Rahn
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I prefer good decisions over theme. So I tend to stick to Euro or heavy strategy games instead of thematic games.

For instance, I've played Betrayal at House on the Hill and it fell completely flat for me. It just felt like I was randomly exploring and there was only 1 or 2 meaningful decisions once the haunt revealed itself after an hour or bumbling around.

I've played Eldritch Horror as well and I found that good but not great. Again the decisions didn't feel super meaningful and it was more about wandering around and see what randomly happens.

I've played Mage Knight and I think this could fit the bill. However I played with 4 players and I will NEVER do that again. The down time was so painful.

Is there an adventure game out there that I will enjoy? Or am I doomed to a bunch of flat experiences in this area based on my preferences?
 
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Hal
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I have a similar bias to you, and I found Wilderness pretty palatable. It's a race game, where you want to get from the middle of nowhere, to civilization. There's some meaningful resource management choices to make, but you still have the option of taking some risks.

I mean it isn't a full euro experience, but it is a nice middle ground. I have no idea how available it is.
 
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Rahn
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If I think about it critically I think the problem I have had with some of the games I've played is that the events that occur in the game are only tentatively linked to my actions. So while they do tell a good story, I do not feel involved in that story. For me that doesn't feel immersive. I would like a game that tells a great story where I can be the captain of that story and decide which course of action I take.
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Paul Long
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I find that Ghost Stories is an excellent comparison to the Arkham Horror games. It has a strong theme and tension but it isn't anywhere near as random. It has dice rolling, but you can't get ahead by taking low odds rolls and just hoping.

If you aren't playing efficient moves then you will lose (and fairly quickly). So it the thinking is quite "Euro".

Or perhaps something like Letters from Whitechapel

 
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I'm also primarily a Euro gamer and find most adventure games dull, but I love Legends of Andor. It's both my favorite cooperative game and my favorite adventure game. For a competitive adventure, I enjoy Candamir: The First Settlers, whose movement/exploration mechanic I really like, but it lacks a Fantasy theme.
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HenningK
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Yes, definitely Legends of Andor. Don't let the dice fool you, this is a game where you need to plan ahead very carefully, and you only fight the monsters you absolutely have to kill. As it is a cooperative game, you can also play it solo if you want to, you just need to control 2 (or more) characters.
 
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Michael Schneider
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Since someone took the topic a bit whider and mentioned Ghost Stories I want to tell you about another Co-Op:

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
This game is often considered to be a Euro (because of the complexity and the amount of moving parts) but it is a totally thematic game about surviving on a desert-island. And by totally thematic I'm talking about the fact that you have to tie the lid to the box because it is bursting with theme.

The game itself is really challenging and hard and the decisions you have to make aren't better.
Very often you have to draw cards that let you do two things.
The one action is mostly quite useless but you discard the card.
The other one is mostly very usefull but you have to put the card into the event deck (from which you draw at the beginning of each round to see what is trying to kill you next)

A little example:
Either you get 2 food which lets you eat this night (if you dont have enough food every Person that is not eating suffers 2 wounds) but you get a special wound marker on your stomach due to the rotten food and put the card into the event deck - OR - you get nothing and discard the card.
The bad Thing is when you take the food and the stomach wound and the card comes up again then you are in deep trouble unless you have invented medicine...but don't forget to work to achieve the Goal of the scenario...and so on

And the game is full of such decisions.

My personal tip is that you read the flavor-text and the choices but not the results that happen afterwards. In this way it is even more
thematic.

The game comes with 6 Scenarios (+2 official ones via Internet and some fandmade ones) and it has an outstanding expansion available that brings a campaign where everything is important for the following scenarios.


I hope I could help you and I really hope that you take a look at the game.
 
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Thanee
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I would take a closer look at The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!

It is solo-playable, though best with two players (can also play with four, though a second Core Set is a good idea then... well, it is, anyways). Two player games can also be "simulated" when playing solo (with two decks), which is perfectly doable (and many players do just that).

