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Product-Call to Adventure
Producer– Brotherwise Games
Price– $30.00 here https://www.amazon.com/Brotherwise-Games-BGM018-Call-Adventure/dp/B07JN6XY6Z/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2N3XFUONODGO9&dchild=1&keywords=call+to+adventure+board+game&qid=1593728170&sprefix=call+to+adventure%2Caps%2C173&sr=8-1
Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 30 to 45 minutes (2-4 players)
TL; DR-Set Collection Your Own Adventure! 95%
Basics- Who will you be? Call to Adventure is a character building game of set collection and dice rolling. Each character at the start of the game will be given three cards: a background, a motivation, and a destiny. The background and motivation cards have rune symbols representing traits that your character will use to attempt to adventure, as well as powers that your character can use each turn. Each turn your character must choose either an adventure or trait from the tableau. Traits are cards you just take, but adventures are events you must choose to encounter. Each adventure has two traits associated with it. You see if you have any matching traits on the cards you currently have, you add one of those trait’s runes to your “dice pool” (which is actually a rune pool) for each symbol your character has. Then you choose on the adventure card if you will attempt the encounter on the bottom or the top section. Each one has a different story AND different rewards/challenges. You then take the three basic runes that either give one success, no success, or draw a hero/antihero (one time use card) as well as the runes you gathered before based on your current cards, and you may spend experience to add dark runes to the pool. These either add one success or two success and make you more evil! You then cast the runes (instead of rolling dice), and you count your successes. If you succeed you gain the card and place it under your current one to show the challenge you overcame. If you fail, you lose the card, but gain an experience. Play continues until one player has three cards under their background, motivation, and destiny. All other players get to finish the round and have one additional round to catch up and then you add all victory points from any cards you played and sets of icons you collected, and the player with the most destiny points is the winner!
Mechanics-This game sneaks up on you as you might only have nine turns if you are lucky! It’s very quick, and it’s easy to forget that you are collecting sets of icons and points. But, man is it fun! It’s quick enough to not wear out its welcome, but it’s also deep enough that you will have to think a bit. Experience is a great way to fix the luck of the dice issue, but dice/runes can absolutely ruin your fun here. But even then, you will still not have a bad time as it’s not a long game and some traits are won by losing. Overall, it’s a dice rolling and set collection game. 4.5/5
Theme- This is a solid story game. When you are done, you will be amazed how well the story of your character emerges. I FEEL like I am this person playing a year long campaign forging this hero in an RPG. If you are a story gamer like me, YOU WILL LOVE THIS! 5/5
Instructions– The rules here are good, but you will end up on BGG. There are some corner cases where I have to check exactly what the game rules mean. Even without board game geek, you can figure out enough to settle on house rules to get you playing. The rules are written well enough that you will get running fast enough to play in about 10 minutes. These are solid rules, but a few flaws keep them from being the gold standard. 4.5/5
Execution– This is a fantastically executed game! Check out all the pieces here: https://youtu.be/n0OI0_nS1e8 YOU CAST RUNES! It feels like every druid fortune telling scene in a viking movie. That right there is amazing. The cards are excellent. Everytime I teach this game players want to stare at the cards as the details are amazing and tell a story themselves. The box is amazing. It has great compartments to keep things organized. Honestly, more games need to be built like this game! 5/5
Summary– This is a game you will either LOVE or HATE. If you want a 12 hour euro game where each move is planned six moves ahead, then this is not the game for you! If you, like me, played eight games of RPGs at the BGG virtual con AND have two play by post games going at the same time, then I have a board game for you and for you to woo your RPG friends into. It’s light enough to be a blast to play quickly, but deep enough for you to find a story to dig into with enough mechanics that you can enjoy your choices. Like all dice games, you can be wrecked by the dice, and I would like a bit more in the rules to elaborate. But, this game is a blast to play and one that any RPG gamer and board gamer needs in their collection. 95%
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Product-Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time
Producer– Fun Forge
Price– $30.00 here https://www.amazon.com/Passport-Game-Studios-Professor-Citadel/dp/B06W56ZL3T/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2PIIRCWB14ZM3&keywords=professor+evil+and+the+citadel+of+time&qid=1557748520&s=gateway&sprefix=professor+evil+and+the%2Caps%2C153&sr=8-1
Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 30 to 45 minutes (2-4 players)
TL; DR-Let’s steal the Declaration of Independence -FOR JUSTICE! 97%
Basics- Saving relics in the knick of time! In Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time, players take the rolls of victorian themed heroes attempting to rescue items stolen across time by the evil PROFESSOR EVIL! This game isn’t subtle, but it is fun! This is a completely cooperative game, so each turn has a phase where the players help the team and a phase where the players hurt the team. During the phase where you help, you can are given three actions and a card action. The basic actions are move from room to room, deactivate traps, unlock doors, and rescue treasure. You can do any action you want multiple times. Also during this phase you draw two card from a deck specific for your character and you can use these special abilities to really help the team as a separate action! These powerful, specific cards vary a lot from having the ability to move the evil professor to turning off all the traps of one kind! The goal of this phase is to have all the traps off of all the types for a given treasure, be in the room with the item to save, and have an action left to save it. However, after you take your turn, you roll three dice to hurt your team. These dice advance the professor around his house kicking heroes out of his house, locking doors, resetting traps, or move time forward on the different treasures or all of them at once! Once a good hasn’t been rescued before its time is up, the good it put in the safe room where no player may go! However, all is not lost. As the game progresses, players unlock different global and personal abilities making it a much fairer fight! The goal of the game is to save four goods and return them to their own times before the dastardly professor can put four goods deep into his safe room.
Mechanics-This is a simple game, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. The basic turn of do good/do bad is a quick, easy, and fun way to do cooperative games and isn’t going away anytime soon. Those three actions and a card action get nearly surgical when you have to get to a treasure in time ramping up the tension and thought process in a fun way! I love this game, but the dice based nature of the bad action is very random, as dice should be. But, this makes it a bit harder to plan. Not a bad, but a different, and you can get absolutely wrecked on a bad day. Keep that bit in mind, and you will have a great time dealing with all your plans falling to pieces because the professor teleported into the room you NEEDED to be in the get that last treasure! 4.8/5
Theme- This game delivers its theme very much in the show don’t tell way. The characters and items all look like they belong to the same world, and the victorian/steampunk setting looks fun. I would like a bit more background as I’m very much a story driven gamer. That said, you do feel like a gentleman/gentlewoman sneaking around the manor of a madman hiding and stealing his ill gotten gains from across time. 4.5/5
Instructions– The instructions are six pages, full of pictures, and well written. When I cracked this box, I was playing in five minutes. That’s a great “opening box to playing” timeline! I also didn’t have to consult Board Game Geek to figure out any obscure rules. It’s a simple game with efficient, well written rules. 5/5
Execution-Quality components, quality box, quality art, and FULL CARDS make this a fun game. I like good quality cardboard, and this game delivers! This game is simply put together well. 5/5
Summary-Good co-op is a hard balance to find. Good, simple co-op is a much harder balance to find, and this game delivers in droves! It has good, simple mechanics, great art, quick to read rules, and great components. All these combine to make a fantastic gaming experience. The only word of caution is if you expect a 10 hour brain burning eurogame experience, keep walking. This is a fun, fast game in the tradition of Pandemic, but using dice, which have their own punishing randomness at times. If you’re looking for a great way to spend an hour with up to three buds, you can’t go wrong with this game. 97%