06 Nov A Game for the Long Haul – Seasons Board Game Review
In all my years as a hobby board game enthusiast, my top 10 games have shifted quite a bit. I think back to all of the games that rose up the charts and then, slowly but surely, fell off. Some last longer than others, but every year there are some pretty significant changes to my list. However, there are a few games that manage to stay as time passes. They ascend. They descend. But somehow these games always stay in the mix. One of those games has been Seasons.
Seasons was released in 2012 and I remember when it had just been released. Numerous reviews spoke very positively about the game and made it sound like a “must have” game. Between the super chunky dice and amazing artwork, this game was touted to have it all. I was drawn to it, but wasn’t able to pull the trigger for whatever reason. It had everything going for it and I was still hesitant.
After the game had been out for a couple of months, my friendly local game store (FLGS) offered a demo day for it, and I had to go. If anything was going to help convince me to buy this game, it would be the opportunity to play through it. I showed up at my FLGS 20 minutes early to look through the components, and I was not disappointed. The dice were huge. Instead of pips, these dice have vivid iconography carved into them with black or white paint highlighting them depending on their color. In 2012, there was nothing else like in on the market in regard to dice. Looking through the cards, I was astonished by how original all the artwork was and how emotive it all was. As I continued to look through the components, I began to salivate over the fact that in just a few moments I would get to go on a journey with this beautifully composed game.
Others began filing in with similar aspirations. We all sat down as the owner of the FLGS taught us how to play. We were all wizards embarking on a three-year journey to display the best magic possible. Every year, the seasons changed, allowing us to collect different resources to cast different spells (represented by the cards we drafted). Players get an opportunity to roll and then draft dice. The die that is not drafted determined how much time would pass each round, giving the players an opportunity to menace with the pace of play. As we began playing more and more spells, we created opportunities to interact with other players and design an engine to generate energy, crystals, etc. Watching as the clock was winding down, we hurried to get everything to the table. As time ran out, we fought for every last crystal in hopes of providing the best magic display. In the end, I remember not even caring who won. I just had one thing on my mind: I need to buy this game! So I did.
Ever since then, Seasons has come out to the table quite frequently, especially given its age. The game can be played realistically in about an hour if everyone knows what they are doing, and the game is pretty easy for veteran gamers to pick up. That being said, I have also had success in using Seasons as a step up from gateway games. It hits that perfect spot where it feels heavy enough to make the mind work, yet is quick enough to feel satisfying throughout.
For these reasons, Seasons remains in contention for one of my top 10 games of all time. As my list has shifted over the years, I always find myself coming back to this one for its intuitive play and charming artwork. Plus, who doesn’t love rolling chunky dice? Seasons checks every box for me, and will continue to hold up for years to come with its solid design.