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Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef a Winsome World

Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef | Winsome World!

Publisher: Druid City Games, Skybound Games |Playtime:60- 90 mins | Players: 1-4 | Designer: Tim Eisner, Ben Eisner |Artists: Mr. Cuddington

We have been looking forward to playing Tidal Blades since we first saw the Kickstarter. The adorable art and vast lore were so intriguing. Once on the table, we found strong game mechanics wrapped in the wondrous world. What stood out in the first plays was, competing in challenges that are location specific, the progression for each player board, asymmetrical start, worker placement with bonuses, and our favorite – level up player dice at the end of each round.

Tidal Blades-A long time ago, monsters were attacking endlessly, but with luck and the Champions, they fought and sent them to the Fold. They have been at rest for ages, but the rumors are true; new monsters are ripping through the fabric of time. They are emerging again, and now the heroes need to get ready to defend the Tidal Blades. The tournament has been called once again, the arenas are set, and the contestants are gathering from all over the realm. The task is to train, succeed in the challenges in the arenas, and rise to the top of the Champions board. There are only four days to convince them they are the Hero to send the monsters back into the Fold!


Tidal Blades is a worker placement game with set collection, different player powers, hand management, and leveling up dice. Tidal Blades is played over the course of four rounds, with each player getting more actions as the game progresses. Players use their actions to travel to different islands, perform challenges to gain resources to spend on defenses, and trade-up dice and try to catch the eye of the judges. Each island has particular action players can always take and a bonus. A player's character takes their turn, leaving behind action disks on spaces to track turns. Players begin with two movements and gain more actions per round as the rounds progress and end up with four. There is much going on in this game, and with the limited movement, there are choices to make. This boosts the replayability with multiple characters with distinctive abilities' and the luck of the dice.

End game- player with the most point wins, but which path will you take?????

Mechanics That Worked for Us

There is so much going on in this game. Plan. Plan. Make a plan.

It never a waste to attempt a Challenge.

Save a turn to assist with the Monsters to accrue points for the end and not gain a penalty.

Bits and Bobs

· 5 Location Boards

· Champion Board

· 35 Fruit tokens

· 45 Shell tokens

· 14 Novice Dice (White)

· 16 Initiate Dice (8 Blue, 8 Red)

· 16 Elite Dice (8 Blue, 8 Red)

· 12 Guild Dice (3 per trait)

· 3 Danger dice

· 1 Monster invasion die

· 6 Monster cards

· 42 Challenge cards

· 30 Stunt Cards

· 25 Market cards

· 1 Judge standee

· 1 Current Round marker

· 1 Boat standee

· 1 First Player marker

· Score pad

· Rulebook

· Almanac

· 4 Character boards

· 4 Character standees

· 72 Hit tokens

· 16 Action discs

· 4 Story cards

· 52 Character cards

· 12 Secret Goal cards

· 12 Starting Challenge cards

Advanced Components

· 29 Legendary Challenge cards

· 7 Special Announcement cards

· 19 Advanced Market cards

· 10 Advanced Monster cards

· Solo board

· 5 Plot effect cards

· 1 Rival Action disc

Our Favorites

Last Word

It is fair to say that we have never been disappointed with a Druid City/Skybound game, and Tidal Blades ticks all the fun boxes.

It is wonderfully produced and the profound lore that keeps the game on the table. The detailed backstory gives each character their own personality.

Dice rolling is a sure favorite for us, and this game has so many!!! The progression of dice is brilliant.

It has a keenly new take on worker placement.

The push your luck circle is clever. If you do not make it- it is not a loss.

The rulebook took a few reads to grasp the gameplay, but we only needed to refer to the Almanac for guidance once we played a few games.

The world built by Mr. Cuddington is vibrant and lively. It has a feel of an anime world.

Set up takes a bit to place with all the components; however, it is perfectly boxed by the provided Game Trayz that quickens the process.

The complexity arises in the big choices each turn, and each game is a different path with the asymmetry of the character starting points.

Tidal Blades - a rare creation that we found had the perfect balance between depth, style and substance, and challenge.

Designer: Tim Eisner & Ben Eisner

Publisher: Skybound Tabletop, Druid City Games

Artist: Lina Cossette, David Forest

Editor: Ari Yarwood

Player Count: 1-4

Suggested Age: 14+

Plying Time: 60-90 minutes

Theme: Fantasy, Adventure

Mechanics: Card Drafting, Dice Rolling, Hand Management, Set Collection, Variable Player Powers

Worker Placement Components: Game Trayz


Let us be honest; there is still a bit of drama when we play.

Sit Down. Grab a Drink. Join the Game


We play. We invent. We review.


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