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Subject: Best Adventure Game? rss

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Jamey Philipp
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OK, I am looking for an "Adventure Game" to take me back to my days of RPG yore.

I am looking "share in a grand adventure". I don't mind being late for supper....

Some of my fondest memories of my youth were of playing D&D with my brother and friends on these cold, snowy days. I no longer have the time or desire to role play anymore; that is part of the reason I got into board gaming; to capture the feeling I got when role playing, but without the time / energy commitment and logistical issues.

I've looked for awhile and amassed a pretty big collection of games (nearing 700) and so far here are my results. I am hoping I missed a hidden gem out there somewhere.

Runebound: I really wanted to like this game.I loved the movement mechanic. I hated the lack of player interaction. More so, I couldn't escape the feeling that it was not a board game, but rather a very inefficant card game. Way too random for me. I felt like a tool playing it - just jump through the hoops long enough, then go get the bad guy. Did not feel like I was having an adventure at all.

Middle Earth Quest. Like the game a lot, but doesn't feel like an adventure.

Age of Conan. Takes too long to ramp up; too long for the amount of fun it is. Begining of the game sux where it is a race to gobble up neutral areas. I was hoping the expansion was going to fix it.

LOTR: Its ok. It more of a stargey game than adventure though.

Hobbit: The reviews of the game make me not want to try it.

Return of the Heros: This has the highest hope for me. The rules are pretty bad though. I plan on playing this pretty soon.

Prophesy: Watched a game of it. Seems pretty long for what it is and pretty dry. Maybe it is the abstract board.

Castle Ravenloft: This is good and I like it as it is. However it is a little more RPG and a little less adventure than I am looking for in an adventure game.

OK, tell me your favorite adventure game and why. For now I am waiting for the LOTR Card game I guess....
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David Dixon
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Well...

Arkham Horror is an adventure game, but not the one in a fantasy setting you seem to be looking for. It's good, though. Some find it fiddly, but it can tell a really awesome story with the right group, and while the rules could have been laid out better, if you've got 700 games, you can probably figure this one out as well. This is probably my favorite one, all around.

Another favorite of mine is Descent, but I know some count it less as an adventure game per se and more of a straight dungeon crawl. I feel adventerous, playing it, though. I've never played with the persistant RPGish expansion (Road to Legend, I think), but that might do it for you if you're looking for a boardgame/RPG hybrid.

I'll agree with you about Prophesy: it is dry, and was a letdown for me when I played it.

Diis
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Scott Bartel
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It looks like you are mostly talking about fantasy adventure games. If that's true, I agree with David in that Descent is worth a shot. I'm surprised it's not on your list of games you have tried.

If you don't mind other genres, Arkham Horror is one of my favorite games of all time. I really want to try Arkham Investigations. It's a variant for AH that is supposed to make the game more story driven.

I would also recommend Tales of the Arabian Nights, Battlestations and even Heroquest.

http://arkhaminvestigations.barkingdoginteractive.com/
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Jamey Philipp
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homiefud wrote:
It looks like you are mostly talking about fantasy adventure games. If that's true, I agree with David in that Descent is worth a shot. I'm surprised it's not on your list of games you have tried.

If you don't mind other genres, Arkham Horror is one of my favorite games of all time. I really want to try Arkham Investigations. It's a variant for AH that is supposed to make the game more story driven.

I would also recommend Tales of the Arabian Nights, Battlestations and even Heroquest.

http://arkhaminvestigations.barkingdoginteractive.com/


Scotty my man. I have Descent on the shelf yet never tried it. I have Road to Lengend to. It sounds much like a straiht dungeon crawl, which is fine an good, but not very adventure-ish. And it looks like a pig to play; lots of work. It does look awesome and I do want to play it but it will probably not feel "adventureish" enough for what I am looking for.

Of course I have Arkham and only played once. Again it is a FF pig that is a lot of work to play, and it didn't feel very adventure like. BUT I have never heard of Arkham Investigations and my wife like the theme so I will check into that. Here's hoping is reduces some of the work of Arkham. That reminds me, there is a guy in my gruop who like to run Arkham like a moderator; he runs the game for other players doing all the work and not playing a character himself...need to contact him.

