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Subject: Adventure Land: May the Bravest Win! [with The Family Gamers] rss

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The Family Gamers

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[use the link here to see this review in its original form with pictures on The Family Gamers website]

Protect the realm and prepare for epic battles!!!

Call fellow adventures to protect the realm from the dangers that lurk within the fog. On your way, gather swords from the mountains and medicinal herbs from the forests. Will you heed the call to Adventure Land?

Adventure Land is a game for 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, published by HABA and designed by award winners Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer.

Setup
Select a color and take the number of Adventurers specified in the rule book for your player count. Each player places an Adventurer in each row and column of the starting area (add row 5 and column E for two players). Then reveal terrain cards to put resources on the board.

Select a scenario to define the goal of the game, with additional rules and victory point awards. We’ll describe these later.

How to Play
Players take turns in clockwise order. Start your turn by revealing new terrain, then move your adventurers.

Turn Over Two Terrain Cards
At the start of each turn, draw two terrain cards. For each, place a corresponding tile on the game board on the specified coordinate location. For example, a sword on field F 2. There are five types of terrain cards:

City – Place a Companion. Companions can join an Adventurer’s party, adding one additional combat strength.

Forest – Place an herb tile, face down. Herbs increase combat strength in battle.

Mountain – Place a sword tile, face down. Swords allow die rolls to increase strength in battle.

River – Place a gold tile, then move the Water Sprite along the river until it rests on the new gold. If the Water Sprite runs into an Adventurer, immediately remove that Adventurer from the game (along with any Companions). Gold immediately scores victory points when picked up.

Fog – Place a fog creature tile, then draw another terrain card.

Then, Move Adventurers
On your turn, you may move a single Adventurer twice, move two Adventurers once each, or pass. Adventurers may only travel south (down) or east (right); never north or west. Move your Adventurer as far as you’d like in a straight line, and stop when they collect an item or combat a fog creature. Check the value of swords and herbs when collected, then place them face down in front of you. If you collect a Companion, it joins your party and always moves with that Adventurer.

Adventurers may leap over tiles, Companions, and other Adventurers, but never fog creatures. Adventures can never share spaces with each other.

Battling Fog Creatures
An epic battle ensues when an Adventurer lands on a fog creature. To win, a player must use strength equal to or greater than the number shown on the fog creature tile. Adventurers and Companions provide one strength for each in the party. Before fighting, declare how many swords you’ll use (max three). Each sword allows you to roll a die and add its total to your overall combat strength. Herbs boost combat strength by the number shown on the token. Gold can also be useful in battle. Pay one gold to add one strength or to re-roll a die. You may spend as much gold as you have to achieve your goal.

Did you win the battle? Score victory points as shown by the laurel wreath on the fog creature and place it near you.

Did you lose? Return the Adventurer to the box, along with any Companions and used items; the fog creature remains on the field. You’re not required to use items, so don’t spend them if you realize you can’t win the fight.

Scenarios
At the beginning of the game, you chose one of three scenarios, all of which start with the basic rule set explained above.

Adventure One: The Fellowship aims to fight fog creatures, collect gold and score additional points by increasing an adventurer’s party size with each companion added.

Adventure Two: The Magnificent challenges players to gather multiple adventurers and companions into a group. The largest group scores three times! Unused herb and sword tiles net victory points at the end of game.

Adventure Three: Escape to the Cities requires players to gather adventures in cities for end game scoring. Adventurers who end the game outside of city walls score negative points. Additionally, players get bonuses for the most gold and the most fog creatures slain.

All Adventures Must Come To An End
When there are no more swords or Companions available in the stockpile, finish the round and the game is over. The player with the most victory points wins!

Impressions
Adventure Land checks all the right boxes for an action-packed adventure game: a fantasy theme with rich artwork, exploring, collecting riches, and battling creatures. The three scenarios keep us coming back time after time.

Agency means each player can balance their risks. They can trek the river, risking their Adventurers to gather gold with the Water Sprite looming. They can tempt fate to fight a fog creature with scant resources, or delay their battles to stockpile swords and herbs. The movement restrictions (always south and east) require players to plan out their actions over multiple turns.

I do have a minor qualm with the rule book; translated from German to English. I needed to look up errata online for moving an Adventurer and clarify that movement stops when you decide to pick up an item. Other than that, everything else in Adventure Land clicked quickly.

Tips I’ve Learned Along The Way
In Adventure Land, swords and herbs win battles. Focus on gaining multiple items quickly. After our first game, we learned to split up the work between Adventures. Send some to collect items for any Adventurer and load up others with Companions to increase their raw strength.

Don’t paint your Adventurers into a corner too quickly! You’ll want to have each one acquire several items during their journey. Leaving a few in the starting area can help you get to those last few fog creatures. That might be just what you need for mega victory points at the end of the game.

Why Is Adventure Land Great For Kids?
Adventure Land challenges kids to analyze what’s on the board, plan turns wisely (because of movement restrictions), and build a cache to defeat fog creatures. With each terrain card a new opportunity is presented to evaluate.

The core rules are very simple and we saw our children grasp them quickly. I have no doubt they’d be able to teach their siblings or friends how to play without adult help. The grid system also helps reinforce math concepts.

Adventure Land is perfect for families looking for an adventure game that’s approachable and not completely dependent on dice rolls. If your family could use a new adventure in tabletop gaming, head over to your friendly local game store or Amazon to get it for around $30. I’m excited for the future epic games we’ll have.

Highlights
-Family friendly adventure game
-Core rule set the carries across all three game scenarios
-Unique movement system allows travel only south and east.
-Thematic artwork and great component quality.


Review written by staff writer

Nick M
United States
Illinois
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The Family Gamers received a copy of Adventure Land from HABA for this review.

Summary
Art - 9.5/10
Mechanics - 8/10
Family Fun - 8/10

Number of Players: 2-4
Playtime: 45 minutes
Age Range: 10+ (we say 8+)
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tom tom
United States
Springfield
Missouri
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My wife and I are serious gamers and we love it 2 player.
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Dex Quest
United Kingdom
Maryport
Cumbria
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The odd thing is that you give all your free games near to 7-9/10 every happy time, yet here we have a game actually deserving 10. your two paragraphs of comment in exchange for the free game are almost useless to me. well done. have a cigar!
 
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