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Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer - Board Game Box Shot

Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer

, | Published: 2011

Play alone or with friends to battle against the Fallen One for honor and victory. Conceived and designed by three Magic: The Gathering tournament players, Ascension will provide hours of engaging and strategic game play for enthusiast and experienced gamers alike.

For millennia, the world of Vigil has been isolated and protected from other realms. Now, the barrier between dimensions is failing, and Samael, the Fallen God, has returned with his army of Monsters from the beyond! You are one of the few warriors capable of facing this threat and defending your world, but you cannot do it alone! You must summon powerful Heroes and Constructs to aid you in your battles. The player who gains the most Honor Points will lead his army to defeat the Fallen One and earn the title of Godslayer!

Ascension home screen Ascension card gallery Ascension gameplay


  • Universal Application
  • Introductory tutorial to teach you how to play
  • Over 50 beautifully detailed cards, hand drawn by Eric Sabee
  • Full asynchronous support for multiplayer online games
  • Play against others with “pass and play” multiplayer
  • Maintain and save multiple games
  • Play against multiple A.I. opponents using varied strategies
  • Enhanced visual optimization for iPhone 4 and iPad using high resolution graphics designed for the retina display

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User Reviews (13)

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3 Beta 2.0 Tester
Went to Gen Con 2012
48 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“If you like Dominion, you'll like this game”

My partner taught me Dominion a while ago, and suggested this game to me. I put off buying this app due to the graphics of the game (they completely turned me off). He let me play this on his iPad, and after going through the tutorial- I was hooked!

This game reminds me of Dominionin- the way that you start out with a deck and need to build up from the basic cards, acquiring better cards in front of you. You are trying to gain star points to win. You also get points for having more cards than your opponent and there are points assigned to special cards (bottom left corner). You must banish evil monsters along the way (thus, the graphics that turned me off to begin with).

I must say, the tutorial for this game is the best one I have seen! It walks you step by step through the beginning of one game and allows you to play from there or start a new game. I learn best by doing things, rather than just having to listen to a bunch of rules. This tutorial made it fun and easy to learn this game!

I like the fact that you can play online with other players in your spare time (taking turns and checking back when it’s convienent for you) or just play on your network with a roomate or go it alone. I play this several times a day now. Its easy enought that even our 9 year old likes this game, and strategic enough to have me keep going back for more!

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47 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“Great Translation”

Short Overview of Gameplay -> It’s a deck building game, where the goal is to gain victory points by killing monsters or buying cards with VPs associated with them. So you might buy a card that gives you more Runes (money), or Power (Heavy Militia).

Then depending on what you draw to your hand, you can buy other cards with special abilities. Or, if you have enough power, you can choose to defeat a monster.

On the translation -> Well done. The art looks good, the game play is smooth, and you have the ability to speed up or slow down game play. The game makes it clear if you can’t do anything else on your turn, which is helpful (especially as you are learning the game).

A couple nits on the interface: Dragging to the void (when you defeat monsters) or adding to your discard (when you buy cards) is a little touchy. You have to ‘throw’ the cards, and if you don’t get them to just the right area it doesn’t work. Like I said, a nit. The other thing that is a tad bothersome is that when you have constructs in play (they are always active, you don’t have to draw them), it is difficult to remember you have them to act upon. There is for instance, a card that allows you to draw an extra card to your hand. I always forget to do that before I start buying\fighting.

Then I notice after I played my hand, and I’m irritated.

Overall – I would definitely recommend a pickup of this game. I bought it for $.99 and immediately bought the expansion. Great quick gameplay.

