Chaos Reborn is one of those games that has a title uniquely suited to it—the gameplay is nothing if not chaotic, and it is a remake of the classic Chaos, thus it being reborn. Genius. Kidding aside, Chaos Reborn is an interesting title. It’s a funded Kickstarter title that has since gone on to Steam’s Early Access, and it is currently in the Alpha stage with a planned full release of this summer, although that may soon change, as it is now August and the game is still in Early Alpha. As seen from the above screenshot, Chaos Reborn is already looking quite good. It has a very definitive art style, and every spell and creature looks different and stands out. The battlefields are never boring, sometimes showing a rocky playing field like the above screenshot, or switching to other playing fields that are as varied in color as they are in playing style. Does your current map have ledges? Summon some archers and other ranged units try to make some choke points. Need some choke points? Create some using Tangle Vine, a spell that impedes players’ progress. Don’t have that spell? Use Shadow Wood, which creates trees that can also be used to impede progress, although the interesting thing about Shadow Wood is that they can attack a unit directly next to it. The easiest way to explain the gameplay is to bring up chess and the familiar “easy to learn, hard to master” adage. A player usually starts off with around 11 cards,this depends on upgrades and such, and the players promptly begin summoning and utilizing their cards however they see fit, doing their best to dominate the board and kill the enemy mage.
Chaos Reborn’s combat system is interesting, as essentially the game primarily relies on percentages, with the weakest creature always has a chance of killing the biggest creature. This means that there is always a chance that you can summon or kill something, no matter the odds, which also means that every mistake a player makes, no matter how small, could mean that the player will be punished accordingly. In one such game, I was playing a multiplayer match and handily winning. Like in the above screenshot, he was essentially surrounded with only two creatures to my six. With nothing to lose, the player cut a path through my creatures and used a magic bolt against me, killing me and winning the game for my opponent. Did it matter that I had outplayed him for 90% of the match? Nope, because I made the mistake of following him too closely. Chaos Reborn is the type of game where a player is never truly out of it, and a skilled player can turn the tables, (literally) with a dash of luck and more than a smidgen of skill with good strategy and intuition.
Chaos Reborn is extremely promising so far, which makes the lacking amount of options, cards, game-modes, and board variety so far all the more tantalizing. It’s still early days yet, so if one is looking for a good hexagonal strategy title to look forward to from the designer of the X-COM, Chaos Reborn is shaping up excellently.