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Subject: The Adventure Game Collector (2018) rss

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The Adventure Game Collector (2018)

(Last Updated: 16th May 2018)


Part of my BGG Collectors Series:

The Dungeon Crawler Collector
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1848358/dungeon-crawler-col...

The Adventure Game Collector
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1976837/adventure-game-coll...

The Dudes on a Map Collector
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1985369/dudes-map-collector


As an adventure game collector I've noticed a pattern with the different gaming groups I've played with, and while there are many articles on adventure games out there, they all have one thing in common, which is a review from a single ‘group’ perspective. Here I've listed some feedback from very different gaming groups I’ve played with.

IMPORTANT: This is not a review article. This only provides comments, opinions and feedback made by different groups playing these games, and my personally comparison of these games. It’s not well written, as I can’t be bothered to do a proper write up, but it’ll give you a sense of what I mean. Also, this is not a top/best adventure games list, only which best suits the kind of gaming groups you may be in.

PS: I’ve only included mostly games which are still easy to get or are still in print, and also what I think fits the bill for adventure games for me; others may have differing opinions on what constitutes an adventure game. For those, this article may not be for you.

Includes:

-Traditional explorative adventure games
-Competitive multiplayer adventure games
-Competitive 2 player vs adventure games
-Deckbuilding adventure games
-1 vs Many adventure games
-Out of Print adventure games
-Puzzle adventure games

Perspective definition:

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group – this bunch of friends/family range from age 8-50. Have little or no experience with tabletop board gaming. Usually have trouble sitting for long gaming sessions. Always prefer quick gaming options which do not require much brain power. (I usually have to teach/overlord for this group)

The ‘Casual’ gaming group - this bunch of friends/family range from age 18-40. Have some experience with tabletop board gaming. Ideally like games that run from 1-3 hours per session. Like high production value games, easy to learn games, but still need a challenge and favour tactical choices. (teaching roles rotate)

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group - this bunch of friends/family range from age 21-38. These are board gaming snobs, and are highly critical of mechanics and gameplay. Have absolutely no trouble sitting down and gaming for the entire day. Prefer highly customizable, challenging, and a good balance between fiddlyness and streamlining (the cost of fiddlyness must have a comparative benefit, not just fiddly for the sake of being fiddly). I fit into this group and am one of the older players in this group.

*Depending on which type of gamer you are, you should fit into one or more of these 3 categories.


Ratings:

Please never bring this out again
I’ll play if I have to
I enjoy this game
Save me a seat for next week!


Now on to the games we’ve played. (We’ve omitted some that we didn’t think would be relevant, but if anyone would like us to add to the list, let us know. If we’ve played it, we’ll try and add it)



Talisman (3rd and 4th Editions)

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
A well-loved gateway game. Most newbies can pick this game up with relative ease. It has beautiful art, is easy to teach and learn, and has nice miniatures. The game length is the only drawback, but can easily be rectified with advanced rules, like less experience to level a character.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
Casuals are quite split on this game. Those who love randomness will love this game, but those who do not, will find this game utterly frustrating. This is not a strategy game, while there are a few decisions to be made, the majority of decisions will just be the left or right direction you will be moving.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This is hardly the ideal game for my hardcore gamers. It’s way too random, has no meaningful long term strategy, and goes for longer than the theme suggests. It’s also way too long for a filler game. My hardcore gamers will only play this, when they want an easy beer and pretzels game, to take a break from other brain burning games.


Relic

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
Similar to its older brother Talisman, Relic is also a great gateway. While not just a straight port of Talisman in space, this game offers ‘slightly’ more strategy when compared to its predecessor. For newbies who prefer sci-fi to fantasy, this would be a great substitute to Talisman. It is also a faster game, and is mechanically better (Machine god pun intended).

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
Not “the Emperor’s finest…” but this group did prefer Relic to Talisman, even for those who preferred fantasy over sci-fi, mainly due to the ‘marginally’ less randomness and more strategic elements. That being said, randomness is still a large part of the game’s core. And if you have a gamer who just hates randomness, best move to another title.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
Dis group was very polarized with Relic. For dem boyz who knew nothing about da Warhammer 40k universe, dis game was just a panzy waste of dakka. For dem who grew up on WH40k, dis was a boss treasure trove of easter eggs and lore. Waaargh!!!devil


Arkham Horror: The Card Game

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This game was relatively difficult to teach to newbies. I would not suggest this, unless they were extremely interested in the theme. This game was also too punishing with a simple deck (2 core’s – 4 players). Not the best experience.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
For those who loved Mansions of Madness, or any of the lovecraftian games, this was definitely ‘One of the Best’ games with the Cthulhu theme. This game is not as localized as MoM to a specific locale, and features a wide variety of locations (expansions included). While not as visually appealing as MoM, it is definitely more intimate and immersive (like reading a horror novel, and exploring the world, while trying to solve its mysteries).