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I'm Completely Obsessed
47 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“Portable deck building goodness”

What is the Ascension iOS app? It is an iOS implementation of the fantasy deck building game of the same name. The tree version is from Gary Games while the app is developed by Playdek who is prolific at converting board game to iOS (Nightfall, Summoner Wars, Can’t Stop,..)
The game is Universal (same app works on both iPhone and iPad) and is currently priced at $4.99.
Through the app you can also acquire the two first expansions, Return Of The Fallen ($2.99) and Storm Of Souls ($3.99), as well as a promo pack containing few additional cards ($0.99)

As all well respected deck building games, all players start with identical decks they use to acquire more powerful cards.
There are two currencies in the game, Runes and Power. Runes allow you to acquire Heroes and Constructs while Power help you fight Monsters. Each turn the player can acquire or defeat as many cards as possible given his Runes and Powers. Runes and Powers are obtained from Heroes you play and Construct you have in play (Constructs are cards that once played stay in play and give you some effect/action each turn). Powers are used to defeat Monsters, who in turn give you Honor points. Heroes and Constructs go on your discard pile once acquired but Monsters are banished (excluded) from play. Note that most cards give you additional benefits like drawing more cards, banishing card from play, extra Honor points,….
The goal of the game is to finish with more Honor points than your opponents; and the game finishes when the initial pool of Honor points available (depending on the number of players) is exhausted.
In addition to the Honor points you get during play, at the end of the game you also get Honor points for cards in your deck as all card except the starting deck have a Honor value.
Now one important point to explain is that unlike Dominion, Thunderstone, Nightfall, …,the cards you can acquire or defeat each turn are not always the same during a game. There are always two Heroes (one giving you two Powers, the other two Runes) and one Monster (giving you one Honor) that can be acquired or defeated. But all other Heroes, Monsters and Constructs are shuffled into a draw pile and at the beginning of the game the six top card are revealed and put in the center row; those, in addition to the three cards discussed above (2 Heroes, 1 Monster), will be the cards the first player can choose to acquire or defeat. Then, each time a card is taken from the center row, a new card from the draw pile is revealed to replace it. In addition to drawing your hand, this introduces an additional random factor.
The interaction with other players is low to medium. Some cards you play make them discard cards in their hand or Constructs in play, others allow you to banish cards from the center row (if you can’t get a good card, better to banish it than someone else taking it) and a card allow you to steal few honor points from opponents.
The game is fairly quick in its digital digital form, probably around 15 minutes against the AI and 10 minutes per player on multiplayer.
The expansions add some new interesting rules like some effects that take place when the cards are revealed in the center raw, some Monsters that can be kept in play and then used once for a special effect,…

The game lets you play 2-4 player games. You can play alone against multiple AI, pass and play mixing AI and human players or asynchronous online using Game Center.
The AI offers 2 difficulty levels. Comparing my performance online (around 40% wins) to my performance against the AI (probably like 70% wins) I would say that for the better players, the AI might be too week. For me it is however fine as it gives some challenge while not being frustrating.
To play online you can choose games with different number of players, using different sets of card (base set, base set plus expansions or expansion alone,…) and a timer. The timer lets you set how long each player will have to complete all of their turns, going from 10 minutes to 1 month. Note that it is easier to find 2 players games with 10 or 30 minutes timers. You can also invite people for private games.
To learn the game there is an interactive tutorial that you can supplement by accessing the rulebook. A positive point is that unlike some other iOS implementation of board games, the rules have been adapted to the digital game and are not a scan of the board game version.
The design of the app is inspired by the theme and cards of the game with drawn backgrounds and interesting music (each expansion gives access to a new background and a new music). The board is busy but the different areas are easy to differentiate and see. On the iPhone you will need to tap on cards to be able to read their actions or effects, but on the iPad, especially with a Retina display, all can be seen and read from the main view except the effects of constructs in play.

Ascension delivers a quick deck building game experience perfect for portable play. Although the randomness of the center row (cards you can acquire or defeat) might put off some players, I do not think it reduces the importance of skills. In my experience good players will be much better at adapting to the changing cards and will usually beat less skilled players.
The artwork on the cards has his detractors, but I am not one of them: this is for me the most interesting art I have seen on cards.
The iOS implementation is also a winner with different options to play, a good tutorial, a clear board, nice graphics and animation and good music.
There are however three improvements I would like to see: a stronger AI (although for me the challenge is fine as is); a chat for online play; a way to show the location or timezone of people as I have been caught playing with people obviously in opposite time zones leading to half day waits between each turns.
(It actually appears that a stronger AI is (or at least was) in the pipeline and the app does look like it was set-up for 3 levels, the third one not being selectable)

I recommend the game to anyone with an iOS and it is a must buy for anyone interested in deck building owning a Retina display enabled iPad.

