Like Krosmaster Arena?
Want the children to play with you, but they are having a difficult time with Krosmaster Arena?
If the answer to the above question was yes, then I have a suggestion, pick up a copy of Krosmaster Arena Jr. You may want to pick up a copy if you do not have kids, I will get into that in a bit.
Arena Jr. has about half of the content of Arena: 4 figures, 2 multi-piece boards about half the size of a full board, pieces, four character booklets, one abridged rulebook, and a score pad. The scenery pieces consist of new bushes and totems instead of trees.
The abridged rulebook is more of a reminder of things than an actual rulebook. Teaching the game happens in the character booklets. The booklets have identical content, the only difference being the name and image of the character on the cover and inside. Similar to Arena, where seven scenarios teach the rules, Arena Jr. uses seven adventures to teach the rules.
The big difference between Arena and Arena Jr. is that Arena Jr. sticks to one or two rules at a time in build up method that makes sense: Movement first, then Movement and Movement Restriction, then Movement, Movement Restriction, and Basic Combat. That was the first three adventures. Further, pets are used for several of the adventures. If you are familiar with Tofus or other Mobs, then pets make sense. Each character has a signature pet that is used for a capture the flag variant, a hide-and-seek variant, and in the final full rule adventure. The pets are cute and keep children invested in a game.
Another thing that keeps children invested is the speed of each adventure, an average of 10 minutes from set-up to tear down. Yes, very quick and that is the point: one or two rules handled in a quick and easy to digest fashion. Each adventure specifies which of the four maps to build; a map consists of four double-sided puzzle pieces to create a small square. Very nice to get four maps, that while not good for four-on-four games would be good for quick two-on-two matches or a special format.
Arena Jr. does not have every rule from Arena, but does cover all of the basics very well and something that I feel is under represented in the rules of Arena, using Demon Squares. It took all us a few Arena games before we understood the value of collecting gold to get powerups; it seems counter to winning to take turns to use Demon Squares. Arena Jr. ensures that the importance and use of Demon Squares is shown, by making them and the pets as part of the final adventure. Characters collect gold in previous adventures as a victory condition, thus getting them used to collecting gold. In the final adventure, characters use gold collected during the adventure to purchase their pets to assist them, which reinforces gold collection, and teaches Demon Squares and how to use Mobs.
Finally, if you already own Arena and do not have children to use as your excuse to purchase Arena Jr. I can say that Arena Jr, on Amazon is cheap enough to justify getting four figures and new scenery to use in your Arena games. Speaking of which, once the children have learned the rules using Arena Jr. they can use the Arena character cards included to take the four figures into an Arena game. Awesome. 🙂