ChiZo Rising

ChiZo Rising

From: Temple Games

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

ChiZo Risingis a new Collectible Tile Game from Temple Games.

Everyone now is trying to find the next big collectible game. They are trying everything – clicking miniatures, paper dice, miniatures with cards, and of course, cards. Chizo Rising is the first I have heard of that bring collectibility to the tile game world. It is an interesting, light-hearted family friendly game that is brilliantly presented with rich art and interesting concepts.

From page # 5: “The story of Chizo Rising unfolds as a dramatic set of events brings uncertainty to the realm.”

The starter set is a small 6.75″ x 6.75″ box that contains over 30 basic tiles focused on 3 of the twelve creatures and two booster packs. The tiles are exceptionally made and the art is incredible. The game is fairly simple. There are three basic types of tiles: Creatures, Action/Reaction and Items/Obstacles. The game is for 2 to 4 players. As Keepers of the Kingdom, each player commands combinations of the Twelve Noble Creatures as depicted in the Chinese Zodiac, including Rat, Oz, Tiger, Dragon, Ram and Pig. Just think back to those placemats you get in any Chinese Restaurant.

The boxes I received were Dog/Horse/Dragon and Pig/Ox/Rooster. In each box, about 12 of the booster tiles were not useable. Of course, this is the nature of a collectible game. The stacks are dominated by the creature cards with a few Action, Reaction, Action/Reaction, Objects and Item tiles.

The object of the game is to win the game by being the first to score 12 or more points. One scores points by capturing creatures and battling enemy creatures, by strategically placing tiles in the right place. There are three ways to score points – matching up four in a square based on compatibility, through battle, and through special effects. Battles are handled by playing an incompatible tile in a slot and then creating a Battle Stack. The stacking mechanic is fairly interesting in that it gives everyone a chance to react to an initial effect tile. Stacking occurs when someone wants battle to take place and when someone wants to play an action tile.

From page # 6: “Chizo Rising is the first set in a series of great adventures that enlist the Twelve Mighty Creatures of the Chinese Zodiac.”

I have to say that first off the rules are not written well. There are several key game aspects over-looked, like how to determine who goes first and hand limit (there is none, according to the online FAQ). Also, it is not clear whether one needs a Battle Stack to battle or does one HAVE to battle when incompatible creatures are placed. Also, it covers when the STR and INT are higher on one side or another, as well as when they are equal, but what if one side has the higher STR and the other has the higher INT. Is that a tie? While playing, we ran into several questions about the game the rules did not answer clearly. There are also rules that are in weird places. The results of battle are discussed before the discussion of asking for allies, which is supposed to happen before any battle tile is placed. Not good rules placement, in my view.

Also, this may be petty and maybe I am just a clumsy gamer, but a lot of this game depends on the facing of the tiles. And if you are one of those that is sensitive about mixing your tiles with other people’s tiles, this is a game you have to be very careful with. The tiles always face the player that lay/own them, including while on the playing area, in a point stack or any other stack (except discard). One wrong move with someone’s elbow and all that is mixed together. It just something I thought about while playing.

The game was OK, but I was not thrilled with playing because of aspects I could not find answers on. One of the problems I had was compatibility. Not many of my creatures were compatible with each other or compatible with the creature my opponent was laying. That in itself is a brilliant marketing plan, to force people to buy more and design their own stacks. However, looking past the problems I had, I can see how this game can get interesting and challenging. Some of the Action, Reaction, and Action/Reaction tiles can really shift a game quickly. It is also a very quick game. The games I played took no more than 30 or so minutes. However, I do not think I put as much thought into the game as some hardcore gamers might.

In conclusion, despite the poorly written rulebook, I can see this game being fairly interesting to the collectible game enthusiast. It is a tile placement game, however, and not a card game, so the strategy behind that is somewhat of an adjustment for those that have not played tile games. It has an element of Domino-style tile game with the added spice of a collectible card game. It is interesting. I just wish they had written the rulebook a little more clear. The presentation is great, the art is brilliant and the layout is very professional. It just seems rushed to market without a lot of thought put into the rulebook. It is also reasonably priced.

For more details on Temple Games and their new Collectible Tile Game “ChiZo Rising” check them out at their website, and at all of your local game stores.

ChiZo Rising

From: Temple Games

Type of Game: Collectible Tile Game

Game Design by: Temples Games, Inc.

Developed by: Michael Palm, Sebastian Jakob, Killian Brucklacher, Jack Roberts

Art Direction by: Bob O’Sullivan, Debroah Robinson, Killian Brucklacher

Graphics Design by: Bob O’Sullivan, Eckhard Freytag, Peter Helm, Alex Wayne

Rules: Killian Brucklacher, Michael Palm, Sebastian Jakob, Jack Roberts, 999 Games, Phalanx Games

Number of Pages: 35 page rulebook

Game Components Included: Starter set – 32 Starter Tiles and 2 booster packs.

Retail Price:$16.00 (Starter Set) $4.50 (booster) (US)

Number of Players: 2-4


Reviewed by: Ron McClung