We tried tales.


As you can see, we really wanted to like it; to love it. It took to long for what it was for us. It is more like a ride than a game. If it was playable with 4 players in an hour it would be awesome, but as it is there isn't enough direct influence on the game to make it worth the time spent for us.

But your post really helps me pin point where our sweet spot is; right in the middle of the total input / over managment of Arkham and the almost no control of Tales.

If those games could mate the offspring would be perfect!
 
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Scott Bartel
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Superhawk2300 wrote:
If those games could mate the offspring would be perfect!


You might just get lucky with Mansions of Madness. I'm am so totally stoked about that one.
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Jim Patterson
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Superhawk2300 wrote:
Return of the Heros: This has the highest hope for me. The rules are pretty bad though. I plan on playing this pretty soon.


Have you tried looking at the rewritten rules for this?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/28176/return-of-the-he...

I suppose so far the crown for me would go to Prophecy, but I haven't played RotH yet. I didn't much like Runebound as anything other than a solo experience, albeit a kinda messy one. I really enjoy Ravenloft, but, as you say, it's not really an "adventure" game exactly, a genre I associate with more leveling up and a broader scope.
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Seth Brown
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World of Warcraft: TBG is the best adventure game I've played, although it may not have enough interaction for you. You can read my review to get a better sense, although I will say that the Shadow of War expansion adds a lot more PvP-focused stuff, if that's your cup of tea.

Android, which not technically an adventure game, has a lot more thematic feel than most. Incredibly in-depth character stories for a board game. Might be worth looking at, if you'd consider a sci-fi game by FFG.
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Jamey Philipp
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homiefud wrote:
Superhawk2300 wrote:
If those games could mate the offspring would be perfect!


You might just get lucky with Mansions of Madness. I'm am so totally stoked about that one.


Yeah it looks awesome. I was at FFG a couple weeks ago and they had one in shrink as a display. I asked about it and they said there was something wrong with the molds so the date has been pushed back until next Spring.
 
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Sounds like you're looking for Sorcery!
 
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Jamey Philipp
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E Decker wrote:
Sounds like you're looking for Sorcery!


Do tell!
 
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Adam
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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I'd recommend Magic Realm but it might be a little too labor intensive. Runebound (Second Edition) might also fit the bill, especially as there are a myriad of ways to customize it to your liking. It'll be interesting to see which game fits the bill for you. This is my favorite sub-genre, and I'm still looking for the 'perfect' iteration of it, myself.
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dave
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I'll chime in and recommend Return of the Heros, although it gets alot of bad press here on bgg. Yes, the rules are a mess, and it is a style that I would never use, but once you get it down, it's fine. There are many ways to play it--I think most people don't use the alternative rules which makes it way better. Start with the initial set up hidden and the heros have to go and explore the world. There's only minimal player interaction, and it's a little long for what it is, but it is great fun and I think it has a D&D feel for it.

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Jamey Philipp
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I've had Magic Realm for a couple years and every time I get it out and I start to digest the rules the wind gets taken out of me. that said I think if I knew how to play it, it probably would be a game that fits the bill perfectly.

Thanks for the advice on RotH - so far that seems like where I am going to spend my energy.

I also am very interested in the adverture-ish variation of Arkham. I will be looking into that.

Before I got rid of my Runebound I tried to make some variations and some worked and some didn't. It seems like all the stuff is there to make an awesome adventure game but it is just too random and long for what it is. It doesn't feel like an adventure, though it looks like one. What it needs is some what to make variable story lines that loosly string things together, as opposed to just wandering around drawing random cards.
 
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Aswin Agastya
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What? No love for Talisman?

Despite all the flak the game receives, I love this game dearly. For me, it embodies 'adventure' perfectly, which is roaming the wilderness, exploring the unknown. It's not nostalgic value either, I played Talisman for the first time about a year ago.

It is very random, but the encounter cards, IMO, have more charm than the others. Also, the characters are very varied. Despite other games' more complex system, I found that the characters in Talisman are the best in variation (except may be Magic Realm). They're not very balanced, but it's part of the charm.