It is full of adventure and full of meaningful decisions.

It is also really hard!

It is, however, not a game-in-a-box. As an LCG, it comes with monthly expansions, and I would say that at least a dozen of those are necessary to get something like a full play experience here.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Miguel
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I really think the game you are looking for really is Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. It feels very thematic and the card events have decks specific to the kinds of actions you are doing so, unlike eldritch horror, the events that come up are at least somewhat related to what you were doing.

The expansion is outstanding, taking the scenario concept further by introducing linked scenarios where the outcome of one scenario has an impact on the next scenario. It involves accompanying Darwin on his expeditions. It'so really hard, however, so I would get a good grip on the base game before attempting it.

Ghost Stories is thematic in the sense that it literally recreates the process of defending a village from an incoming horde of ghosts. It's extremely hard, lots of strategic decisions to be made and great replay value but... I don't know that it really tells much of a story.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a game I really love, but you have to be wiling to buy into the LCG format and want to build decks. If this is unappealing to you, stay away. If it doesn't, give it a serious look because it's extremely thematic and it tells a different story depending on which mission you are playing (and there is a new one in every pack!). The strategy is heavily front-loaded, in the way that most deck-builders are (designing your deck is the most important part, in game decisions are plentiful but limited by what you put in the deck)

For something a little different, Thunderbolt Apache Leader recreates a series of helicopter/ fighter plane missions which are extremely thematic and tell an amazing story because there are events and the pilots have to fly consecutive days so their damage and fatigue carries from mission to mission.
 
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Clinton Sattler
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Perhaps a little outside of the box, but have you considered Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases? The whole thing unfolds like a choose your own adventure book, and as far as I can tell, even if you visited every location in the case book you would still have to make some deductive leaps in solving the case. Although I find the scoring against Sherlock a weak addition to the game, you may find it enjoyable to add another "timer" to the game in trying to solve the case in as few clues as possible.

You'd have to do your research as I am not convinced it would be your cup of tea.
 
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Kasper Lauest
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TumbleSteak wrote:
I prefer good decisions over theme. So I tend to stick to Euro or heavy strategy games instead of thematic games.

For instance, I've played Betrayal at House on the Hill and it fell completely flat for me. It just felt like I was randomly exploring and there was only 1 or 2 meaningful decisions once the haunt revealed itself after an hour or bumbling around.

I've played Eldritch Horror as well and I found that good but not great. Again the decisions didn't feel super meaningful and it was more about wandering around and see what randomly happens.

I've played Mage Knight and I think this could fit the bill. However I played with 4 players and I will NEVER do that again. The down time was so painful.

Is there an adventure game out there that I will enjoy? Or am I doomed to a bunch of flat experiences in this area based on my preferences?

Go with your instinct about Mage Knight Board Game.

I feel like you about adventure games. They leave me cold. Too few interesting decisions and too many random dice rolls, etc. So like you, I generally play medium or heavy euros.

However, one of my absolute favourite games and one of my few 10's is Mage Knight Board Game. But I would NEVER play that with four. Infact, I only play it solo (although I would like to try it with 2 or possibly 3). I don't in general like solo gaming, but THAT game is amazingly rewarding solo. And when there are no other players to consider, you can spent AGES agonizing over every turn. It's pretty much what we euro gamers usually loves to do anyway. What is also awesome, is that now you can get a great gaming experience even when you can't get a proper game night going.

As yet, I have played no other adventure style game that I liked.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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Trantor42 wrote:
Yes, definitely Legends of Andor. (...) As it is a cooperative game, you can also play it solo if you want to, you just need to control 2 (or more) characters.

Or download the solo legend The Curse of the Beast (shameless plug).

To be fair, there is also an official solo variant for legend 3.

As a side note, I think some people here are confusing cooperative games with adventure games. Ghost Stories, really?!
 
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