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47 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“Ascension On The Road Can Only Be A Good Thing.”

I love Ascension. As the game that started my collection, I fell hard for its simple yet strategic style of play.
I’m always up for a game if anyone is interested. It doesn’t make it out to the table very often anymore, though, due to the ever expanding number of new games that have been added to the collection over time. The iOS version is perfect for me, because now I can play anytime I want with people from all over. It’s fairly up to date on expansions as well, only missing the latest standalone Rise of Vigil and its expansion.

If you like Ascension at all, you’ve got no excuses. Get the iOS version.

*NOTE* I reviewed the components as 1 star because, well, there are none. Unless you count your phone as a component, but that would make you a weirdo.

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I play green
47 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“A beautiful game of probability”

I have played almost 500 games of Ascension on my iPhone. To say it’s one of my favorite games or that I love it is, perhaps, an understatement. I also love Dominion, but they are very different games.

For this review, I’m going to discuss both the game of Ascension and the app.

Ascension is a deckbuilding game. There is a large deck of cards, many of which are unique. At all times there are 6 cards from this deck available for “purchase” between both players. Players purchase these cards with one of two currencies. There are cards that provide new abilities and monsters, which typically just provide points and a one-time behavior (i.e. steal a card, banish a card from your hand, etc.). So, in addition to the 6 randomly generated cards in the center, players can always buy the currency cards to more efficiently obtain cards or banish monsters.

Some people will knock Ascension for being too random, and it IS random. Especially compared to Dominion, where the 10 piles of cards are constant for the entire game. However, as you learn the game and its cards you’ll find there is a rhythm and a pulse to it. You’ll begin to learn the probability of monsters or other cards coming out. You’ll see the combinations. I should note that I play the game almost exclusively in 2 player games. With 3 or 4 players the game gets a bit too chaotic and it’s too difficult to make meaningful decisions.

One thing I love about Ascension are the Constructs. These cards are both worth a great deal of points at the end, but when you play them they remain in front of you semi-permanently (some cards and force you to discard them). At first glance, their abilities are meaningless. However, veteran players will quickly show you just how powerful a well-built set of Constructs can be!

Yes, sometimes your opponent will get all the best draws. It happens. But, two experienced players can finish a game of Ascension in under 10 minutes. If you get a bad draw, just play again!

Now, some specifics on the App.

The app is very stable and never crashes on my iPhone 4. The game uses Gamecenter to find friends against whom to play, and I’ve found it’s one of the better board game apps because of it. It is very easy to setup games and navigate through them. Playdek (the developer) has made good improvements throughout the app’s life cycle, including fixing bugs and exploits, improving the UI (Next Game button!) and adding the game’s expansions. You can now buy the Return of the Fallen and Storm of Souls expansions, plus the promo cards.

The UI is generally very clean and easy to use. The hardest part of Ascension is learning the cards, which just takes time.

This is a great app and well worth the money. I love the app so much that I intend to buy the physical game. Great job on both the developers of the game and the app.

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47 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“Great Implementation, Amazing deck building.”

With a lot of digital deck building games, the quality of your deck is directly proportional to the amount of real money that you’re willing to sink into the game. Not with this one though. This game is a deck building mega-god on the cheap…where cheap is free. This game is very easy to learn, allows you to save games, play multiple games, beat the AI down into submission (or be destroyed by it), and take on multi-player games.

While it seems that sometimes there is a lot of luck involved with who wins, I would honestly say that building a good deck will quickly mitigate that feeling. This game does not feel repetitious at all either, which is especially nice.

Also, the art on the cards? Its great.

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6 Beta 1.0 Tester
47 of 58 gamers found this helpful
“Interesting, fun and easy to learn”

I had never played the boxed game of Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, but the reviews always made it seem like a game I would like. When I got my Ipad it was one of the first games I purchased and I’m very glad I did.