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
Ok, this game is an LCG, and with all LCG’s, it comes with the same drawback of LCG’s. For those OCD hardcore players, who want to build the ‘best’ deck available, this game can easily become very expensive, with the amount of core sets you’d need to buy for a 4 player game. But for those who are content with just 2 core boxes, this game is definitely a fantastic experience.


The 7th Continent

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
While this is not a difficult game to teach or learn, this game requires a time commitment that most newbies will not appreciate. No one wants to start a game they cant finish. For that reason, most in this group did not want to partake in trying this game out.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
Easily one of the best adventure games of our time. Not a single person in all my casual groups that did not enjoy this game. For those who remember the adventure books of old, this is definitely a blast of nostalgia. The sheer magnitude of this game is breathtaking. While not a cheap game, this game is definitely worth every penny. The expansions are a good addition, but required.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
Similar to the casuals, the majority of my hardcore groups enjoyed this game. Main criticisms were the replayability (to avoid spoilers, I will not elaborate on this). Suffice to say, if your hardcore gamers enjoy adventure exploration, this game will not disappoint.


The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This game was too heavy for our newbies, it had way too many things to keep track of. The game itself it not necessarily fiddly, but is quite complex. Best to stay away from this with newbies.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
For those who love the world of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit, this game is a wonderful adventure of middle earth. For those who were not familiar with Tolkien’s work, this was a very generic fantasy game. Many casuals preferred Arkham Horror LCG to this game, purely because of the more immersive theme.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This group loved the artwork and simplistic design of the core mechanics. It was very engaging for those who loved the theme. For those who didn’t, they found this game very mediocre. And similar to the casual groups, unanimously found that the Arkham Horror LCG was just a better designed game all round.


XIA

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
Despite the higher weight rating on BGG for this game, newbie players didn’t find it too difficult to learn. While many would have preferred a fantasy theme (make it happen Cody! goo), this game epitomizes exploration and adventure. Such a beautiful production, newbies easily get magnetized to all the shiny bits. Thankfully the gameplay is just as good.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
Exploring the stars, doing anything you want, going anywhere you want, attacking anybody you want, this game just gives you the freedom to play a game the way you want to play it. The best sandbox adventure game my groups have played so far. The sweet spot for this game is around the 2-3 hour mark, anything longer and it starts to drag on. So depending on your group, set the appropriate victory conditions to finish around that time frame.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
The hardcore players in my groups did enjoy the theme and intent of this game. However, the sheer dependence on the RNG gods (aka Dice), was heavily criticized. While the expansions attempted to improve this, it was ‘marginal’. If your hardcore players are not a fans of randomness, this game will not hit the table.


Firefly: The Game

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This game is deceptively harder to teach than it looks. It didn't help that, there wasn't many Firefly fans in these groups as well. Many in these groups preferred XIA, which was more straight forward, and expansive. There was just zero attachment to this game.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
For the die hard firefly fans in these groups, this game was definitely a good time. All the character references, all the familiar nuances, it was definitely very firefly. This however, is only for the base game. While we did test some, but there wasn't an opportunity to add all the different expansions together. Would that have changed the perception of this game overall? 'maybe', but unlikely.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This group found it mediocre. The fans loved the theme, but pointed out that mechanically, XIA did everything better than Firefly. If Firefly had the same mechanics as XIA, along with the IP and theme, it would have been fantastic. But alas, it doesn't, and as a result this game falls short on many fronts.


Merchants & Marauders

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
Very similar to XIA in terms of exploration and adventure, with a pirate theme. But unlike XIA, M&M is not easy to teach or learn. Combat is fiddly and unnecessarily convoluted. For this type of sandbox game, newbies have no reason to play this over XIA, even if they enjoy pirates.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
This group enjoyed this game somewhat. Many enjoyed the theme and scope. The game is beautiful on the tabletop. However, many didn’t like the extended downtime between turns and the game duration. While XIA had similar issues, XIA was more interesting to watch on other people’s turn. In M&M, you just felt like picking up your phone on someone else’s turn.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This group did not enjoy this game at all, despite many loving the pirate theme. It was too long for what it was, the gameplay was way too random, the downtime and play duration was too long, and it’s not as sandboxy as you may think it is.


