Overall Radiant is a fun game in a small package. It puts a fun twist on the small card games of our current era and brings something new to the table.
Publisher: Heel Turn Games
Designer: Jack Murray
Artist: Evan Surya Nugraha
Game Type: Deck Building
Game Type: Deck Building
Game Type: MOBA
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 13+
Expected Playtime: 20-40 Minutes
Number of Players: 2 Players
Theme and What is it?
Radiant: Offline Battle Arena is
You will find a variety of fantasy-based Characters to choose from in the draft which will eventually make up your team to attack and defend each location.
At the start of Radiant you and your opponent will draft heroes to make up a team of three and you will also choose a deity who you can eventually summon if you wish.
Each player then places three divine conduits in front of them which represent the three lanes of combat and also the
Players take turns drawing cards, spending resources to activate ability cards, equipment cards and move characters from lane to lane when required. Players can also attack characters or conduits.
Play continues until
I am a massive fan of anything that involves drafting mechanics and I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to play MOBA style games, so I have to admit I was quite excited to try this one. It also helps that the box art and card art is all beautiful.
Game Build Quality
This being a card-based game there isn’t much to say about the quality other than the card stock is of a good level and the colours are very high quality. My only slight gripe about this would be that the main card backing colour is black meaning the edges can be scuffed and show up the scuff marks quite easily. You might be able to see some of these issues in the pictures I have posted. This can easily be avoided by using sleeves, but I know there are a lot of games or non-gamers who don’t use sleeves at all so this might be an issue for them.
The fantasy-based art style is very nice implemented throughout the Radiant decks. There’s a good variety of the art throughout each character’s cards and the art, very often, features the characters themselves which is a nice touch.
The colour pallet is very appealing and catches your eye with every card. Visually this game does a fantastic job.
Radiant is a simple enough card-based game but the rules sometimes left a few grey area’s that left us scrawling through the book and scouring the interweb to try to figure out some nuances of the terminologies. These weren’t major issues, but it did elongate our first few play throughs and caused some frustration at the time.
Once we got passed those initial hiccups Radiant was a fairly solid card fighting game. The added gimmick of lanes of combat added a nice level of strategy for example deciding to overload a specific lane with characters can make attacking defending that location easy… but you leave your conduits wide open for attack elsewhere. Some abilities on characters and cards can mitigate that but again that just adds another layer of strategy.
Age Range & Weight
13+ is probably about right based on the level of complexity involved to win Radiant. The cards do repeat but there is a lot of asymmetry to manoeuvre around which can be hard to wrap your head around. I would be amazed if most kids younger than 13 would have the patience or focus to get to grips with it.
The play time is also spot on. We had a couple of games that ended before they had even begun due to poor draws and bad character placement but other games were pushed to limit and saw us rinsing through the decks.
Radiant: Offline Battle Arena is a unique deck building, deck drafting, MOBA with asymmetric characters that all bring something different to the table. The Character draft also means there are quite a few variations of character combinations possible which adds to the replay ability.
Some tweaks with the rule book and possibly a key word index might help to ensure players aren’t left frustrated when trying to learn Radiant but I’m sure the designers will review this based on feedback.
Overall Radiant is a fun game in a small package. It puts a fun twist on the small card games of our current era and brings something new to the table. If this style of game is your thing, then it is definitely worth checking out.
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