The game is simple enough (roll & move ), enabling players to dedicate their time on in-character table talk (ie. role-playing) instead of crunching numbers.

But if you are the type who like to calculate things to win, this is NOT the game for you. Talisman is for those who just want to enjoy the adventure and go with the flow of the game. There *is* strategy, but really... as in real adventures, you can't really know what lies ahead.

Runebound, Prophecy and Return of the Heroes are good games though. But I there are some things I don't like about them:
Runebound - poor downtime, combat taking too long
Prophecy - laborious number crunching later in the game
RotH - some turns nothing happen, spend more time in travel (there is always something happen in Talisman, even if it's unsignificant)
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Tiffany Metz
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I have to join others in recommending Return of the Heroes. Print out the alternative rules from the Geek and ignore the supplied rule book. Also, purchase the first expansion, Under the Shadow of the Dragon, and just mix them all in together. It doubles the size of your map and adds a lot of variety. I can't imagine playing without it now. Fabulous game. Very different from the others mentioned. Enjoy. :D
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MGS
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I like ROTH mostly because it's emphasis is not in combat. We have not played in a while but my wife still refers to it as her favorite game. My only reservation is that, like the majority of these adventure games, it comes down to who becomes powerful enough, quickly enough to beat the big baddie.

This is one of the reasons why I prefer Magic Realm and more recently Arkham Horror. AH gives you 3 possible ways to win the games. The encounters provide some narrative and rpg-like choices where the player's choice and the character's abilities matter.

MR provides the most variety in victory conditions and the deepest variety in characters. Also, absolute freedom to explore the world and interact with other characters. Cooperate, avoid pr kill your fellow players. Kill the dragon, ride a dragon or become a dragon. Trade with natives, hire or fight them.

It will take a few hours to learn MR on your own but if you are serious about the title of this thread you it to yourself.

AH would be the alternative.

I have played Talisman, Prophecy and I have not played Runebound by choice.
I had wow: tag but didn't play. I have played Dungeonquest, castle ravenloft, warhammer quest, Heroqueat but not Descent. I really like adventure games.
 
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Jenna Sunderlin
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If you're looking to learn how to play Magic Realm, Ryan Sturm did an episode on his Learn to Play podcast for that game. Should be much easier than reading the rules yourself.


Now let's see if my linking skills work:
Episode #20: Magic Realm
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Jim Wilde
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I too am a long time RPGamer, and have spent some time looking into boardgames that have an RPG feel to them. After trying a number of games, here are the elements I was seeking:

1. Combat - the game has to involve fighting in some form.
2. Variable Player Powers - Each player in the game must add something different to the game.
3. Cooperation - RPGs are usually cooperative affairs where the players team up to accomplish the goal.

Everything else is fluff. Adventure games are cool and all, but they don't necessarily match as evidenced by the OPs list. Having a good Fantasy or Sci-Fi theme is also helpful.

So far, there are exactly 2 games that match my criteria:

Ghost Stories is a fighting, cooperative, VPP game with a Martial Arts theme (that I love). It's not an adventure exactly, but it certainly could be if a group of player characters were defending a town that was overrun with ghosts (paving the way for the big bad guy at the end). The expansion, Ghost Stories: White Moon, really puts this game over the top IMO, making it the best of the lot that I've played.

Defenders of the Realm is a relatively new game, with expansions starting to come out now. It has a lot of more traditional Fantasy Roleplaying elements, and also matches my list of criteria. It takes a bit longer to play than Ghost Stories, and it has more random elements, especially in regards to combat. However, the game has a number of house rules options, and a very active designer in the forums, so I expect it will get better as it is refined.

Hope this helps...

Edit to fix spelling and grammar...
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Rauli Kettunen
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Superhawk2300 wrote:
Runebound: I really wanted to like this game.I loved the movement mechanic. I hated the lack of player interaction.


Interaction is pretty much fully up to the players. If you want to go after another player, you can. Some turns you might not make it, but then again, some turns they might not make it to a town to heal.

