Tamashii: Chronicle of Ascend

A co-operative adventure experience set in a unique post-apocalyptic cyberpunk universe.

When Awaken Realms offered me a copy of Tamashii: Chronicle of Ascend I knew absolutely nothing about it, but it looked cool and worth checking out. And I’m glad I did! In my opinion, this is one of the best, most focused games they’ve made.

While it’s produced by the spin-off studio ‘Awaken Realms Lite’, it’s still a relatively involved game with a tray of miniatures (or you can get it with standees if you prefer; like most AR games the minis are very much non-essential to play). But for several reasons, this game will definitely see the table more often than games like Tainted Grail, Etherfields, and ISS Vanguard. Those games demand a big investment in time to enjoy all the complex campaign detail they offer. Light story elements and the high production quality are there in Tamashii, but this one allows you to dip in and out of its universe by featuring stand-alone story chapters you can play in any order. No book-keeping between games, and a refreshing lack of rules bloat.

And most importantly, the central mechanic of drawing and arranging data tokens and forming patterns that allow you to launch ‘programs’ is a fun and compelling one. Do you use your resources to build up useful assets, to fight or hack enemies, or to use special abilities? Enemies attach themselves to you and follow you around, so it’s a constant trade-off between getting the resources needed to defeat them, or fighting or repelling them.

Download my rules & reference, check out my video review for more about my personal opinion, or watch my overview video for a good idea of how to play. I really enjoy Tamashii: Chronicle of Ascend and hope AR (or AR Lite) release more games that hit this sweet spot between immersion and complexity.

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Update Log

Date Version Changelog
May 2024 1.2 Clarified Combat step 3 on summary and reference
Apr 2024 1.1 Added expansion rules
Nov 2023 1 Original release

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