Sometimes I buy a game because it just looks pretty. Seasons was one such purchase.
In Seasons you play as a powerful wizard, engaged in a 3 year battle against your fellow sorcerers. You use the resources available to you in nature to craft items and summon familiars to earn the most crystals and win the game. Your power is dependent on what is readily available during each season of the year, determined by a simple die roll.
Each season has it's set of dice that you roll to determine what resources are available for that round. The person that starts the round rolls n + 1 dice, where n is the number of players. That player then selects which dice they want, passing the other dice for the next player to choose from. The dice that isn't picked at the end of the round determines how many months the counter moves forward.
The die you choose tells you what you gain that turn. A player can gain elemental power tokens, cards, summoning power, or the ability to transmute their elemental tokens into crystals.
The thing that really drew me to this game is the art. It's gorgeous, colorful, cute and fun. There are several cards that I just wish I could order large prints of. Seriously, this game is pretty!
The thing that keeps me wanting to play this game, though, is that it's more than just nice to look at (ha!). It's fun to play, too. The items are interesting and the possible combinations limitless. There's also a very interesting mechanic: You decide what your hands are going to be before the game even starts.
In the beginner version of the game, each player is given a pre-made deck to build their 3 hands from. In the full version, the players draft their decks and then build their hands.
Before the first turn is played, you've got to figure out what your strategy is going to be on each year and hope that you put the right cards in the right place. Once the game starts, you can't look at your future hands again, not until you go to draw them.
I can't recommend this game enough for the gamer's collection. It's beautiful and well executed, with lots of possibilities for expansions built in. Might not be the best thing to throw at your beginners, but any hardcore boardgamer will definitely be coming back for more Seasons.