Sword Art Online Board Game: Sword of Fellows – Japanime Games – Review

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I like the character-specific dice, it adds a cool differentiation from many dice chucking games.

Josh

MeepleGamers


Publisher: Japanime Games


Designer: Seiji Kanai


Game Type: Dice


Game Type: Cooperative


Initial Year of Release: 2017


Age Range: 10+


Expected Playtime: 30 minutes


Number of Players: 1-4

Theme and What is it?


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Sword Art Online (SAO) is a Japanese Anime, Manga, TV series that has licensed the use of it’s universe for Sword of Fellows. 

The dice chucking game is made to defeat monsters or bad guys, based on your Yahtzee-esque dice throwing prowess.  

Gameplay Mechanics


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SAO is about dice, and throwing those dice to get and use special character based powers. Each character has different means to accomplish the same thing, getting higher and higher attack damage.

Sword Art Online Board Game: Sword of Fellows - Japanime Games - Review 1

Initial Impressions


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I like the character-specific dice, it adds a cool differentiation from many dice chucking games. The rest of the game is cards, and or nits. There is not much there, but it is all made with quality in mind.

Sword Art Online Board Game: Sword of Fellows - Japanime Games - Review 2

Game Build Quality


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One of my pet peeves is when a publisher makes a huge box, for a little game. It seems like a waste and does not take into account limited shelf space. 

SAO has remedied that. This is a small game in a small box, that is made to feel big, rather than look big. The dice are normal dice, with specialty dice thrown in to differentiate characters. The box and cards are all done on a rather nice matte print. 

Artistic Direction


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Since the game is licensed, it reuses the licensed content. 

If you like SAO, you will like SAOSOF. The dice are a nice item, since each main character has their own own unique modifier die.

Fun Factor


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Dice chucker games are either love them or leave them. If you enjoy the random hit or miss of a dice roll, and enjoy anime, this is likely going to be a go to game. 

If you do not enjoy dice chucker games, there is nothing here that will make you change your opinion. 

SAO does well what it sets out to do, use dice to battle monsters. 

Age Range & Weight


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The suggested age range is 10+.

I would say that is probably accurate. It is not overly difficult, but the frustration of an imperfect dice roll being “punished” would not be very enjoyable to a younger audience.

Conclusions


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I am not generally a fan of dice chucker type games. I can see the charm in the character based dice, but it would not be a game that calls to me. 

If you enjoy anime, and purely dice type games, this might be exactly what the doctor ordered. 

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