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Reiner Knizia's Colossal Arena is a reprint of the classic Titan: The Arena, published by the Avalon Hill game company.
Colossal Arena features gorgeous new art and four brand-new creatures -- not included in the original version -- making Colossal Arena a new and unique game experience. In this game of gladiatorial mayhem, eight monsters battle in the arena for your amusement, while crazed spectators leap into the fray to help their favorites.
Players place bets on the fantasy creatures they think will triumph. But beware! -- each creature boasts individual skills and abilities, and players must manage the spectator cards while guiding their bets to maximum payoff. Tension is high as one creature is eliminated every round. Will your favorite prevail? Or will your champion be destroyed and your fortunes lost?
Fantasy Flight Games
Players: 2 - 5
Time: 40 - 60 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Weight: 500 grams (estimated)
Language Requirements: Game components are printed in English. This is a domestic item. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.
- 12 creature cards
- 132 combat cards
- 11 spectator cards
- 3 referee cards
- 25 bet tokens
Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews
This is an absolutely terrific game. I had it recommended to me in its prior incarnation as Titan: The Arena, and bid on a few eBay auctions of the out-of-print version. I'm glad I didn't win any of them, as this recent addition to my collection was much lower in price and reportedly has more to offer.
This is about the best of the new games this season. It is easy to teach and to learn, and has quite a bit of depth. Kids who like Magic the Gathering will pick this up especially quickly.
I looked forward to this with much hope as Titan: The Arena is an excellent game worthy of staying in print. However, Fantasy Flight really dropped the ball on this with respect to the poor quality of the components.
First, while the original game included one of the best examples of how NOT to write intuitive rules, this version doesn't do much better. They are better written but omit several key things that would make this more difficult for newer players to pick it up.
The rules also come on some of the thinnest paper available. After only a single play, our copy was already showing major wear.
The cards themselves are not coated, or very poorly so if they are. They feel very fragile and clearly will not stand up well over repeated playings.
However, much worse than the quality of the stock of the cards is the absolute disaster regarding the new look of the cards. Take a look at a screenshot of the original game. While it may look dated, the cards all were clearly unique and clearly stood apart so that one character and his card were instantly discernable from any other character.
That is not the case here. The cards are extremely similar in look and in average lighting tend to all blend together. New players will be overwhelmed with confusion trying to differentiate between the cards. This also explains why, suddenly, players on other forums are asking for input on what to do when creatures die. In the original, it wasn't a big deal. Here it leads to players playing cards to the wrong creatures necessitating removal of all cards of the dead creature.
Even worse is the state of the Spectator cards. This is probably the most confusing element for new players. In the original version Spectator cards were also completely different in appearance from the creature and combat cards. Here the main difference is that instead of white trim around the creature's name, it has yellow trim.
In our group several players (including one seasoned player) kept discarding valid spectator cards believing they were optional creature cards not represented in the current game.
The only improvement I find is in the tokens which were of the lowest possible level in the original and nearly impossible not to improve upon here.
For seasoned players, this version adds some nice new options and makes the game available at a reasonable price again, but not at the level it deserves. For new players, best of luck. Your climb to comfort with this game will be much harder due to these poor choices than what it could have and should have been.
I would give this an even lower rating but the game itself is easily a 4 so that helps offset the poor quality here.