Bobcat Power MEOW!
While wandering around the massive vendor hall at Origins 2012 in Columbus, OH, I stumbled across Rather Dashing games. Mike Richie, the game designer, and Grant Wilson, the artist, were promoting a new family game, "Four Taverns." The game has been in design for about a year now, and Origins is a great time to show new and interesting stuff.
They gave me a quick run through of the game, about five minutes (if that), and it was pretty easy to figure out. Basically, there are quest cards that either player can put different types of adventurers on, and they use gold to put them there. The first player "to fill the contract" gets to take the card, accumulate gold, and gain prestige points while everyone else loses their investment. Enough prestige wins the game.
Prestige points determine what level you are, your maximum hand size, and winning the game. An adventurer card has a number, color, and class. A quest card indicates what number of each class of adventurer are required, how much gold is gained, how many prestige points are awarded, and any extra benefits given. There are event like cards that allow you to share half the gold, switch quests or adventurers, etc.
That's basically enough to start playing the game. My wife and I played a game - immediately afterward wanted to play another game (the only game at Origins we played twice). After winning both games, she decided that she likes this game. The game design is such that even smaller ones could play, and the artwork and theme appeals to non-gamers. She picked up a copy as a gift for a family member who isn't really a big board gamer but is always looking for activities for the kids to do.
We had some thoughts about an expansion for this, but that's a different adventure entirely...