on the minis is remarkable for their size. They are not essential to the game, since the publisher could have simply provided tokens in their place and the game mechanics wouldn’t have been affected. However, the minis just elevate the feeling of the game.
The base game comes with 165 cards; 15 destiny cards and 150 item cards. The destiny cards are character cards, which have two QR codes that represent two separate paths the character might take. These will lead them to their Destinies. The Item cards also have a QR code on them. You maybe wondering why the cards have QR codes. These QR codes are scannable and you will need to download an app to be able to play the game. The app is very easy to use and doesn’t feel like a chore. The thickness of the cards is standard and the tiles in the game match that thickness of the cards. The tiles are somewhat thin, and can definitely bend easily.
The remainder of the components are various types of tokens and the main and effort dice. The tokens included in the base game are the coins, the Point of Interest markers, Pairs of Trade tokens, Skill Marker tokens, and Experience tokens. The effort dice, which are purple, have one success hit and numbers ranging from 1 to 3. The other dice are the main dice and they have numbers ranging from 1 to 4.
Lastly, I am considering the insert as a component; it is an understatement how perfectly everything fits. I wish all games came with inserts like this one. I am in love!!!
Destinies is set during a very dark medieval time. The art truly represents the theme of the game. The character art is very realistic and minis match the character art! The QR codes that you need to scan on the cards don’t overwhelm the card art and it feels very balanced. My favorite part of the tile art is how the tiles work together. The tiles have two sides, an explored and an unexplored side. The unexplored has a fog element and a dull color that obscures the landscape. This is the side of the tile that is face up before a character decides to explore that area. Once explored, the tile is flipped to a more detailed and fleshed out landscape. They ensured that the tiles that are being placed side-by-side blend together at the edges, so it looks like one cohesive landscape regardless of the tile facing.
Each player is trying to fulfill one of their character’s Destinies; they might achieve these by exploring, interacting with NPCs, completing challenges, and collecting items. Be wary, don’t get too distracted because your opponents might reach their Destiny first. Once you are ready to complete your destiny, the Finale will be triggered. The Finale is a series of events that will lead to the player fulfilling their character’s destiny, winning the game.
Once you have powered up the app, you will be able to select the scenario and game mode you want to play. Once that is all decided the app will read the introduction of the scenario, let you choose your characters, and assist with the setup of the tiles. Now the game can start!
You will perform the following three steps in order: start of your turn, movement, and visiting a point of interest. The app will guide you a bit during the start of turn; it will tell you that you need to refresh an effort dice or if there are any events that are triggered at this stage. Then you can decide to move or stay in your current tile. Lastly, you can interact with an NPC or Point of Interest. You do this by either tapping the NPC or the Point of Interest token on the app. The app will give you a small introduction and potential actions you may take there. You could explore the location or ask about your Destinies and item(s) by scanning them on the app. Some of the actions available will require testing intelligence, dexterity, or power. You will roll your dice and then determine how many successes you have! You use your main ivory dice (they never get exhausted) and you may choose to use your effort dice, since they give you an extra push. However, the effort dice become exhausted after being used. One die refreshes at the beginning of your turn. Depending on your character’s skill and the type of test it is, you might want to use your effort dice or hold off! The skill success is determined by the sum of all your dice and your skill markers for that particular skill. Example you add your rolls (2+4+1 = 6) and then check your skill markers on their track. If you have any markers on values equal to or less than 6, that determines the successes. For example, if you have a skill marker on 4 and 6, that means that you have 2 successes. Depending how the test goes, the option might disappear but the remaining options might stay around. You can continue moving and interacting with your surroundings until you have everything you need to complete your destiny!
When we first realized that the app was NECESSARY to play, we were a little bit more hesitant. However, we decided to try Destinies. Boy were we so happy we did. The app didn’t take over the game. The app helps you along the journey and helps you emerge yourself in the story, without taking away from the game play. The app takes the place of the DM, it guides you through your journey. The audio track fits in with the game perfectly, whether it’s chatter in town or sounds of the wildlife. We also enjoyed the way the skill tests play out. The mechanics of how the tests are performed are very different to what we were expecting. The fact that you have to manage your skill markers and find multiple ways to improve them, made the game all that more intriguing and engaging.
The most appealing part of Destinies for the two of us, was how refreshing and diverse the backstories and Destinies of the characters were. They were not the stale basic backstories we are all used to having for their archetypes. Their backstories gave them depth and new light. Don’t judge these characters based on their titles alone!!
This is one that is definitely staying in our collection.