Legends of Andor

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This group really enjoyed the game’s beautifully illustrated maps. This game is definitely an eye pleaser on the table. Hats off to Michael Menzel, for what is probably one of the best illustrations on a map for a board game. This game is moderately easy to teach. While it seems like a very open adventure, the gameplay direction is very linear, and will seem more like a puzzle, than a true adventure. Nevertheless, the newbies still enjoyed this game immensely.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
For those who don’t mind playing a game like a storybook, this game delivers in spades. For those who want to write their own story, this game will feel extremely restrictive. Many in this game loved the overarching storyline of the narrative, but some felt this game didn’t leave you which much choices. There is always only ‘one’ way to play this game.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This game probably encapsulates more LOTR theme, than any actual LOTR game available. However, this group found this game a missed opportunity. The linear script, randomness and limited decision making was ultimately this game’s downfall. Hardcore players had no interest in bringing this game back to the table.


Defenders of the Realm

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
Many newbies found this game to be more or less to be Pandemic on steroids. The ruleset itself was not complicated, but it did require more brain juice than most newbies are willing to burn. Having said that, newbies will play this, if they are in the mood.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
Exploring and going from city to city, using your special abilities and defending villages from monsters. That’s sounds like the definition of an adventure game. This game was well received by my casual groups. For those that found Pandemic too mundane, this definitely added a thematic flair and adventure to the mix. It had the correct balance of both puzzliness (yes thats a word ), and combat to make it engaging.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This game was neither short enough to be a filler, or meaty enough to be a main event. My hardcore groups found this game too long for what it was, and lacked options for strategic thinking.


Defenders of the Last Stand

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
Similar to its older brother Defenders of the Realm, this game was not complicated, but was complicated enough to deter newbies from enjoying it. However, unlike DotR, it plays a lot longer, and that is something the newbies definitely did not enjoy.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
Adventuring the dunes of the Mad Max’ian post-apocalyptic world, in a Pandemic like fashion, is an intriguing combination. Those who love the theme, will also love this game. Gameplay is sufficiently engaging to warrant the time commitment. For those who don’t, while DoLS is mechanically better, DotR is a much better option, as it does not overstay its welcome.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This game again, similar to DotR is not meaty enough to be a main event and not short enough to be a filler. In which case, its longer playtime is even worse than its older brother.


Runebound (2nd & 3rd Editions)

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This game is similar to Talisman in many ways, but unfortunately is a wee bit too fiddly for the newbies. While its superior to Talisman in almost every way, it is not streamlined enough for newbies.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
This is FFG’s quintessential adventure game. If there is any game that is the poster child for adventure games, it would be Runebound. Choose your own adventure, explore the way you want to, complete the quests you want. This is a fantastic adventure game that my casuals all enjoyed. The only negatives are the lack of interaction between players, and the lengthy downtime between turns.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
The modifier tokens are an acquired taste. If you are not a fan of randomness, best to look elsewhere. My hardcore groups, enjoyed the first play of this game, but very quickly became annoyed at its randomness and lack of replayability. Expansions may have helped.


Elder Sign (with expansions)

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
Elder Sign is not really an adventure game, but becomes one with the addition of expansions. Its simplistic design makes it extremely accessible, to the point of almost being a party game. My newbie group definitely loves this game. Whether it’s exploring the museum, or streets of arkham, or traveling the high seas, or the depths of the pyramids, there is definitely an adventure to be had. The only negative is the length of play. This can be somewhat reduced with more plays.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
The base game is short enough to be a filler, but with added mechanics of expansions, it loses that appeal. And playing it as a main event, may leave some casual gamers wanting. There is a 50/50 split in my casual groups that have either positive or negative views on this game. It will come down to personal preference and theme preference.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This game has too little strategy, and too long a duration to be a filler. And with the core mechanic solely based on dice, it’s definitely a no no for my hardcore groups.


Above and Below

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
If civilization games and adventure games had a baby, this would be it. I’ve included it here because its adventure element is quite compelling. Newbies enjoy this game greatly. It’s appealing to the eye and seems very light hearted. Rules are not hard to teach or learn. The story telling in this game is very well done, and the newbies just came coming back for more.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
This group found the game to be a great filler. It lacked enough interaction, and replayability to be a staple, but for what it was, it was definitely a good time.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
Those in this group classify this game as a novelty. Once you see everything, it loses its appeal.


Near and Far

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
While mechanically a well-designed game, and a great evolution to its predecessor Above and Below, the newbies did not find this as appealing as Above and Below. This could be the change in art, the longer game time, or just a touch too fiddly than it should be.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
I can see where the designer was going with this game, but I cant help but feel, it fell slightly short of its mark. My casual group found this game similar in ‘fun’ rating as Above and Below, and didn’t mind the extra play time. Some even preferred the art in this game.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
The hardcore group preferred this game to Above and Below, but not by much. It suffers from similar flaws, more of the same.


