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Home Forums The Storage Room Any Arcadia Quest inserts? Reply To: Any Arcadia Quest inserts?


Truth is, neither really matches well with the play style of a dungeon crawler in the vain of Descent, Brimstone, etc. When I think about those games, I think “epic adventuring spread over many many game nights” “campaign system where the characters evolve over time” and the butterfly effect that can occur due to a bad skill choice early on that brings down the team during the climax.

SDE is an arcade style hack and slash game, where the goal is to work your way through some rooms and kill the boss. That is the goal in the first game you play. That will be the goal every time you play the game. A common comparison is the old video game “Gauntlet”. Gameplay goes like this.

1.Heroes work their way through the dungeon killing monsters and the spawn points responsible for spawning the monsters.
2.When all the spawn points are dead, the boss spawns
3.Kill the boss
4.Box up the game and go to bed. (optional)

There are no “quests” or objectives other than that. Each boss in the game (Forbidden King comes with ONE) has his own deck of cards that alter the way his fight plays out, but if you only have one boss that limits any variety you might expect from replaying it.

There are different dungeon tiles to play through, all containing different terrain features and obstacles, as well as a couple different types of monster spawn points which spawn different monsters. However, there is no campaign to speak of (unless you plan to get Legends which just ended on Kickstarter), so character/hero development is limited to the gear you manage to pick up during a single play through.

Having said all this, I am STILL excited at the idea of one day playing this game. I got the Kickstarter, but have only been able to play it once, in a “make up some simple rules” story telling hack and slash with my two young daughters. The characters are all fun and creative in appearance, and just beg to be painted. Their special skills are actually very evocative and fitting to each character (the Wolf rider has a great pounce attack that has him flying across the board and landing on baddies). The skills in general are interesting, and do a good job of simulating video game type effects in a board game. The minion monsters are all really neat, in a funny/cute sort of way. All of these things make me excited to play the game. I’m just nervous about its longevity, since there are so many pieces of plastic, so much beauty in the art of the cards, board, etc. The game screams “Spend time with me! Love me!” I’m just not sure how long the relationship will last once I’ve played it a couple times.

Arcadia Quest shares a lot aesthetically with SDE, but I believe it is actually closer to the dungeon crawly games in terms of mechanics, but with a twist. For starters, it’s designed with campaign play in mind. The campaigns are short, four – five maps, but there is a campaign system there, and the hero development is there. Your performance in one scenario absolutely affects what you’ll be doing moving forward, since you spend the gold you get from a scenario to upgrade your weapons and skills before moving on to the next one. If you did poorly, didn’t kill enough dudes, didn’t complete any objectives, you won’t have as much gold as the other players and you’ll feel it moving forward.

Each scenario has one to two PVE objectives for players to complete. The first guild to complete each PVE objective is not only awarded extra gold, but usually a special unique weapon, or a title that will be useful later in the campaign. This is where that twist I mentioned comes into play. This leads to a very real sense of competition that the other games lack completely. All of the players want to progress the story and overcome the evil in the city, but each individual guild also wants to come out ahead of the others, by getting the most gold, the most loot and most glory. It’s really the core of the game, and I think it does this thing well.

– You may hold back from attacking a boss monster if there’s little chance you can kill it on your turn, since the guy right behind you may swoop in a steal the kill from you.
– Or you might set a trap in a space blocking off access to a key objective.
– You might opt to kill one of the opposing players instead of the boss, because doing so awards you gold AND credit for a PVP objective you needed to end the scenario, regardless of whether or not the boss was killed.

The competitive nature of Arcadia Quest does the most to set it apart from the competition and is the part I ultimately enjoy the most about the game.

I wish they’d done more to distinguish the characters from one another. They’re all fantastically sculpted and unique in appearance, but that’s almost the extent of it. Each character has a unique special ability, such as + 1 die on melee attacks when close to an ally, or Can heal one point of damage on a successful magic attack. This is OK, but I don’t think it’s enough to make the characters feel distinct enough from one another.

Every players starts with the same starting gear, which you distribute as you wish between your three guild members. So every campaign you play starts out the same. That’s kinda bleh for me. If each individual character had starter gear (printed on the card maybe) I would prefer that. As is, the dual wielding axe flinging barbarian has two melee weapons to choose from, a rusty sword or a parrying blade. Neither seems fitting for the character.

Every character attacks the same way. Will you swing the rusty sword and hope your dice roll sword icons, or will you cast a spell and hope for bow/arrows?

My other complaint about AQ has to do with the way monsters activate. They’re essentially stationary “turrets” on the board, and they only activate if you trigger them, by getting close for example. It gives the game a sense of being an obstacle course, rather than a hack and slash dungeon. That said though, there are opportunities for the other players to move them around in ways that interfere with you, and making good use of those opportunities can be a key strategy to winning the game. I just prefer a more thematic monster mechanic, like Descent, and I’m not getting that from AQ.


Wow. Got a little carried away. I hope my exposition is helpful to anyone. If not, at the very least this little writing exercise has brought my brain back to these two games and gotten me excited about them again.