Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles Adventure Deck 4 – Island of Empty Eyes

Product– Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles Adventure Deck 4 – Island of Empty Eyes

Producer-Paizo Publishing

Price– $18 here http://smile.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Adventure-Card-Game-Shackles/dp/1601256922/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436362585&sr=8-1&keywords=Pathfinder+Adventure+Card+Game%3A+Skull+%26+Shackles+Adventure+Deck+4+%E2%80%93+Island+of+Empty+Eyes

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 45 minutes per scenario (5 scenarios in the game)

Type-American

Depth-medium

TL; DR-Great theme in this one. 90%

PZO6014

Basics- You’ve joined the upper ranks of the pirates of the Shackles, and now it’s time to prove you’re the best.  You and your friends have been given an island.  Can you clear the former inheritance from the island, uncover its secrets, and throw a killer party for the other pirates of the Pirates Council?  This game uses the basic Pathfinder Adventure Card game mechanics, so I’ll focus on what’s in this box alone.

Mechanics– Things are as fun as they can be, but the mechanics are not varied as much as I like.  Several of the locations on the island are the same, with several of the same locations used repeatedly.  Now, it’s an island, so there are only so many locations to use, but it did feel a bit stale.  Also, maybe it’s just my impression.  This adventure pack gives you a new option for one scenario as you can become possessed to fight the monsters, but only a few of the characters can really use that ability.  Overall, it’s fun, but once you have a working strategy going, the island encounters tend to get a little over-repeated. 4/5

 

Theme– This is an interesting mix.  Overall I love what I’m seeing with this expansion as it does add some fresh ideas to the game.  You get to have an island clearing adventure, with some piracy, and an awesome final encounter as you throw a party, have to stop a secret bomber, and keep your guests happy.  You even can get possessed by a ghost to get extra powers in one of the scenarios.  This adventure has the most theme homerun I’ve seen yet for a ship-the Bloodmoon.  Across both this set and the previous set of the Adventure Card Game, were-creatures get a bonus when the top card of the timing/blessing deck is a blessing of the gods.  As this is a werewolf ship, when you use this ship, you too get a bonus when you use the Bloodmoon when a blessing of the gods is on top.  However, I only know that this ship is from the werewolf captain since I played the adventure path in Pathfinder.  If I didn’t have that extra information, then I wouldn’t know that and this would just be another ship.  So, I love what’s here, and it feels great to be a pirate.  But, I still think extra information beyond the cards is needed to really bring me completely into the story.  4.5/5

Instructions– The cards work well at adding new information to the game.  Almost everything was clear, except for one location-the teleportation chamber!  This room has a thread on the Paizo forums (http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2rsrq?Rules-Question-Teleportation-Chamber#1) that is way too long for a card with less than 100 words!  Since you’ll see this car a lot, it makes every time you see it a bit of a headache!  If you can get past that one card, then the rules are well done though.   4.5/5

Execution– Overall, I like what’s in this box.  Sure, you might want card sleeve for your cards if you plan on repeated use, but overall, the cards are of decent card stock.  All the art is well done and evocative.  The thing that makes me so happy though is what they did since the first expansion of this season of the Adventure Card Game-SIDE OPENING FLAPS to the boxes.  Since I don’t have to destroy the boxes to get the cards, this is hands down an improvement.  5/5

Summary– This was a fun expansion to play through.  I like what’s here, but what is here is a bit repeated.  That does cost it a bit of fun; however, it’s still got enough action to keep me in the game.  For the theme, it’s got a great story, and I do feel like a pirate.  But, I still feel like those who haven’t played the Pathfinder adventure path won’t get as much as they should.  This is still a great game, but a bit more will make this a grand slam.  90%

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