Mage Knight

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This game should never be attempted with newbies… ever.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
This group found the game extremely challenging to pick up. One person said this was the fiddliest game he had ever played. The games went at a plodding pace with this group. There were just rules atop rules atop rules. This group found this game a headache. This game takes the word ‘streamlining’ and goes the exact opposite direction. Will never hit the table again.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This group enjoyed this game moderately. Once everyone got over the rules, the theme and scope of this game really shined. The main issues this group had with the game was the excessive down/play time. Despite feeling a sense of accomplishment after finishing a game, you don’t get the feeling of replaying it. When this game was first released, there were many in this group which saw this game as the pinnacle of game design. At present, this game really feels its age, and could use ‘much’ streamlining, and is currently subpar when compared to many of the newer games in this genre.


Warcraft Adventure Game

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
The newbies found this game a bit too long for what it was. Many preferred other games. This won’t hit the table again.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
With many in this group, fans of the Warcraft universe, this game was poised to be a success. Unfortunately, it left much to be desired. The gameplay was bland, and the theme was pasted on. Of all the Warcraft board games, this was the worst of the lot. This group really wanted to like this game, but it just fell short. Like a miniaturized bent over leper gnome short.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This group found this game a waste of time. It was too long, too random and it had no end game pay off.


Witcher Adventure Game

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This game has a beautiful production. The art on the map layout of the land is top notch. Having said that, the gameplay was mediocre, and this group much preferred Talisman to this game. It was boring and the theme did not shine through.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
Many in this group including myself were fans of the franchise. We expected this game to be fun, light, and fast, given the bright and colourful artwork. Unfortunately, this game was none of the above. It was stale, mundane, drawn out and had no appeal beyond the fancy graphics.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
The hardcore group was confused on what this game was trying to achieve. It has elements of a pick-up and deliver, crawling, area control, push your luck, racing, adventuring, set collection, and hints of diplomacy. Yet it did none of the above well. This game definitely had potential, but we can’t help but feel this game had a lot of conflicts when the game was initially designed, and never quite found what it wanted to be.


Gloom of Kilforth

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
Whoever the artist is for this game, hats off to him/her. Every single card in this game is a masterpiece in its own right. The game however, looks easier than one would expect it to be. My newbie group found the rules for this game challenging to learn, and did not show interest in playing the game after the rules explanation.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
If Talisman had a card game, I’d imagine it to be very similar to this game. Its random, it’s fun, and many in this group found it to be an upgrade to Talisman. It’s a little fiddlier than they would have liked it to be, but it was manageable. This game hit the table fairly frequently, and that is the hallmark of a good game.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This group found the game enjoyable, but very random, and content in the core game limited. Expansions definitely help. Those in this group that felt Mage Knight was a too long to play and wanted to scratch the same itch, found this game a light and easy replacement. Best played with a lower player count.


Middle Earth Quest

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
As with many of Konieczka’s games, this game is far too heavy for newbies. Do not attempt.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
The LOTR fans in my casual groups found this game enjoyable, but the ones that didn’t, found this game a slog. It has a good Tolkien feel to it, but many in this group found it inferior to Lord of The Rings LCG.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
Mechanics of this game could definitely be improved, but this group had an ok time. It was enjoyable, but many had to wait ages between turns, to the point one friend went for a shower and came back, and it still wasn’t his turn. The game also doesn’t end on a high, and has sort of a ‘meh’ end game, which leaves you wondering why you spent all that time playing a game, to end up with such a mediocre ending.


Robinson Crusoe

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
Even the concepts in this game were very hard to teach, let alone the starting rules. Not for newbies.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
This group did not find the game enjoyable. The rule book was unforgiving. This game has to be personally taught and explained. Reading the rule book as a casual will only lead to confusion and disdain. There is a multitude of things to keep track of. Many mistakes were made attempting to play this game. Suffice to say, one game ended after 30 mins of trying.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This game was well loved, and will hit the table again. There is something very unique about this game. It pulls you in, you feel the struggle, the dread and stress of challenges, but in a good way. Everyone banded together to help each other, and interaction between players was great. The theme is so strong in this game; it’s definitely an experience you will remember.


