Proving Grounds – Renegade Games – Review

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Roll dice until the timer goes off or you have what you want to keep, then attack!

Mary Crabtree

Meeple Gamers 7.75/10 Publisher: Renegade Game Studios Designer: Kane Klenko Artist: Csaba Bernáth Artist: Matthew Dobrich Game Type: Dice Game Type: Real-time Initial Year of Release: 2019 Age Range: 10+ Expected Playtime: 20-45 minutes Number of Players: 1 Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 1

Theme and What is it?

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Maia Strongheart was betrayed and framed for the death of her own mother as her conspirators try to seize the throne from her family line.

By stepping into the Proving Grounds to complete a trial by combat, she can prove her innocence and take back her legacy on the throne.

Proving Grounds is a real-time solitaire dice game. You play as Maia Strongheart and must defeat eight enemies to survive the Proving Grounds! Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 2Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 3

Gameplay Mechanics

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The setup is not complex. It only involves revealing six enemies, placing battle and health markers in starting positions, and certain dice around the board for later use.

You start with one blue, one green, one yellow and five white dice.

The game can be played with the companion app but is not required, however, it makes it so much more fun.

Now, step into the Proving Grounds and let’s begin!

Step 1: Set the timer on the app or a stand-alone timer for 60 seconds and start rolling dice! After the first roll, separate dice and then you can re-roll following these rules:

  1. If you have a set of two or more dice, they can be re-rolled.
  2. If you have only one die with a number (single), it cannot be re-rolled.

Roll dice until the timer goes off or you have what you want to keep, then attack!

Step 2: Each enemy is in a particular spot on the board numbered 1-6. When attacking, you are using the numbers on your dice to attack. For example, if you have two dice with “2”, they will attack the number 2 enemy.

When the timer goes off, assign the dice to their appropriate enemies. Each enemy has a requirement above their battle marker. Most have 2+ dice but some can be specifically requiring a certain color in that set.

If you do not assign any dice to an enemy, there is no attack at all and nothing happens. However, if you assign a single dice to an enemy, it will attack you instead and the enemy’s battle marker is moved down. If it moves far enough, then you will be wounded.

The primary goal is placing the correct sets of numbers to the correct enemies to move their battle marker up and to the last spot to defeat them!

If your health moves to zero, the game immediately ends and you lose, but if you defeat eight enemies, you have survived Proving Grounds! Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 4

Initial Impressions

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I love solo games. And I really enjoy solo games that give a little more theme than just playing cards. This is advertised as a “Solo Hero Series”, so I was happy to jump in early. Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 5

Game Build Quality

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There are a good bit of components in the box for it being solo. The encounter board is a two-piece board that puzzles together. The cards are quality, glossy card stock.

The dice are colorful and have a unique design on them making them stand out from normal six-sided dice.

There are some other cardboard components from the other modules.

There is also a 28-page Novella to give a background story to the game so you have them when you go to recreate her battle! Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 6

Artistic Direction

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The artwork is mostly on the cards and looks good. It has a realistic look like from a video game. It supports the theme of the game as it should. Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 7

Fun Factor

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This game is a lot of fun. The companion app is mostly just the timer, but it also has music while rolling the dice. This plays well into the theme.

Because of how the board is set up with the enemies basically in a circle, I was already reminded of a Gladiator theme. Then, the music started, and that was clear even more.

I really enjoyed this one. I played a few times before writing this review. I also tried out two other modules included, and they added just a little to the game which I enjoyed.

The game comes with the main game which is called the Training Game and then it comes with 6 other modules for variable play. Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 8

Age Range & Weight

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The game is complex only with keeping up with which number goes with which enemy and what you need and then keeping all of that straight while a timer is ticking down and you are re-rolling, etc.

There is an age suggestion of 10+ on the box. I support this suggestion. Children that are 10 may find it a little difficult on their own with no help but that depends on the individual and how well versed into gaming they are. Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 9


Instagram Twitter Facebook 8/10

Like I said above, I played this one several times before writing the review. I won and lost, variably, which means the game is balanced.

I picked up on different mechanics from other games. The timer aspect and rolling dice reminded me a lot of the game, Escape, but only being able to re-roll sets of dice is an interesting mechanic that I have not seen before in dice games.

The enemy cards and how you defeat them slightly reminded me of Thanos Rising. It is definitely different though.

If you enjoy solo games and dice chunking, this is the game for you! I will play it again soon. Proving Grounds - Renegade Games - Review 10

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