Assassin’s Creed is no stranger to card- and board-game mechanics. The series has been featured in a digital collectible card game (Assassin’s Creed: Recollection) and miniatures (Heroclix). Now, the franchise is getting a board game reminiscent of the video games’ multiplayer component.

Assassin’s Creed: Arena is a competitive board game for two to four players from Cryptozoic (Penny Arcade The Game, Batman: Arkham City Escape). Set in Constantinople, players will manage their hands to perform actions, however the cards also represent life.

The cards will enable movement and attack. Other cards can allow you to counter an enemy assault. Turns can also be spent to hide and draw more cards into your hand.

Players will need to watch out for guards, which can confound attempts to attack other players. Event cards, which have global effects on the game come in and out of play, forcing players to adapt to new conditions.

Cryptozoic is releasing the game on February 26. You can pre-order from the company’s site for $50.

[Source: Ubisoft]


Our Take
I’ve played very good video game-inspired board games (Gears of War) and some less enthralling installments (Resident Evil Deckbuilding Game). Assassin’s Creed: Arena uses mechanics that I like, especially the “cards in hand represent life points” implementation that forces players to make hard decisions throughout the game. 

The art is a bit sparse, and the board is lacking in color and definition (at least from the images). Good visuals are important on the table, but they can be overcome easily with solid gameplay. I’d be interested in trying this one out.