Tiny Epic Quest

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This game looks deceptively easy to teach. Don’t be fooled, it was quite challenging teaching my newbie groups. Once the game started, things were a little better. This game has far more moving parts than you’d expect. Newbies found the board very messy and confusing. Bigger tiles found have definitely helped. Most likely won’t hit the table again.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
Those in this group that liked the Zelda franchise were pleased at the nod to the Hyrule. For everyone else, it was an enjoyable generic fantasy game. Many liked the portable size of the game, but would have preferred it to be a bigger production. For what it is, it’s definitely a good game to take with you on a holiday.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
The biggest attraction of this game, for this group, were the meeples. A few purchased multiple copies of the game, purely for the meeples. Gameplay was good, but not great. This game will hit he table again, when the itch for an adventuring fantasy filler arises.


Arkham Horror(Board Game)

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
Trying to teach this game to newbies is like trying to teach algebra to a mouse. Just don’t.
Just go with Elder Sign.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
This group found the game complicated, long, clunky, and boring. While we did finally manage to finish ‘one’ game, it will never hit the table again.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
Out of the 3 groups, it’s not surprising this group found the game the most enjoyable. Yet almost all found Arkham Horror LCG far superior in theme and immersion, and Eldritch Horror superior mechanically. A handful did like how this game was personal like AHLCG, and open like EH, but for the majority of the hardcore groups, this will be superseded by the newer games.


Eldritch Horror

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
FFG attempted to make this game more accessible to gateway gamers; unfortunately this did not hit the mark. While it is easier to teach than Arkham Horror, it’s not by much. Best to still stick with Elder Sign.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
This group found this game not as personal, but more expansive than Arkham Horror. Definitely more ‘adventury’. This is still a difficult game, with a very lengthy play duration. While the group did enjoy the game, they enjoyed Elder Sign more, as it didn’t feel like a brain burner like EH.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
This group enjoyed this game immensely. Probably the best out of the Elder Sign, Arkham Horror (BG), Eldritch Horror trilogy of board games. The group was split 50/50 on comparing Arkham Horror LCG to this game. This game felt more like Indiana Jones Cthulhu style, while Arkham Horror LCG felt more like a detective noir movie.


Fallout

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This game is actually simpler than it looks. However, the rule book is not the best. I’m surprised this was an FFG product. The newbies found this game too complicated and mechanical; you were just doing things for the sake of doing things. It was themeless. The only props that were given, was for the production quality.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
A lot of die-hard Fallout fans in these groups. There was much hype when it hit the table. We even had a guy dressed as a pip-boy at one of the games. This game however, did not deliver ‘at all’. I’m not sure what vision FFG had, when they designed this game, but whatever it was, they clearly didn’t understand Fallout. The amount of disappointment at the table was universal.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
There were a lot of Fallout fans in this group as well. Many could see the merits of what the designers ‘tried’ to do with this game, but the execution was just sub-par. It felt like, this game needed another year in development. Probably the worst designed FFG game this group has played in a while.


Darkest Night 2nd Ed

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
The game duration of this game, makes this game less suitable for newbie players.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
A game with a flashy board and nice graphics. The casuals had a good time with this game, but it wasn’t a stand out title. It almost feels like the designers tried to minimize downtime between players, and ended up turning it into a long strung out turn rotation merry-go-round. Gameplay itself was ok, similar to many other games on this list, feels like pandemic on steroids. If you enjoy that, this game will be a decent time.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
"In brightest day, in Darkest Night, no necromancer shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's blight. Beware the power of our heroes might!"goo A slow game to start (better solo), with a great selection of heroes. Would it hit the hardcore table again, probably not? But it will hit mine, for a solo night alone.

Tales of the Arabian Nights

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
A classic favourite. It doesn’t hit the table as much as it used to, but is a fun time when it does. Its borderline a boardgame, but hey, it has a board, so I’m listing it. Great to bring out when you have friends over for some beer and pretzels, and need something meatier than Ultimate Werewolf to pass the time.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
Great fun with a wonderful narrative. Tactical? No. Strategic? Absolutely not. Will you remember your experience? Yes you will. Similar with the newbie group. This is always welcomed at the table, but has since been replaced as a main stay by many ‘superior’ modern alternatives.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
Abra-cadabra! Be gone. This has no appeal to the hardcore players, not even for a light filler.

Agents of Smersh

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
This game is easy to teach, learn and play. Its game design, some would say is superior to its ‘brother from another mother’ game, Tales of the Arabian Nights. And yet, for some reason, maybe the theme, it’s not as fun.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
This game never hit the table very much. While it was not necessarily a bad game, you can’t help but feel it’s incomplete. Best stick with Tales of the Arabian Nights, unless you are a fan of the secret spy genre like James Bond.cool

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
You’d think that this game would fare better with the hardcore group than Tales of the Arabian Nights, since it has more meat on its bones. Unfortunately, it did not.