I’m not going to go into the rules because they are readily available elsewhere. Ascension is a deck building game where you and your oppenent start with a small, but identical hand of cards and build a larger and hopefully powerful deck by the end of the game. But what I will say is that the game is filled with great artwork, and the presentation is probably the best I’ve seen in a boardgame to Ipad conversion.

It is also very easy to learn. I read through the instructions in less than 5 minutes and watched the tutorial which was very informative. I was able to play through my first game without having to refer back to the instructions at all. If you are not familiar with the concept of deck building it might take a little longer to fully grasp the game, but not to the point where you wouldn’t enjoy it.

I have onlyl played against the AI but you can also play against another live opponent or online. Very fun game with great graphics and sound effects!

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46 of 58 gamers found this helpful
“Fun Over and Over Again!”

I learned to play from a friend at a local hobby store. The game was easy to pick up as I play games like MTG, L5R, ARC, Etc. I found myself instantly enjoying Ascension as I really enjoy drafting in MTG. The game was easy to learn and on IOS it’s even easier! It helps you along and the pace is very fast.

I soon taught my girlfriend how to play in hopes it would be a gateway drug/game to more addictive and ultra dorky games lol. Instead of moving to other games we just keep playing Ascension! The each player takes their own turn allows the game to play similar to Words With Friends on IOS, which is very convenient if you’re not able to sit and play for 10-15 minutes without stopping. If you can play for 10-15 minutes without stopping it goes by quick and you can sometimes get 2-3 full games in within that amount of time.

The physical card game is loads of fun as well. Although it’s a bit slower paced and not as convenient as the IOS, it is still a blast. In fact, my only beef is the artwork. The artwork is different and cool, but the game could be SO MUCH MORE COOL if the artwork was better. I highly recommend picking this game up as well as its expansions, you wont be disappointed.

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47 of 65 gamers found this helpful
“"Great translation of a card game to an app"”

I became a fan of Ascension even before the card game came out. The art style intrigued me and I was looking forward to playing a game where I did not have to collect the cards in order to be able to play and enjoy the game. When I finally got my hands on the physical game, I was very happy of the outcome. The game is a great deck building game with a shorter setup and put away time.

Then the app came out and it was a no brainer for me to get it. This allowed me to play against my wife without having to set up cards and put away the cards. To my surprise, this game plays great online. The asynchronous play works perfectly for those on the go.

If you are looking for a deck building game or have never played a deck building game before, definitely check this game out. One of the best Card Game Apps in the App Store.

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4 Beta 1.0 Tester Beta 2.0 Tester
Amateur Advisor
46 of 71 gamers found this helpful
“Much more fun than the paper version”

I have some beefs with the game design of Ascension, but I gotta say, the tactile nature of dragging the cards around on the iPad is really satisfying. Combined with the increased speed of play you get by playing in a digital medium, I think the iPad game is a real improvement over the boxed version. Yes, the interface could use some work, and yes, the layout seems kind of amateur, but I’m willing to forgive that for a good quick deckbuilder to play with my friends quickly and easily.

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Went to Gen Con 2012 Silver Supporter
48 of 80 gamers found this helpful
“A near perfect translation”

I have developed a near addiction to this app. The game is fun in its physical form; however, it really takes off as a digital import. The AI is challenging but doesn’t appear to cheat. The only change I would like to see is a third level of AI.

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“Best deck builder”

The adaptation of the card game to digital is executed brilliantly. The game play is smooth and the learning curve for the mechanics is very short. There is nothing to get confused about with the screen arrangement, it just all makes perfect sense. Playdeck has a 5 Star winner here. You can play against live opponents or bots. Up to 4 players, and the bots play a very competitive game, victory is never a sure thing. There are expansions and promo cards available for purchase, but the price point is very reasonable, especially when compared to the analog game. The ability to set up and get playing in seconds make this an even better value. If you like the analog version, you must give this a try, you will not regret it.

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47 of 86 gamers found this helpful
“A little too much luck in the game.”

I enjoy the game, but it seems to require more luck than skill.


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