PSA:So Its fire prevention week here in the US so everyone replace those smoke detector batteries and go over the plan if there is a fire with the family. Also its no coincidence that the Great Chicago fire happened this week in 1871. The Great Chicago fire leveled 2,000 acres of the city. This spurred a revolution in building codes focused on safety and subsequently lead to the amazing architecture that is throughout the city of Chicago. For those of you in the woods on the west coast our heart is with you as this fire season has been tragic.
With all this fire in mind I am bringing you a review of Fire Tower with the Rising Flames expansion from Runaway Parade Games. Much Like General Sheridan fought the Great Chicago fire by blowing up buildings before the fire could spread through them and all the brave fire fighters in the west that are fighting the forest fires there, we will fight fire with fire in our review of Fire Tower: Rising Flames
Fire Tower was a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2019 and in 2020 the expansion Fire Tower: Rising Flames funded through kickstarter. Today I am reviewing the expansion, specifically the solo variant.
The components in this game are 🔥. Well specifically the 135 fire gems that come in a nice cloth bag. The base game comes with those gems the cards to play a 2-4 player game, and a bunch of other nice components like the wooden firebreak tokens and the marbled wind direction D8.
The board has a beautiful forest art that is pictured from the lesser used perspective of looking down at the forest. Each corner of the board has a tower that serves as each players home base. The object of the game is simple to be the last tower standing. There are 4 spaces in the middle of the board that are the "eternal" flame, It was always burning, since the world's been turning
The board has a beautiful forest art that is pictured from the lesser used perspective of looking down at the forest.
The single player game has the same objective but there are no other players so you will be using an "Inferno Deck" to fan the flames in your direction. The inferno deck consists of only 5 cards that are used right before the person playing takes their turn. When these cards are all played a new round starts and they are shuffled and a new deck is formed. However to make things difficult there is the solo deck that adds in tasks or hinders the player in some way. You get your choice between two cards drawn off the top each round. The trick here is you only have the 5 turns to complete the task or you have lost the game. Some of these cards are a lot harder than others.
While you are dealing with the solo cards you also need to protect your tower and fan the flames towards those other towers. The only way you win this is by burning down those other three towers. There are 7 levels of difficulty to choose from in the single player variant. I chose to jump right in at 5 and succumbed to the flames with only burning down one of the other towers.
There are fire hawks, yea you heard me birds that use fire to trap their prey
The Rising flames expansion also offers some new mechanics there are fire hawks yea you heard me birds that use fire to trap their prey. In this game they help defend your tower when a flame gem lands on them you may move it to another space on the board orthogonality adjacent to another flame gem on the board. You then lose your hawk but hey the fire is someone else's problem now. There are a few specialty cards that help you defend your tower. There is a lot in the expansion including a 5th player mode that allows someone to be the Shadow of the Wood (a vengeful spirit) and since is October who dosen't like a vengeful spirit in the game.
I found the solo version of this game easy to setup and run. Being that my fist time playing Fire Tower was solo there was a bit of a learning curve to get going in solo. If you played this game a few times before going solo I am sure you would get right into it and play through it in 30 minutes. So defiantly check this game out for a quick action packed game that is light weight in rules but has a good deal of strategy in it.
Designed by: Samuel Bryant, Gwen Ruelle
Year Published: 2020
Recommended Ages: 13+
Time to Play: 30 minutes