Get Playing in Rynaga with the Iconica Card Game

August 27, 2012 by dracs

Well I’m back from my hols, a time when I enjoyed sun, sea, surf and a card game which I have been wanting to look at for ages. It’s time to delve into the World of Rynaga with Iconica!

Iconica Cards

Now for those of you who don’t know, Rynaga is a visual and narrative concept by writer and artist Eric Torres. It involves a variety of artistic endeavours and stories set in the fully fleshed out fantasy World of Rynaga.

World of Rynaga Map

This is a land formed around a Heart of Fire, the source of life on Rynaga in much the same way our sun has shaped our life, and populated by a wide range of diverse races and peoples.

Iconica Night Watcher

One of the things that makes Iconica stand out is of course its vibrant artistic style.

World of Rynaga

The Carapid Hunters

This unique art style really serves to back up the great detail of narrative which surrounds Rynaga and definitely singles Iconica out amongst all the other fantasy card games which are out there.

But, with such a rich amount of artistic resources to draw upon, just how does the game Iconica shape up?

Yeah, it’s pretty good.

Iconica Game pieces

Iconica is a turned based, strategy card game, with an element of randomness added through the use of dice. Each player chooses a team of three character cards, each with a variety of different abilities and character traits. They then take it in turns to act, rolling the dice to see which actions their characters can perform this turn. The winner is the one who kills the other player’s team first.

Iconica Starter Set

The strategy element comes from forming your teams from the various factions available, choosing characters who are able to back one another up, while ensuring that, whatever the dice roll, you should be able to perform a useful action (unlike myself, who just chose my first team by the artwork I liked best only to find that all of their good abilities were only available with low dice rolls).

In some ways this form of turn based strategy, coupled with the effects of various abilities and the general fantasy aesthetic, reminded me of the first few Final Fantasy games, only with the dice roll forcing an extra element of adaptability upon the players. Anything that reminds me of Final Fantasy is OK in my book.

First Iconica Set

All in all I found this game to be rather enjoyable. The dice mechanic, coupled with the brilliantly colourful artwork (how can you not love it), brings a real element of originality and freshness to what might otherwise have been a rather tired concept.

The rules are also very simple to pick up, while at the same time possessing a deeper intricacy to explore once you have got to grips with the basics. I even managed to teach my younger cousins to play this and they don’t even particularly like such card games (didn’t stop them beating me every time though).

Rynaga Traveler's Collection

On the other hand, Iconica is by no means perfect. The game can easily become repetitive, as you quickly work out which characters’ ability is best on a particular dice roll early on in the game and start to over use them.

The characters themselves can also prevent a problem, as the game often seems to be in the favour of those which are heavy hitters with plenty of life, while characters with less life who focus more upon disruptive effects like poison quickly become a juicy target.

However, these faults should not put someone off from trying this game at some point. I would definitely recommend it to any fans of fantasy gaming who are looking for something fresh and original to try.

Have any of you tried this game before? What are your impressions of it? Would you like to give Iconica a try?