City of Kings

The ‘Newbie’ gaming group –
There is a lot of referencing in this game. While it was attempted by newbies, and was successfully played, many preferred more straight forward, easier and faster alternatives.

The ‘Casual’ gaming group –
This game had very polarizing feedback. Those who loved thematic euro games, found this game enjoyable. Those who loved pure ameritrashy games, hated this game with a passion. Those who loved a good balance of randomness and skill, found this game mediocre, abstract and very mechanical. In my groups, this was a 40/60 split with the majority(by a small margin) not in favor.

The ‘Hardcore’ gaming group –
Similarly with the casuals, it was a mixed bag. However, there were more hardcore players that enjoyed it, than not. This had the reverse percentage of 60/40(also by a small margin), with the majority this time in favour. Make no mistake; this game is a hands down a puzzle game, much more so than say… Gloomhaven. If that’s not your cup of tea, move along. But if it is, you'll be in for a treat.




Best Out of Print Adventure games


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What it all comes down to…

Recommended, if you are a Newbie gamer,
Talisman
Relic
XIA
Legends of Andor
Elder Sign
Above and Below
Tales of the Arabian Nights

Recommended, if you are a Casual gamer,
Talisman
Relic
Arkham Horror LCG
7th Continent
XIA
Firefly: The Game
Legends of Andor
Defenders of the Realm
Defenders of the Last Stand
Runebound
Above and Below
Near and Far
Gloom of Kilforth
Darkest Night
Tales of the Arabian Nights

Recommended, if you are a Hardcore gamer,

Arkham Horror LCG
7th Continent
Mage Knight
Gloom of Kilforth
Robinson Crusoe
Eldritch Horror
City of Kings


Not Recommended for any groups

Warcraft Adventure Game
Fallout
Merchants & Merauders
The Witcher
Middle Earth Quest
Tiny Epic Quest
Arkham Horror(Board Game)
Agents of SMERSH


Games on my ‘to buy’ list:

-

Games I have no intention of getting for now: (due to minimal interest)

-

*I only have about 16 hours of gaming time a week, and limited resources, so I can’t try absolutely everything out there.



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MORE ADVENTURE GAMES COMING SOON...


If there are any questions about any of the games' miniatures sculpts, plastic quality, board graphics, dice, rulebook, etc. Please let me know.

*Special thanks to individual group leaders, and their respective groups:
Andrew, Christine, Nikki, Ju, Justin, CW, Yat, Neal, Andrea, John J, Judy, Kai, David, Linda, Ray, Lewis, Timmy, Casper, John L, Des, Paul, Lily, Zac, Chris, Anthony, etc...

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Ken
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Reserved
 
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Trent Boardgamer
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
As per your Dungeon Crawler thread, well done. I look forward to seeing you update the list as you get a chance to play more games in this Genre.
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Quote:
Talisman (3rd and 4th Editions)


There was a 3rd edition? I thought they went straight from 2nd Edition to Revised 4th Edition?
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Trent Boardgamer
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Stomski wrote:
Quote:
Talisman (3rd and 4th Editions)


There was a 3rd edition? I thought they went straight from 2nd Edition to Revised 4th Edition?


Definitely a 3rd edition! I have it and the expansions sitting on my shelf. It was released in the mid-90's. White Metal magazine even had expansion characters for it. I 100% agree with Ken's description of the game though and what the various groups will think of it.
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Bearhug78 wrote:
Definitely a 3rd edition! I have it and the expansions sitting on my shelf. It was released in the mid-90's. White Metal magazine even had expansion characters for it.


You missed my sarcasm, next time I'll add even more smilies!
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Bearhug78 wrote:
As per your Dungeon Crawler thread, well done. I look forward to seeing you update the list as you get a chance to play more games in this Genre.


Thanks Trent. I have a lot of games in my backlog, just have to get time to write up and compile everything.

Bearhug78 wrote:
Stomski wrote:
Quote:
Talisman (3rd and 4th Editions)


There was a 3rd edition? I thought they went straight from 2nd Edition to Revised 4th Edition?


Definitely a 3rd edition! I have it and the expansions sitting on my shelf. It was released in the mid-90's. White Metal magazine even had expansion characters for it. I 100% agree with Ken's description of the game though and what the various groups will think of it.


Mate, 3rd edition is actually has my favorite art style. Love the colorful graphic design, even though 4th may have a better ruleset.
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Elder Sign is a great two-player game, with 3+ players it get's too draggy.
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Nice to see another Collector in this great and very useful series.
Hope you will get hands on Darkest Night, Witcher adventure game, Mage Knight and World of Warcraft (board game, adventure game) to share feedback :-)

And what about Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror?(
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Siar wrote:
Nice to see another Collector in this great and very useful series.
Hope you will get hands on Darkest Night, Witcher adventure game, Mage Knight and World of Warcraft (board game, adventure game) to share feedback :-)

And what about Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror?(


Hi Aster, yes I have all of the above. Its coming.

