Game Review: Portals and Prophets

Harmon Games brings a time-traveling trip through the bible to your table!

Time travel is something we all dream and wonder about, isn’t it? What would you do and where would you go if you could go anywhere? Would you travel back to the Jurassic era, or maybe sail with some Vikings? Would you go see the birth of a Nation or maybe find the place where rock and roll was born? There are so many interesting and potentially amazing things to see. But what if you go to the region of Canaan and see all of the amazing things that unfold in the birth and story of the nation of Israel? What if you could see the stories of the Old and New Testament up close and personal?

In the new game Portals and Prophets you and your fellow players have a chance to travel back to the stories reflected in the Old and New Testament and experience time travel and see which of you can come out on top as the best travel tour guide to get to the right places at the right time an see these amazing moments in history!

Components

1 Rulebook

1 Game board

115 Event cards

5 Portal cards

10 Pawns

3 Portals

1 Time machine

1 Fuel tracker

 

The game setup deals each player three of the Genesis cards, one Portal card and 2 pawn pieces. The Old and New Testament deck of cards are shuffled and placed on the board and the three Portal tokens are placed on the board as well. Each player picks one city to start at on the map and then play begins. The goal of the game is to score the most points by traveling to the areas on your cards and scoring them in the correct century. The game end is triggered when someone completes their third New Testament card.

 

Gameplay

Each round the first player takes his turn and then gameplay proceeds clockwise. Once around will be a turn for each player in the current Century, then in the next round the Century marker moves one forward. Once the New Testament space is reached it stays there the rest of the game.

On a player’s turn, there are four actions available to them. You can take any combination in any order you choose. The choices you may make on a turn are:

1-Draw a card and add it to your hand

2-Move your pawn on the gameboard

3-Play a card from your hand to score points

 

During the Draw a Card phase you may take a face up or face down Old Testament card and add it to your hand. You may not have more than 7 cards in your hand at any time.

During the Move your Pawn phase, you can move one space on the board to a connected location or from one portal to any other portal. You cannot pass through or land on a spot where another player is currently at. Using the portals is a great way to travel multiple spots on the board and move to the locations you need to be at.

Finally you can also choose to Play a Card from your hand. You can do this by being in the location on the card and having access to the current time listed, whether you are in that time period or using the time machine. Place the card in front of you and score the event along the track according to your player pawn.

The Time Machine can come in handy throughout the game to reach past or present Century spots. The Time Machine begins on Low and has a range from 1, 2, 3 and Full. When it is on Low, you may only play cards from the current Century.

 

Impressions:

What could be better:

Variety. I like the gameplay here but I feel like there needed to be a little more variety in ways to accumulate points. There were times I felt very behind in a few games as did others because of the variety of cards in your hand. You can discard them to fuel up and use any century but if you weren’t near the cards you had left it might not matter. I would love to see an option for a mulligan or something like that.

Components. I love my blinged out games, and I think the pieces for this one could use a little bit of that. Maybe just a few changes, but enough to make them stand out would be cool.

 

What I liked: 

Theme. There are not a lot of games that use the Bible and Christian storytelling as the theme, and the few I have played that do are dry or very preachy. This one uses history and facts without being preachy-it presents a great game for those looking to explore the stories of the Bible and find a competitive game within them.

Gameplay. The core mechanics of this game is simple. It plays easily with 2-4 players and setup/learning style makes it a quick game to get going. I played this with adults and children and everyone liked it and understood it just fine.

Art. The game uses art from a previous project and it fits in the style just fine. The gameboard and card icons are are vibrant and easy to understand for all ages making gameplay swift.

Overall:

Portals and Prophets offers a game in the historic and detailed stories of the Bible that will appeal to both young and old. It will be familiar for those that study the Bible and a good resource for those who want to present the Christian message in a fun but yet still competitive game setup. I can recommend this for anyone looking to explore the region of Cannan on game night in an easy to learn and fun to compete game. Make sure to check out the game and more information at portalsandprophets.com!

 

(Promotional consideration provided in the form of a review copy)

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