Quote:
Age of Conan. Takes too long to ramp up; too long for the amount of fun it is. Begining of the game sux where it is a race to gobble up neutral areas. I was hoping the expansion was going to fix it.


Not sure why this is listed under adventure, wargame is more fitting title (ducks from the grognards).

Talisman for me probably takes the top adventure game spot. Faster than Runebound, PvP is less crippling so the mental hurdle to go for it isn't as high (at least for me), though you can kill off a character in Talisman, something you can't do in RB.
 
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Mark Jackson
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Return of the Heroes is a personal favorite - I will echo the wise suggestions of others: get the rule set off the Geek that strips out the narrative from the original rules.

The expansions (there are three of them, but only one in English) add a lot of variety to the game.

Just finished a game of Prophecy w/the Dragon Realm expansion with my oldest son - it is too long as written but still fun. We typically play "first to 3 artifacts" rather than "play till all the artifacts are gone & then have a huge battle." We also don't play with more than 3 players.

Prophecy feels like Talisman with actual decision-making added. (That's a compliment, btw - I used to love Talisman but the game basically plays you.)
 
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With all due respect, there has to be some adventure somewhere on a shelf with 680 games!! surprise

You already own most of the games suggested, so your obviously looking for something different. So after taking a glance at your own list, I noticed you did not have my dad's (old D&D guy) favorite Adventure/crypt raiding game...



No logistics required. Hire up to 5 party members (Rouges, Wizards, Clerics, and Fighters), outfit them with spells and items, and raid the crypts! For each trap disarmed, monster killed, and treasure stashed you gain XP. After all the crypts are empty, the player with the most XP wins.

Simply stated, "Recruit a party, Kill the monsters, Take their stuff!"
*Faster than the other players, of course!
 
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Athos
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Unfortunately I think what the OP is looking for does not exist.

It is the Holy Grail of adventure games. As yet, no intrepid soul has stumbled upon this legendary artifact....
 
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Scott Bartel
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My next suggestion would be to go get the basic D&D Red Box. I'm not saying 4th Ed is better than previous editions, but it is designed to be played in segments... easily broken up into encounters. It's also very easy to do a one shot adventure. The rules are fairly intuitive and if you've already played Castle Ravenloft, you've already got an idea of how the system works. The Red Box will give you everything you need to do a 'every once in while' old school adventure game. All you need is a few minis maybe. 4th edition really does play a LOT like a board game.
 
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Mark Jackson
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Return of the Heroes rules rewrite: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/28176/return-of-the-heroes...
 
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Michael Roop
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A couple of suggestions for you that have worked for our group.

#1, play Runebound, however designate 2 or 3 people on a team (so if you have 6 players, 2 or 3 on a team). Then proceed with the game, requiring players during combat to designate which attack phase they are going to attack in (so one player could take melee and another could take magic). This makes the game faster as you can proceed to yellows rather quickly and makes for some interesting play.

#2, Vanilla Runebound can be vanilla, but some of the adventure packs and big box expansions (frozen, desert) can add quite a bit to the game.

#3, Dungeon Plungin' is a very good PnP in the vein of Warhammer Quest. WQ was way too expensive for the base game and also for purchasing of higher level monster models.

#4, have you ever played DnDMinis?? We finally designed our own adventure game, using the DnDMinis rules and stat cards (free to download on DnDguild's website) for the basis.

We each would pick a 33 pt hero, then design 4 or 5 rooms each (4 25 pt rooms, 3 50pt, 1 75pt) including monsters, traps, special effects, storylines, etc. Then when we played, we would approach an area, roll to see who get's to DM the room, and that person would pick a room for us to encounter (their character would still be there, just in NPC mode) and would run it for us. The party would face 4 33pt rooms, then move up to 5 50 pt rooms, with one final 75 pt room at the end.

Don't throw away your old rooms though, keep them in a file so that later on you can play a quick game with the encounters your group has already on hand.
Nice free game, all you need are some minis and maybe some tiles or paper to draw the room on. We thoroughly enjoy playing it and then sitting around afterward discussing the rooms we enjoyed most and the secrets we missed.
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