|Time:||30 - 45 minutes|
Maia Strongheart stands alone against the world. A cabal of conspirators has framed her for the death of her own mother, the Sun Queen, and they intend to usurp the throne from her family. To prove her own innocence and reclaim her birthright, Maia must step into the proving grounds to complete a trial that will stretch her combat skills to the limit. Will the Wizened's chosen daughter vanquish her foes in the arena? Or will she be overwhelmed by the conspirators and their evil aspirations?
Proving Grounds is a real-time solitaire dice game that merges narrative and gameplay in a brand-new way. In this box, you will find a novella, "Only the Strongest Has the Heart of a Wizened Queen", written by Monica Valentinelli. This sweeping story sets the stage for the events of the game. Read the story of Maia Strongheart as she fights to ascend to the Sun Throne, then recreate her extraordinary battle!
Proving Grounds has a training game and six different gameplay modules. Once you've learned the basics, add a single module or mix and match to your tastes. If you're feeling truly adventurous, put them all together for a true test of your gladiatorial combat skills!
The basic premise of this game is having to fight a range of foes in an arena to clear your name from a set-up: someone framed you for the murder of your mother.
There is a core game and six different variants all in this one game. You can add any or all variants in any combination for what is truly remarkable range and depth. The game-play takes a little learning, but once you have a bit of familiarity with it, it is a fast and furious game. The 1-minute time limit on the dice rolling part of the round is intense and I found myself getting worked up even in a single-player game. The components are well made and very solid. It is a nice looking game, too. Also, you get a novella in the box to fill in some of the backstory.
This has been my first foray into purpose designed solo games and I like it. I like that the main character is a woman and that most of the opponents appear to be men in a nice reversal of the genre's tropes. I really enjoy this game and for a quick dice game, it is a great choice. Overall, this is a great package.