The Tea Dragon Society Review - Header

The Tea Dragon Society Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

The Tea Dragon Society - Renegade Game Studios/Oni Press $20
The Tea Dragon Society - Cover

Game title: The Tea Dragon Society

Game description: Discover the ancient art form of Tea Dragon caretaking within this enchanting world of friendship and fantasy. Create a bond between yourself and your Tea Dragon that grows as you progress through the seasons creating memories to share forever.

Overall
3.8
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

There’s a world out there where adorable dragons grow tea leaves on their bodies.

I want to live in that world.

Thankfully there’s The Tea Dragon Society where I can pretend to be the caretaker of one these cuties, feeding it, grooming it, and building life-long memories with it.

Pros

Cute illustrations

Dragons! Tea!

Interesting take on a deck builder

Cons

Takes a bit long to play

Full The Tea Dragon Society Review

There’s a world out there where adorable dragons grow tea leaves on their bodies.

I want to live in that world.

Thankfully there’s The Tea Dragon Society where I can pretend to be the caretaker of one these cuties; Feeding it, grooming it, and building life-long memories with it.

The Tea Dragon Society is a simple family game that’s a little bit of a deck builder and a little bit of a tableau builder. The goal of the game is to have the most points by the end of the last Season. Each player has their own Tea Dragon, each with their own unique special ability, and a starting deck of cards. In the center of the table is a market of 4 cards and several Memory cards for the Season the players are currently in. Each turn a player may draw a card to their Hold on the table or purchase a card from the Market or Memory line using cards from their Hold.

The Tea Dragon Society Review - Dragons

Look how cute these freakin’ dragons are!

The game’s pace is fairly slow with players trying to purchase cards that let them flip more on their turn, give them more Growth points to purchase more cards, and reshuffling their discard piles. When all the Memory cards from a Season are purchased, the next Season’s Memory cards are placed above the market. The game ends when there’s only 1 Memory card left in Winter.

There’s certainly a bit of thought needed to do well in the game, but children can pick up on the simple strategies fairly quickly. There are certain cards that let you flip more cards, cards that protect you against the few “bad” cards in the deck, and Memories that are worth lots of points but essentially cost you a turn once they’re in your deck and come up again. There’s not a ton of depth here, it is geared more towards families, but the game is still undeniably cute, fun, and the open-hand nature of it makes it excellent for younger players. My only real concern is that it plays a bit long, though this can be adjusted by the number of Memories in each season.

My suggestion here? Unless you find this game irresistible because of the theme and/or art, are a fan of The Tea Dragon Society comic, or have young kids, skip this one. This is not a game really aimed at the hobby crowd, though it certainly is several steps above any family mass-market game. The Tea Dragon Society is an excellent game for kids to learn the basics of deck/tableau building games, and I really think any family with kids 6-12 would certainly enjoy it.

A copy of The Tea Dragon Society was provided free for review by Oni Press

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