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Beautiful components and interesting gameplay make Trial of the Temples a sure-fire game when you want to gather piles of resources on your turn!

Drew Vogel

MeepleGamers

9/10

Publisher: EmperorS4


Publisher: Deepwater Games


Designer: Wei-Min Ling


Designer: Michael Mihealsick


Artist: Maisherly


Game Type: Set Collection


Game Type: I cut, you choose


Game Type: Worker Placement


Initial Year of Release:2019


Age Range: 14+


Expected Playtime: 30-60 minutes


Number of Players: 2-4

Theme and What is it?


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Every century the most powerful Archmages gather at the center of the world in the “Mages’ Arena”. 

They must enter the trials at the three temples to compete for the title of “Supreme Master”. Each Archmage will refine crystals and create magical barriers to block their opponents in order to complete the trials and find the best timing to surpass their opponents. Archmages will aim to cast a spell from their spell book to create an amazing spell chain! Who will win and receive the ultimate title?

The game is played over 5 days (rounds) at most. At the end of the game, whoever has the highest Trial Points (Victory Points) will be the winner.

Trial of the Temples - EmperorS4 - Review 1
Trial of the Temples - EmperorS4 - Review 2

Gameplay Mechanics


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9/10

Trial of the Temples is an elegant look at the “I cut, you choose” mechanic. The game area is a central circular board surrounded by shuffled Temple Tiles. Each Temple Tile offers rewards for being on it or near it, and has a Day side and a Night side with different rewards. 

Each round, the following happens:

  • The Day-and-Night Phase: Move the Day/Night tile. Reveal a tile from the Round Deck. Move the Day/Night tile as indicated the number on the Day/Night tile and flip Temple Tiles. There is a great illustration of this in the rule book that makes it easy to understand.
  • The Temple Phase: Each player moves their meeple to one of the Temple Tiles. There are some rules for placement — you cannot place on the Day/Night tile, each tile can only have 1 meeple, and meeples may not completely surround or be surrounded by other meeples and/or the Day/Night tile.
  • The Resource Phase: Starting with the first player and moving clockwise, collect resources from the Temple Tiles. Collect Main Resources (top-left corner) and also the Linked Resources (bottom side) from the Temple Tile where your meeple is. Additionally, collect Linked Resources from all unoccupied Temple Tiles that aren’t blocked by another meeple or the barrier on the Day/Night Tile. There are additional rules to keep players in the game if they collect few resources on a turn.
  • The Trial Phase: Players must spend one Action Marker to begin the trial or rest (which finishes their turn). If the player spent an action marker, they may spend resources earned in the Resource Phase to advance up the Trial Tracks on the central boards up to 3 spaces by spending the indicated resource(s) on each space. Players automatically skip over other players on the Trial Track which does not count as a space nor do you have to spend resources for that space.You must place any earned Spell Cores (square plastic cubes) on your player board to enable Spells & Spell Chains on that board. Once placed, they may not be moved. There are placement rules for placing the Spell Cores but they’re pretty simple — no duplicate colors in rows or columns.

The goal of the game is to win, and players win by collecting the most Trial Points (Victory Points).

Trial of the Temples - EmperorS4 - Review 3

Initial Impressions


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I very much enjoyed the previous game called Mystery of the Temples, so when I saw this game from the same folks I snapped it up. The art style is appealing to me, and that combined with the game’s “I cut, you choose” mechanic is unusual enough to be interesting.

It looks great on the table as well!

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Game Build Quality


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10/10

The component quality is good for this type of game. the cardboard pieces are of good thickness and appear durable. The colors are bright and vibrant, and everything looks nice and attractive on the table.

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Artistic Direction


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10/10

As I mentioned, I like the art of this game very much. The fantastical buildings, landscapes, and other artwork sparked my imagination. The colors are vibrant and the designs are interesting.

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Fun Factor


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10/10

There is strategy here in deciding where to place your meeple to maximize your resources while blocking your opponents so they don’t get too much. The information in this game is public — you can see what spells everyone has on their player board, where they are on any of the Trial Tracks, and you can reasonably predict what resources they’ll collect based on placement. The timing of moves can be significant, too — deciding when to upgrade on a particular Trial Track based on your resources and what meeples are ahead of you on that track adds some nice planning.

The modular Temple Tiles mean there is a good amount of replayability in this game.

I really like that on your turn, you might get LOADS of resources. Gathering all that loot is fun!

Trial of the Temples - EmperorS4 - Review 7

Age Range & Weight


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The age range is listed on BGG as 14+ and I think that’s accurate. The weight is 2.60 out of 5. It’s not a brain-burner, but it does provide interesting strategic choices and requires the ability to plan a turn or two ahead to maximize your resources.

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Conclusions


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8.5/10

Beautiful components and interesting gameplay make Trial of the Temples a sure-fire game when you want to gather piles of resources on your turn!

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