In a world of strategy games and tabletop mayhem, it is difficult to find games that are truly unique. A new hero approaches the table: Rise! – the game of surmounting opposition. This title comes in a small unassuming box, but inside are the quality pieces we’ve come to expect from Crash Games. Crash Games published Rise!, designed by Michael Coe, in 2012, after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
An abstract strategy game with a modular board made up of hexagonal tiles, Rise!‘s key goal is to build a trio of towers before the other player can complete theirs. The mechanics are simple. Surround a tile with six other tiles, and on each of those surrounding tiles, place a worker. Once six workers surround a space, it automatically begins to grow. If the workers maintain their position for three turns, the tower is complete. The kicker is that the opposing player may surround your completed tower and tear it down. If the opposing player surrounds your tower, and maintains position for three turns, your tower is gone. If they continue to maintain that position, they may build their own tower in that space!
Rise! is a two player game, and it advertises a 20 minute play time. Unfortunately, I’ve never played a match that lasted less than 45 minutes. This is probably because I’m terrible at abstract strategy.
I have yet to win, most likely because I play against my best friend – a master at strategy games. This does mean that we have fun playing it though. Generally, my erratic play style matched with his cut-throat strategy means that I’m mostly playing a logic game with the goal of delaying his victory as long as possible.
For those looking for a fast-paced, complex strategy game, Rise! fills its own space in the cabinet. For those looking for a simple game, or one that is good to play with kids, Rise! is not your choice. The primary place it holds in our home is as an easily set up game for strategists who fall into the inevitable “third wheel” at game nights.
No matter what role it fills in your game night, Rise! is a great addition, and quite a surprise for those used to tired classics. It has earned its place in our primary game cabinet. I only wish it came with a board in which to place the tiles – they tend to run away on you.
Note: The author received a copy of this game for review purposes.