This week in class I had the pleasure of play testing Trapezium Media’s game Deity. Deity is described on Trapeziums blog as “A combination board-card game where the players are Gods or Goddesses, in the style of a polytheistic pantheon, who control the mortal realm and go to heavenly war in the astral realm. The players will gain the resource ‘faith’ by gathering followers in the mortal realm and then expend that resource in the astral realm to summon armies and engage in a turn-based, tiled wargame to eliminate their rivals.” And Boy did I feel like a god playing this game.
I played in a 5 player session with one of the creators and 3 fellow classmates. Throughout the playthrough I became more and more engrossed in this world we were building together. At the beginning of the game each player rolls a dice to determine their gods relation to the other players. This has no impact on the game other than providing extra narrative for the players to do want they want with. For example, my relation was that I am bitter rivals with the player to my right. So I decided to pool all my resources and focus all my efforts on destroying him, which ended up with me winning the game. I did not have to do this but for sake of our narrative I thought it would be fun. I think this is a key element the guys at Trapezium have gotten right with Deity. The narrative is there for players that want it but players that want a pure gameplay focused experience can have that as well.
The gameplay side of thing was quite balanced for a game that’s still in development. Each turn players receive 2 cards each that have an impact on one of the phases of the game. For example a card could allow you to add a follower to a city and remove one of your opponents followers, thus giving you more and your opponent less faith (the games currency) or spawning a minion in the astral plane that could move straight away (when you buy a minion it gets summoning sickness and cannot move for that initial turn). As the game progresses through its 3 phases more powerful cards become available which gives the game a nice feeling of progression and prevents it from getting stale. It also makes you feel as though your god is becoming more powerful and isn’t that really the point of the game?
All in all I had a blast playing Deity. The guys at Trapezium have obviously worked ridiculously hard to be able to create a game that while still in development is already a well-rounded and most importantly fun board game experience.