This is a short review of my first game (solitaire) of Crossroads. I randomly selected a story and picked "What Dreams May Come", which simulates the life of Jacobs favorite son, Joseph. Consulting the START CARD, I find out:
Goal: Help Joseph handle the obstacles that his special dreams will place before him, and help him take advantage of the opportunities that his ability to interpret dreams will present.
Winning the Game: Win by advancing Joseph, represented by a utility token, to the end of the lion track. You move Joseph by overcoming challenges.
Losing the Game: The lion pursues Joseph on the lion track. If the lion catches Joseph, you lose.
Moving the Lion: The lion represents the various difficulties and opponents confronting Joseph during his youth and his early years in Egypt. The lion does not pursue travelers on the board. Instead, it chases Joseph along the lion track on the destination card. At the end of each player's turn, advance the lion one step toward Joseph.
With this information in mind, I turn the card over and setup the gameboard according to the diagram provided, randomly placing challenge cards in the designated positions that are given.
Next, I build my Psalter, or hand of prayer cards. Each story card lists suggested prayer cards to be used with each story and outlines how many are dealt to each player depending on the number of players. Since I'm playing solo I receive 5. For the purpose of my first game I decide to use the 5 suggested cards. In future games I intend to deal them randomly.
Then I select my traveler. For my first game I choose the Merciful Leader. Each traveler has a unique abilities and a unique special ability. The Merciful Leader is allowed to offer a previously used (answered) prayer one additional time during the course of the game.
Lastly, I select a traveler disk (token). I choose the tribe of Asher. I'm now ready to begin the game.
Urim (White Die): 5
Thummim (Black Die): 4
I decide to use the Urim to mine 5 tiles from the quarry and designate the Thummim for movement. I randomly select 5 tiles from the quarry and place them on the board, trying to connect the start card with a nearby challenge card. With these tiles I am able to make a road to the closest challenge card. I move my traveler disk 3 spaces along the road and land on the challenge card. I turn the card over and read the challenges title, "Kill the Dreamer".
This challenge is listed as Challenge - Survival – Battle. Per the instructions I read the section on the challenge card listed as Reveal. These instructions are only followed by the first traveler that reaches the challenge. It instructs me to cast the Miqreh (Blue Die) and move the lion 1 step toward Joseph if the result is 4 or greater. I roll a 6 which advances the dreaded lion 1 step along the lion track. Next, I read the section on the card that details the challenge. It instructs me to cast lots (the White and Black dice) and if the total is 7 or greater I can advance Joseph 1 space along the track. The result of my roll is 10 and I move the utility token representing Joseph 1 step along the track. This end my turn. Per the instructions on the start card I must advance the lion 1 step along the lion track. It is now 7 spaces away from Joseph.
As I don't have time to provide a complete session report, I will provide a short summary.
I ended up losing my first game, as the lion caught up with Joseph on turn 8.
I like the quality of the components. The cards are nicely illustrated and provide numerous biblical quotes. The challenges are drawn from the biblical narrative, and are resolved by the rolling of lots (dice), the playing of prayer cards, or the use of the travelers attributes (Heart, Soul, Mind, or Strength). It is hard to give the game a rating as I only played one game, and solitaire at that. But my initial rating would be an 8. I like the biblical theme and enjoyed reading the Scriptures that each card provided.
One of the most challenging parts of the game is the building of the roads that connect the challenges. In this story, it was important to connect my road sections to the challenge cards in an orderly manner as to not waste too much time traveling between them. This is what lead to my defeat.
I like the game and look forward to trying another story. I purchased and received the expansion story "The Route Out" from BGG. Each story requires different tactics to be employed as the lion acts in a different manner, keeping the game fresh. The game is fun solo but will probably shine with three or four players. If you like reading the bible you will like the game. Children will enjoy it as well and it will offer parents and grandparents the opportunity to discuss the deeper meanings of the biblical text behind the story while they play.