Call to Adventure review: Pretty fun :)


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A while ago, I kickstarted a new game from Brotherwise, the guys that made Boss Monster. This inspite of not being a big fan of Boss Monster - it was a cute idea, but the execution kind of fell flat.

The new game, Call to Adventure, shipped recently. TL;DR: Do recommend.

The game is a mix of tableu / engine builder; you get cards in order to get better cards in order to get points in order to win.

The conceit of the game is the players are trying to build the Hero with the greatest Destiny.

The central mechanic is throwing 'runes' - custom made little plastic doodads. Basic runes have a 'zero success' and 'one success' side (with one of the zero success sides giving you a freebie), while Trait runes have a 'one success' and 'two success' side or a 'two success' and 'zero successes but get a freebie' side. There's also Dark Runes, which have a 'one success' and 'two successes, but you turn EVIL' side.

PROs: The art on the cards is *gorgeous*. It resembles concept art more than anything, with lots of rich colors and a kind of dream like quality. The core loop of the game is engaging. Throwing the runes is tactile fun. At the end of the game, you also will the outline of a story for an interesting Hero, from their humble Origins, their Heroic Motivation, and their ultimate Destiny - with the included Solo play variant, this could make for a useful idea generator. The quality of the materials is pretty top-notch, with nice thick cards and relatively weighty runes.

CONs: There's a limited amount of strategic thinking each turn, as there's usually one or two Obvious Best Moves, which I suspect will limit replayability once you've seen most or all of the cards - which will probably take around 5 to 6 games. There's only limited avenues for interaction, governed by a stingy supply of Hero / Antihero cards - which can also lead to a bit of a Munchkin problem, where it's strategically advantageous to mostly save your spite until someone is about to end the game, rather than playing them regularly.

SUMMARY: Glad I kicked it, happy to have it, will enjoy playing again, but not like a must-have.

Oh, there's also going to be a Name of the Wind supplement (which was sold as part of the Kickstarter, and is currently collecting art IIRC) and a Stormlight Archive supplement (which was only announced relatively recently). I'm also /hoping/ that they'll put a community card creator thing up as well, as the game could definitely take advantage of such; given that Brotherwise has done so for Boss Monster, it seems likely, but they haven't said anything to that effect yet.
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