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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Fantastic list. A little surprised and insulted Lord of the Rings LCG scored so poorly with your group, it's one of my all time favorites.
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Jreilly89 wrote:
Fantastic list. A little surprised and insulted Lord of the Rings LCG scored so poorly with your group, it's one of my all time favorites.


I've played masses of Lord of the Rings over the years, and it would easily have been my favourite game 4 years ago, but I think it's really feeling its age.

Whilst I can't say with certainty, I strongly suspect that I'd have been a lot less impressed with it, had I played Arkham LCG first.
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
There is no way my newbie group is ready to play through a 3+ hours Talisman session. I do not disagree that Talisman is random and does not involve much strategy, but however with a group of like minded hardcore gamers it is always a blast.
I am not going to comment every item in your list, I just find interesting that we have completely different opinions on most of the items in your list, including your newbie/casual/hardcore classification.
Food for thought.
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Keep up the good work!

Am curious what your groups think of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Newbies and casuals might find the terminology too front-loaded, while hardcores might get tired of the dice-rolling and repetitiveness. OTOH, Its hand-management is pretty unique among adventure games.
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Sam and Max wrote:
Keep up the good work!

Am curious what your groups think of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Newbies and casuals might find the terminology too front-loaded, while hardcores might get tired of the dice-rolling and repetitiveness. OTOH, Its hand-management is pretty unique among adventure games.


Anyone who thinks the terminology is too front-loaded should play Apocrypha, after that Pathfinder will seem beautifully accessible and intuitive
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
The last several deluxe expansions / sets for LOTR:LCG have been far far better than the early ones.

I enjoy LOTR so much more than AHLCG (I detest the chaos bag + autofails). I'm just glad to have two great options for solo LCG'ing!!

Lately I've been really enjoying Hexplore: Valley of the Dead King. Its a great adventure game.
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Joseph Whitaker
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Ken, thanks for doing the list. I'd like to see your ratings for Middle Earth Quest and Rebellion. I'll also second the suggestion for HEXplore IT as well.
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Aster Aster
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Star Wars Rebellion huh? Is it an adventure game? More like asymmetrical duel like War of the Ring...
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Scott Lindeman
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Too Many Bones is my favorite adventure game. I've enjoyed my two plays of Hexplore It quite a bit too. XIA looks intriguing, but I'm more interested to see how Arydia turns out.

Does The Lost Expedition count as an adventure game? It's one of my favorite quick games.

EDIT: Also, how does Aeon's End fit in? It doesn't feel quite like a dungeon crawl or an adventure game, but it has a party of fantasy mages battling minions and a big boss monster.
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Siar wrote:
Star Wars Rebellion huh? Is it an adventure game? More like asymmetrical duel like War of the Ring...


You're basically playing the entire Star Wars saga in a board game form. Sounds pretty adventure-y to me .

Yeah, I know that's a flimsy reason. I'm okay if it's left off the list and mechanically it does have more in common with dueling war game than other games on this list.
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Ken
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Mightyjim wrote:
Jreilly89 wrote:
Fantastic list. A little surprised and insulted Lord of the Rings LCG scored so poorly with your group, it's one of my all time favorites.


I've played masses of Lord of the Rings over the years, and it would easily have been my favourite game 4 years ago, but I think it's really feeling its age.

Whilst I can't say with certainty, I strongly suspect that I'd have been a lot less impressed with it, had I played Arkham LCG first.


This is my findings as well. I did not say that LOTR LCG was a flat out bad game. 2 of the groups, will still play it if they had it on the table. Just that in light of the games available at this time, there are better designed games out there (aka Arkham Horror LCG). If you have played both LCGs, ask yourself, if you could only choose one, which one would it be?

HavocIsHere wrote:
There is no way my newbie group is ready to play through a 3+ hours Talisman session. I do not disagree that Talisman is random and does not involve much strategy, but however with a group of like minded hardcore gamers it is always a blast.
I am not going to comment every item in your list, I just find interesting that we have completely different opinions on most of the items in your list, including your newbie/casual/hardcore classification.
Food for thought.


Please note that Talisman can be modified using the advanced rules to shorted the game dramatically for newbies, and I mentioned it in my comments. If you do 1-3 xp per level, your game will be over in about an hour.

