We don’t exist in a bubble. Our differing experiences shape our opinions and life views, and that’s a wonderful thing. Trends effect our decisions, new ways of thinking change our perspective. Comparisons will always be made by what we used to do in the past compared to what we have done now. Board games naturally feed off each other, as designers can’t help but be subconsciously influenced by what they see, read and play. I’ve personally never seen the sense in the ultimate big list comparison of all board games. Games are generally designed and sold to facilitate making the passing of time easier on us and also ideally make money for the creator. Whether that be through forcing us to guffaw with laughter, or spend seven minutes staring at the same space deciding whether to place a meeple or not. Games have an objective, an aim that they intend to fulfil. So it’s important when I’m writing about them to take that into account. Pocket Paragons aims to fill that time where there is no time to play a game and tries to grasp it’s own little corner of the board game market.



Pocket Paragons is that small space on the train table on a journey, that gap between drinks glasses in a pub, that small movable coffee table that is either gently lifted or dragged around the living room floor. It’s almost a microgame in terms of its size and takes the basic rock paper scissors mechanical genre to a newer place with special moves and finishers to wipe out your opponent. Play cards, add or remove life points or energy and then resolve any special actions.



Pocket Paragons is easy to set up and fairly straight forward to play. You’ll have your main character card that will give you clues on what strategy to use, and an ultimate power that you charge up as you play. On a round you and your opponent will decide which card they are playing, play that card and resolve. Certain cards have the ability to counter others in a rock paper scissors style which can trigger additional effects on the cards as well as charge up the amount of energy the player has. Each player usually has some kind of execute move, which if played when the other player is resting will win the game. Each deck comes with its own mini strategy that you are advised to follow if you plan to triumph, and it can take a bit of time to get used to them and how they play. As you get closer to emptying your hand, you’ll need to rest in order to replenish them which is always taking a chance if the other player manages to play their execute card and take you out. There’s not a huge amount of depth here, but that seems to be entirely intentional on Solis Studios part.


Either reduce you opponents life points down to zero or carry out a successful execute move while they are resting will win you the game. 


Pocket Paragons suffers from an inconsistent graphic design style which can spoil the overall aesthetic and learning of the game. The main background art differs depending on the characters that you play as and there are a multitude of illustration styles to take in and enjoy. With the characters coming from a range of sources, I expect there to be differences in that regard. What I didn’t expect is there to be differences in the format of the information boxes on the top and the bottom of the cards. The designers highlight the asymmetry of the game in terms of player powers and strategies, but it makes little sense to have a graphical design style that seems to be the same for some of the sets of cards and then changes to a different format for another. I’m guessing that is based around the versions of the cards and when they were introduced to the series. Some of the text is not particularly easy to read at a quick glance, which again considering the fast nature of gameplay is a bit of a shame.


‘Pocket Paragons is a quick deceptively simple game of big spells and big reads.’ It is. It would be a lot easier to learn if you put the instructions in the box. The game isn’t big enough to warrant an on online rulebook, especially when there are already cards in the deck that detail what the icons mean. Considering the amount of information on the learn to play page, this just seems like an unnecessary barrier to allowing people to just get on with things and start slapping down cards. There’s a glossary on the site and it would be great if this was something that was in the box when you opened it rather than something you need to spend time on a phone to find. Pocket Paragons is all about diving in, as the decks vary considerably between characters and it’s quite fun just to set up several, and switch to new decks as soon as a game finishes. With the differences of play on offer, there can be a quite steep learning curve to understand how the different character styles work but it does open up the replay options and increase the replay options of the game overall.


Pocket Paragons is going to be one of those games that you’ll get lucky and be destroyed within five minutes or get even luckier and be locked into a longer battle due to the two characters you’ve decided to play with. The games I played lasted anywhere from around five to fifteen minutes and never feels like it overstays its welcome.

Final Thoughts

Pocket Paragons wants to be a short sharp shock of gaming that plays quickly and offers a level of longevity that you just wouldn’t experience in games of a similar size. The media pack contained a huge number of decks that was frankly a little bit overwhelming considering the range of play styles on offer. Pocket Paragons reminds me of learning a new Street Fighter game, where I end up picking a random character without knowing their moveset and simply diving in pressing buttons and flailing madly in the hope I land a hit. Sometimes the rock paper scissors mechanic will lead to a monumental game of back and forth as attacks are countered and special moves landed, whereas other decks will disappear back into the box until you can take the time to learn what makes them tick. There’s a surprising level of depth of strategy for how you win with some characters that will need revisited several times before you fully grasp how to play with them. I’m not entirely sure where Pocket Paragons audience is, as the very casual players among us might find some of the decks mechanically confusing. While more experienced gamers might find the short random gameplay a bit too random to want to dig their claws into it, especially if they’re used to some of the more established card battlers out there. My concerns with the game are more cosmetic than mechanical because even when the decks don’t work for you, you’ve not spent twenty minutes of your life waiting to find out you were going to struggle to win. Pocket Paragons aims to serve you up card battling Tapas in bite size chunks which with my gripes aside, it manages to do with a confidence that will endear it to players who want the battling without the extra faff.

Any Tips? 

Play all the decks you can. Sometimes resting early is better than leaving it until the last possible minute.

This review is based on the media preview version of the game provided to us by the designer and publisher. We were not paid for this review. We give a general overview of the gameplay and so not all of the mechanical aspects of the game may be mentioned.

The majority of the games that we are play are going to take a reasonable number of sessions and playthroughs to fully understand every possibility that they offer. We hope this write up gives you an idea of whether or not this game is something that you will consider playing or even add to your collection. Our Six Degrees of Expectation have been written to make it easier for you to find out what is important to you as a player. Even if we don’t like something, hopefully it helps you to decide if it is something that you should find out more about. We always suggest you check out a gameplay video to give you a better understanding of the game as it is played. 

If you would like to support more written pieces on the blog then please consider backing us on Patreon. www.patreon.com/werenotwizards

By Richard