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Four heroes wake up in a dungeon – with no memory! In Adventure Games The Dungeon, you must discover new rooms, explore them, find clues and uncover secrets in order to escape together.
We were very excited when we heard that the Kosmos publishing house was launching a new game series called Adventure Games in 2019. I wonder what’s behind it?
After playing one of the first two games in this series, Adventure Games The Dungeon, we know: an entertaining mix of elements from escape games, game books like sorcery and Point-and-Click Adventure Games, as they have been around since the 1980s for PCs.
Does this principle also work as a classic game out of the box? What distinguishes the adventure games from the games in the EXIT-Games series (also Kosmos)?
Find out how we liked the game and whether it is worthwhile for you here in our review. 🙂
Note: Kosmos-Verlag kindly sent us a free review copy. However, our review is not agreed on content and reflects our independent opinion.
To kick off its new series, Kosmos-Verlag has launched 2 games: Adventure Games The Dungeon and Adventure Games The Monochrome AG. The latter game is from 16 and is aimed more at adult players, both in terms of content and difficulty.
Adventure Games The Dungeon, on the other hand, is already for 12 and is therefore also suitable as a family game. Because of the somewhat easier rules, it is the perfect introduction to the world of adventure games.
We played the game as planned over 3 evenings. If you are not yet familiar with the principle of adventure games, you will need a little longer to think about it at the beginning.
With time, however, you become more and more proficient and since you play together anyway and pull together, so to speak, the player whose turn it is can also discuss every decision with his fellow players and ask for advice.
However, I also know players who prefer to play such a game in one go, and there is nothing to be said against that, provided that all participants have the necessary time and motivation.
We wake up in a gloomy dungeon and have no idea where we are or how we got here. Pale moonlight shines through a barred window and we are startled to see a skeleton chained to the wall among the shadows.
We can only vaguely remember what happened and that we obviously know each other and had planned to free our friend Berengar together. At least we still know our names: Haruka “The Skilled”, Okoro “The Strong”, Kassandra “The Observant” and Aref “The Knowing”.
Apart from the skeleton, we immediately notice a few other things in this dungeon: there is a box on a cot, a brick protruding from one wall and there is also a heavy wooden door with a lock on which scratches can be seen. Together we begin to search our surroundings….
The game comes nicely compact and consists mainly of cards, 4 game pieces and an adventure book. There are also handy zip bags and, of course, the game instructions. The cards themselves are divided into 18 larger space cards and 109 smaller cards, which in turn are divided into different piles.
Fortunately, the game mechanism is very intuitive and easy to understand, so that you quickly get into it and Adventure Games The Dungeon almost plays itself after the first quarter of an hour.
At the beginning, only room card A is exposed, which shows the first room of the dungeon with the skeleton. The other room cards, as well as the sorted adventure cards, are placed in piles next to them. In addition, there are two thin piles of task and end cards, but these only become important later.
Each player chooses a game piece and includes the corresponding card as well as a game piece. You can also play Adventure Games The Dungeon solo, in which case you play 2 characters at the same time. The 12 health cards, which represent life points, so to speak, are divided equally between the characters.
And then you can start playing! If you want, you can also play the game with the KOSMOS explanation app. It’s not a must, but it’s still recommended.
Those familiar with Point-and-click adventures like Monkey Island will immediately recognise the game pattern: Examine objects, combine them if necessary, perform actions and address characters.
In this adventure game, the focus is on experiencing a story together. In turn, each player can 1.) move his or her game piece anywhere in the rooms that have been laid out so far and then 2.) perform an action.
The most common action is to examine objects or certain corners of rooms marked with three-digit numbers, the location numbers, and interact with them. Then you read the passage with the corresponding number in the adventure book or have it read to you by the explanation app.
As a result, you are asked to draw a particular adventure card and read it aloud. These are numbered so that the right one can be found quickly. You may now find an object, meet a person or sometimes fall into a trap and injure yourself, which results in the loss of life points.
Alternatively, a player can combine 2 items already on display in the form of adventure cards or an item and a location number as an action. Simply add the larger of the two numbers to the back of the smaller number and read what happens in the adventure book. By the way, adventure cards may be moved back and forth between players at any time!
Example (no spoiler, does not happen like this in the game!): Firestones (card 12) + Torch (card 27) ⇒ read up on 1227: “You receive a burning torch (adventure card 34). Put the other two cards back in the box.”
Combining an item with a location number always results in a five-digit number. Since it’s hard to avoid seeing the other numbers as well, especially when reading the 4- and 5-digit numbers aloud, I recommend that you just play completely with the explanation app, because you’re guaranteed not to accidentally spoil yourself.
In principle, Adventure Games:The Dungeon is designed for you to master the adventure well and experience a story together. The rule here is: many roads lead to the goal!
Although you cannot die in this game, you should avoid losing health points if possible or heal them quickly.
Because after each of the 3 chapters, as well as at the very end of the game, there are intermediate scores or a final score, depending on how well you have acted as a team. And of course you want to get a good score, that much ambition is part of an adventure game, isn’t it? 😉
There are also different endings, depending on how the hero team does.
Thanks to simple and intuitive rules, you can easily play Adventure Games The Dungeon after just a quick look at the instructions and without any other prior knowledge. We played the first chapter on a picnic blanket in the park, surrounded by many people and a corresponding background noise. Nevertheless, we managed well and didn’t feel distracted.
Also, you actually always get somewhere, there are no dead ends, but many paths lead to the goal. In contrast to the EXIT games, for example, you never get stuck on a puzzle for a long time. And since there is no time limit anyway, there is no pressure. You just let yourself drift through the story together and that is a lot of fun!
On the other hand, one of the 4 players missed the challenges that the intricate puzzles of an EXIT game often offer and found the game a little too easy for his taste. We are also very curious about Adventure Games The Monochrome AG, which is supposed to be a bit harder.
Those who like cooperative games and mysterious adventure stories will definitely get their money’s worth here. One thing must be clear: the story is the main focus here. Those who prefer less narrative and more puzzles are better off with an EXIT game, for example The Abandoned Cabin.
An exciting adventure game to experience together: very accessible with simple rules and over 3 hours of fun in a convenient format at a good price!
Fancy some more board game tips? Take a look at Abenteuer Freundschaft and discover numerous ideas for leisure activities, e.g. for activities with children, with your partner or with friends.
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