As for the classifications, Hardcore does not mean years spent in the hobby. One could have been in the hobby for over a decade and still considered a casual gamer. The transition from casual to hardcore usual comes with the 'wanting' to burn more brain cells (so to speak).

Sam and Max wrote:
Keep up the good work!

Am curious what your groups think of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Newbies and casuals might find the terminology too front-loaded, while hardcores might get tired of the dice-rolling and repetitiveness. OTOH, Its hand-management is pretty unique among adventure games.


Pathfinder ACG is more of a crawler than adventure, and is mentioned briefly in my crawler list. I'd lump it up with WarhammerQuest ACG.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1848358/dungeon-crawler-col...

Mightyjim wrote:
Sam and Max wrote:
Keep up the good work!

Am curious what your groups think of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Newbies and casuals might find the terminology too front-loaded, while hardcores might get tired of the dice-rolling and repetitiveness. OTOH, Its hand-management is pretty unique among adventure games.


Anyone who thinks the terminology is too front-loaded should play Apocrypha, after that Pathfinder will seem beautifully accessible and intuitive


I have yet to take a look at Apocrypha. I'll look out for it.

BloodyCactus wrote:
The last several deluxe expansions / sets for LOTR:LCG have been far far better than the early ones.

I enjoy LOTR so much more than AHLCG (I detest the chaos bag + autofails). I'm just glad to have two great options for solo LCG'ing!!

Lately I've been really enjoying Hexplore: Valley of the Dead King. Its a great adventure game.


I havent tried all the latest expansions for LOTR, I just cant afford it with everything else I have to get. So take my comments with a grain of salt, with that in mind.

Mashing wrote:
Ken, thanks for doing the list. I'd like to see your ratings for Middle Earth Quest and Rebellion. I'll also second the suggestion for HEXplore IT as well.


Those will be in my 'Dudes on a map' list coming in the future.

splindeman wrote:
Too Many Bones is my favorite adventure game. I've enjoyed my two plays of Hexplore It quite a bit too. XIA looks intriguing, but I'm more interested to see how Arydia turns out.

Does The Lost Expedition count as an adventure game? It's one of my favorite quick games.

EDIT: Also, how does Aeon's End fit in? It doesn't feel quite like a dungeon crawl or an adventure game, but it has a party of fantasy mages battling minions and a big boss monster.


I'll take a look at the games you mentioned. Too many bones and Aeons End are crawlers. You'll have to refer to my other list for that.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1848358/dungeon-crawler-col...

Mashing wrote:
Siar wrote:
Star Wars Rebellion huh? Is it an adventure game? More like asymmetrical duel like War of the Ring...


You're basically playing the entire Star Wars saga in a board game form. Sounds pretty adventure-y to me .

Yeah, I know that's a flimsy reason. I'm okay if it's left off the list and mechanically it does have more in common with dueling war game than other games on this list.


The scope from crawler to adventure to dudes on a map, have very blurry lines. But as I mentioned before.

Crawlers focuses on combat at a ground level view in a specific geographic region.

Adventure focuses on the story and narrative via a top down map wide area.

Dudes on a map focuses on area control and an overarching plot of several different stories happening simultaneously.
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Jason
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Do any of these count as adventure games for your list?

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game
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VaultBoy wrote:


Hi Jason, DoW is a deduction survival game. One of my favorites at that. Unfortunately not adventury enough to be included here.

Legendary encounters (all versions), this is a tough one to classify. Its definitely not adventure, but is bordering on being a crawler. But still not crawler enough to make it into a crawler category. Its very survival'ish. Thunderstone Quest on the other hand is very similar, but is very crawler'ish as you are actively going into a dungeon, leveling, and killing monsters.

Gloom of Kilforth is very adventury, I havent played it enough yet. But have it on my to do. One of my mates mentioned it felt like a cross between Talisman in card form, with a touch of pathfinder. I'll have to get a few more games in to provide more feedback.
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Re: The Adventure Game Collector
Stomski wrote:
Bearhug78 wrote:
Definitely a 3rd edition! I have it and the expansions sitting on my shelf. It was released in the mid-90's. White Metal magazine even had expansion characters for it.


You missed my sarcasm, next time I'll add even more smilies!


blush
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Kentharious wrote:
Too many bones and Aeons End are crawlers. You'll have to refer to my other list for that.


Aeon's End is nowhere near a crawler, it's a pure boss fight, similar to the Kingdom Death: Monster showdown and to Sentinels of the Multiverse. Game starts and ends vs. the boss.

Great list by the way.
A little surprised by the 7th Continent by yeah, I agree with it not being for newbies but not that much with it being for hardcore players though. This will really depend on your mindset.
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