For years, Riot Games rode out the success of their seminal title, League of Legends, but it’s clear with the release of Legends of Runeterra, Teamfight Tactics, and more that Riot has massive plans for taking us beyond Summoner’s Rift. It’s not just digital either, back in 2016, Riot released their first physical board game Mechs vs. Minions that had players assuming the roles of one of four Yordles (Mechs) and facing off against hordes of minions.
Mechs vs Minions is a beautifully made game and takes players through thoughtful, exciting story missions, but sometimes you don’t have the patience (thanks quarantine brain!) to strategize for 60+ minutes. That’s why I was thrilled when Riot reached out with news about their latest foray into tabletop, Tellstones: King’s Gambit. Games on average last just about 10 minutes with easy to pick-up mechanics and minimal set-up. According to lore, Tellstones is played across Runeterra but this particular version is the Demacian edition.
Tellstones comes packaged inside a hefty, metal box with an engraved logo and filigree around the edges. Inside you’ll find the game pieces, score markers, felt game board, reference sheet, rules, and a letter from Cithria’s “Pa”. Like Mechs vs. Minions, Riot didn’t cut any corners on quality. The “stones” have substantial weight to them and the rule book has a textured, water-resistant coating.
Each piece also has a “home” inside the box so there’s little risk of stones going missing or clacking against each other in transit. My only gripe, and barely one, is the score marker pieces are just clear glass stones and aren’t bespoke to the game. Obviously super minor, but would have loved if the markers were Demacian currency or something of the like.
At its core, Tellstones is a memory game. Hope you’ve been playing lots of Perfect Match in Fall Guys, ‘cause Tellstones will put you to the test! On your turn, you select from the following actions:
- Placing a stone on the line (the fabric board)
- Flipping a stone over
- Swapping stones
- Peeking at flipped over stones
- Or challenging your opponent
The physical action of moving stones is directed by you but carried out by your opponent. This somewhat helps with memorization as you’ll constantly be trying to remember where all the symbols are located while attempting to confuse your opponent.
The game ends once a player wins 3 points or successfully boasts which requires them to correctly identify all hidden stones on the board. The game can be played between 2 players or 2 teams and because the games are short with rarely any set-up, allows players to quickly get back into the action. Tellstones makes a great, compact addition to my board game collection and I can’t wait to bring it along on my next adventure!
Tellstones: King’s Gambit is available beginning today from the Riot Shop for $30.
Check out the latest on gaming culture here!
Find full schedules, brackets, and more for your favorite esports on Juked.gg!