Chakra - Blam! - Review 1
Chakra - Blam! - Review 2

Blam!

  • Abstract Strategy
  • Set Collection
  • Official Publication Date/ Street Date: 2019
  • 8+
  • 30 minutes

  • 2-4 players

Slow Down… Align Your Chakras

Let the whisper of reflection come to your ear … Harmonize your chakras and let go so that the negative energies run away. 
Meditate on your strategy and let your emotions shape your victory!
Drew Vogel
Senior Contributing Writer. Drew is a tabletop gamer, collector, developer, & writer; IT guy; professional chef & culinary instructor; bicycling enthusiast; and pet lover. Visit his website at www.drewvogel.com

Breathe deeply… Let the whisper of thought come to your ear… Harmonize your chakras and let go so that the negative energies will disappear. Meditate on your strategy and let your feelings guide you towards victory!

Chakra is a pretty game for 2-4 players. In this game, you’re attempting to win by being the first to align five of your chakras. To setup the game, each player assembles the two parts of their player board (cleverly cut in half to fit into the small game box) and places 5 Inspiration tokens on the bottom of their board. The player board’s right side contains seven chakra spaces, three Bhagya bubbles, and an “Earth” bubble at the bottom. The left side shows a variety of moves the player can take.

In Chakra, each player has a board that shows the seven chakras they must fill with gems that represent the energy flowing in their body.

When a player manages to align five of their chakras, the last turn is played before you perform final scoring.

—description from the publisher

Chakra is a pretty game for 2-4 players. In this game, you’re attempting to win by being the first to align five of your chakras. To setup the game, each player assembles the two parts of their player board (cleverly cut in half to fit into the small game box) and places 5 Inspiration tokens on the bottom of their board. The player board’s right side contains seven chakra spaces, three Bhagya bubbles, and an “Earth” bubble at the bottom. The left side shows a variety of moves the player can take.

Set the Lotus board nearby, with a face-down Plentitude token on each spot. Give the First Player token to the player who looks the most stressed. Place the Meditation tokens in a pile next to the Lotus board, and each player randomly chooses one Meditation token. The Meditation token is one of the crystal colors and allows the player to peek at the face-down Plentitude token on their corresponding color. Each Plentitude token has a value of 1-4, which indicates the number of points a player wins if they harmonize the charka of that color.

Then, 3 energy crystals of each color (red, navy, yellow, green, blue, purple, golden, and black) per player are placed into the Universe bag and given a shake. 9 Energy cubes are drawn from the Universe bag and populate the three columns of the Lotus board.

On a player’s turn, they perform one of the following three actions:

  1. Receive Energy
    1. Take: The player takes 1, 2, or 3 energy of different colors from the same Maya Flow (column). If a player wants to take energy from a flow that shows at least 1 negative (black) energy, they must take it, with or without other energy of different colors. Except for negative energy, a player cannot have more than 3 energy of the same color on their board. If they do, the player to their right chooses which one of these 4 energy must be returned to the Universe bag.
    2. Place: All the energy that the player has taken must be placed in the same location.
      1. The Bhagya Bubbles (at the top of the player board) can hold three energy.
      2. Directly on a Chakra. Each Chakra can hold up to three energy, and the chakra is ‘locked’ with an Inspiration token. When it is locked, it is not allowed to place energy directly into this chakra. When the chakra is aligned, it unlocks.
    3. Refill: Refill the empty spaces of the Lotus board with new energy from the Universe bag.
  2. Channel Energy: The player places one of their Inspiration tokens on one of the 8 Inspiration spaces on their player board if there is no token on it yet, then they perform the corresponding action. Actions may be a variety of things, from moving one energy down by three chakras, to moving two energy up one chakra, and several other options. Players place an Inspiration token covering the move they want to make, then make the move on their player board.

    There are movement restrictions. For example, all the moves indicated by the chosen action must be performed. If they cannot all be performed, you cannot take that action. Also, a move is permitted only if there is free space. Each Chakra (and the Bhagya Bubbles) can hold only three energy. If a chakra is harmonized, an energy can “skip” this chakra and not count it as part of the moves it can make. Chosen moves are not simultaneous, and the player chooses the order in which to take them.

    A Chakra is harmonized when a player has collected three energy of its color on it. If an Inspiration token was placed in the notch next to the harmonized Chakra, the player immediately takes it back.

    When a negative energy (black) reaches the “Earth” (all the way at the bottom), it has been alleviated, which scores points at the end of the game.
  3. Meditate: When a player meditates, they perform these two actions.
    1. Take: Take back all their Inspiration tokens on their player board (don’t take back the ones in the notches next to Chakras).
    2. Look: The player chooses a new Meditation token, places it on their player board next to the same-colored Chakra, and peeks at the corresponding Plentitude token on the Lotus board.

The game end is triggered at the end of their turn when a player has harmonized at least five of their Chakras. The current round is finished (allowing all players the same number of turns), and the game is scored.

For scoring, reveal the Plentitude tokens. Each player gains 1-4 points for each harmonized Chakra, 1 point for each alleviated energy (negative energy still on the player’s board does not count as negative points). The Harmonization bonus (2 points) is awarded to the player with the most harmonized Chakras from the bottom to the top of their player board.

While all of the above sounds a bit complicated, Chakra presents a smooth, quick, easy-to-understand gameplay experience all about manipulating your energy up and down columns.

Beautiful to behold, and fun to play, Chakra has great art, great component quality, and a mellow theme that will appeal to most players.

The small size and soft pastel colors on the game box are attractive. The box back shows the Universe bag with plastic gems, the Lotus board, and a player board, all of which are very attractive components of the game. The back also mentions that it is easy to learn, and (important to us during lock-down) good for 2 players. The box has a nice heft to it. Even before opening the game, I knew there was meaty content inside.

This game will fit well on a standard card table even at 4 players.

The quality of the components is very good. There are no cards in the game but all components are well-printed on sturdy cardboard, and the plastic gems are colorful and pretty.

The art is very pretty in this game, and the iconography is appropriate and easy to understand. If you like the art on the box cover, you’ll enjoy what’s inside (all the player boards are {slight} variations of the cover art). Color is important in this game, so some players with color blindness may have difficulty seeing the energy colors, though the colored tokens all have icons to differentiate them.

Fuel, align, and harmonize your chakras. To this end, you must capture the Universe’s positive energy, while alleviating negative energy.

In Chakra, you will plan your moves carefully, based on where your energy has landed and where you need it to go. You’ll always feel a tiny bit constrained — each chakra you put energy into consumes (at least temporarily) your ability to take actions before you have to Meditate to restore yourself.

It’s a fun balancing act. There is no take-that, and little player interaction beyond the row of energy you choose off the Lotus board. It’s family friendly on all levels.

It’s rated as 8+ on the box, and the BGG community agrees with it. It is a lightweight game (1.50 out of 5 on BGG) and fits comfortably in the 30 minute playtime listed on the box.

Chakra is a fun family game with a 30 minute playtime for 2-4 players, ages 8 and up.

It’s easy to learn, and feels “moreish” — you want to play again right after you finish a game. There is also a bit of strategic depth there, so it should appeal to most gamers.

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