Board Game Review – 12 Realms

12realmsHoly crap, 12 Realms is such a great game. I mean, everyone around the world will want to play it, and they will have so much fun their testicles will burst.

For starters, it’s super clever. Like, it’s called 12 Realms, but it actually only comes with four realms! Psych! Haha, good one, publishers who live in Bulgaria and are thus too far away for your average customer to throw the game through your window when they realize that they paid for a game called 12 Realms and got a third of that! That’s a hilarious move, dudes. Your customers will be stoked to be in on the joke.

OK, but what is 12 Realms? That is what you are asking, I bet, because you’re all ‘Bulgaria boardgames are the BIZZOMB!’ but maybe you don’t know about this one because you only know about, like, one game from Bulgaria. Well, I will tell you! It is a fairy-tale cooperative game where you play fairy-tale characters like Snow White and Robin Hood and D’Artagnan and Joan of Arc. You remember the fairy tale about Joan of Arc right? The one where she was actually a real person and not a fairy tale at all? Or the fairy tale about The Three Musketeers which is French literature and not a fairy tale either? Or Robin Hood which is ALSO NOT A FAIRY TALE?! Oh well, you will still have so much fun your hair will catch on fire and you will have to put it out by jumping into a vat full of goat’s milk.

So in 12 Realms, you are trying to beat up on the bad guys. They are fairy tale bad guys like Jack Rackham who was a real pirate and not a fairy tale, and you’ll go to the pirate realm to fight him but first you’ll have to fight pigs who are pirates and parrot pirates and other animal pirates except for the squid who is actually a big squid and not a pirate. When there are enough bad guys on the board, that bad guy Jack Rackham will pop out and you will have to kill him, but remember to do a bad job of killing pirates because otherwise the bad guy never shows up and the game could literally go for the rest of your life, or until your mom calls and goes, ‘hey, get home now, it’s your night to do the dishes and remember to take out the trash’ because geez, Mom, you’re such a kill-joy!

Of course, sometimes it’s real easy to do a bad job of killing the bad guys because you get like maybe eight things you can do on your turn and then you flip up cards that tell you where bad guys show up and fifteen of the bad guys show up on your turn and then you can’t kill them all, and instead of having the big bad guy show up, you jump right over that part to the part where you lose the game. So that was a really good game design idea, to make it so that you can only win the game if you leave the bad guys alive, but you can totally lose the game just because the cards say you get too many bad guys, because it keeps you guessing and wondering if you’ll ever be able to end this game or if you should just turn into a superhero and fly around. That would be rad!

In fact, the whole game is rad! Like how it has miniatures for all the fairy tale heroes who were not ever actually in fairy tales, but instead of being like everybody else and just making the heroes come with the base glued to their feet, they put the bases in separately so you could have fun gluing them together yourself! Man, there is nothing I love more about playing board games than cyanoacrylate fumes and the joy of permanently attaching my skin to the components. It is also totally bitchin’ that if I want to play the game as soon as I get it, I can only play with Snow White because she is in a big dress so she stands up real easy and everyone else has incredibly tiny feet and falls down a lot. So that’s bad-ass, because then I can play as Snow White! I always wanted to pretend to be Snow White.

Oh, man, when I think about all the fun I will have playing 12 Realms over and over throughout the years, until I get old and tell my kids about 12 Realms and how it had fairy tale characters who were actually real people, and how I had to play four times before I could win because I pulled five mouse guard cards in a row and the one fairy tale kingdom suddenly had more rats than a Jersey crime syndicate, I just want to stab myself in the elbow with a spinach fork! Haha! Oh, that was a good one! There’s no such thing as a spinach fork! No, but really, I totally loved 12 Realms because right before I played for the first time I was hit by a falling meteorite and turned into a radioactive retard. If you want to enjoy 12 Realms, all you will need is some brain damage and then YOU WILL LOVE THIS GAME!!!!1111!!!111!


1-6 players who have suffered concussions

Comes with miniatures
Has art
Contains some realms

Miniatures do not stand up
Art is forgettable anime
Has 1/3 the realms stated on the box
Is not very much fun unless you have been concussed

I could tell you where you could buy this game, but you know what would be more rad than that? This meteorite that hit me in the head!


8 Responses to “Board Game Review – 12 Realms”

  1. Kyre says:

    I am part of a group of gamers that, for the most part, only play cooperative games. As a result, when I saw this game pop up on Kickstarter, I was curious about it. Something made me hold back, and I ended up waiting until BGG.CON this year to play it. I’m really glad I did.

    Not mentioned in the complaints above is the rulebook. The rulebook reads like some of the worst FFG rulebooks–rules scattered across the rulebook and never where you expect them to be, confusing symbology that makes the rulebook a constant gaming companion rather than an occasional reference, and more.

    I played two games of this solo. Game one, I lost because I always had too many enemies coming out, to the point where I couldn’t gather any treasures to help upgrade my character. This left me action-starved, and unable to actually do anything effective. When the bad guy came out, I had one turn to fight them, and they asked for an action symbol my character simply did not have. Game over.

    Game two, realizing how important money was, I took a character that could generate money, at the rate of 1 per turn. I then got to experience the other side of this game–collecting several cards, and getting something like +10 actions per turn. I eventually got bored, and had to, as stated above, *let* the villain keep enemies out, if only because I had bought everything in the store! When the boss came out, it was a joke — my collection of dozens of actions, including several banked one-time actions, utterly destroyed him.

    Ultimately, even for my crowd of cooperative focused gamers, I couldn’t see inflicting this game on them. It’s not horrible…it’s just not good.

  2. Alan says:

    I was reading it as a positive review… Then all the snarky comments I thought “nah, it’s just sarcasm”, Then I thought you hated the game, then I thought you loved it again… Then I saw the brain damage part and was like “oh, he doesn’t like it”, but still wasn’t too sure.

    But the comment set me straight, that it not a good game…


  3. Matt Drake says:

    Right – not a good game.

  4. Bouncergriim says:

    Is one of the 12 realms a trailer park in Canada?

  5. Matt Drake says:

    Yes, but it’s one of the eight realms that does not come in the box.

  6. Nathan Woll says:

    I had this same reaction when reading about the game. (regarding “fairy tales”). Also why the **** is Robin Hood (or D’Artagnan) a mouse???????? That is extremely annoying.

  7. kyle says:

    Look at the bright side, the next game from Bulgaria can’t help but be better. The future is bright for the budding Bulgar boardgame builders.

  8. Dennis says:

    This was a fun review. And I did not need to give myself a concussion either.


  1. Today in Board Games – Issue #118 - [...] 12 Realms – Drake’s Flames [...]