It is a known fact that a book is a man’s best friend; but when you have a group of people, a board game can be the real friend you all need. A good board game keeps the whole family or circle of friends glued to a place – and there is nothing more fun than a healthy competition.
There are different categories of board games available in the market. If you love to spend family time around a good game, you may fall in love with adventure board games.
Attributes of Adventure Board Games
An adventure board game is a board game where the player plays a character who is out on an adventure, mostly on a well-designed map-like board. In such games, the players can increase their character attributes, receive equipment, get hold of some skills, and go against the odds to finish off their adventure.
You can find many adventure board games in the market, but not every adventure game is worth spending your precious time and money on. Here are the best adventure board games that we recommend:
The Lost Valley is an adventure board game about the discovery of gold. It is based on the Klondike Gold Rush in 1896 where gold was discovered by some miners and that triggered a stampede of prospectors, some of which became wealthy while most of them got nothing.
In the game, the players will be the prospectors who will be hunting for gold. They will do so with the help of a card that each player gets. In each card, you can add the items you are carrying in your backpack where initially you can add 6 items. The card also has an option of gear and a cart; if you buy the cart then your backpack can have room for 10 items instead of 6. You (the prospector) are represented as a tiny person on the board, and you move from one corner to the other on your turn. There is also a store where you can buy different stuff. Whoever has the most amount of gold at the end of the game wins it.
The Lost Valley is an enjoyable board game about adventure and discovery, ideally for ages above 10. The treasure map is well built, however, the overall artwork is on the bland side. Also, the triangle pieces are a bit hard to put on correctly. Another downside is that there is a list of skills (a rulebook) that you need to refer to between the turns, and this slows down the game. Instead, they could have put little titles on cards to make it easy for the players.
Overall, the Lost Valley game can be fun for 2 to 6 people, where the average game time is 45 minutes. Who does not want to find gold?
Mice and Mystics
Mice and Mystics is an adventurous board game that is interesting to play, and the storyline is guaranteed to keep you glued to the board. All the players need to play the game in cooperation, so either all win or all lose.
The game is about leading a group of mice through a medieval castle to save the kingdom where different creatures are going to stop you from doing so – creatures like rats, spiders, cockroaches, and the scariest of them all – the housecat! It is played out over eleven chapters which slowly unfold you the story and make this game interesting, to say the least.
The Mice and Mystic game will take you to the kingdom of Owendale where there lived a kind king, but he had a lonely life raising his only son, Prince Collin. One day a beautiful yet mysterious Queen Vanestra arrived and the king fell in love with her. However, this is when the dark days of the kingdom started, and so does the game. Each player is loyal to the king and has been turned into a mouse by the evil queen. Each player has an important role to play to save the kingdom and this can be only done when players work as a team and fight the enemy.
The strong storyline keeps everyone interested and there is never a dull moment on the board. However, for some people who prefer a hardcore adventure in a board game, this game may feel basic. It is excellent if you are playing the game with kids as it can be played with anyone 7 years and above. But the storyline is compelling, and you may want to give this game a try and, of course, save the kingdom!
Runebound is a board game that takes you on an unforgettable adventure. It was first published by Fantasy Flight in 2004, and the 3rd edition has been released in 2015 with some improvements. The game helps you strategize while you race against your rival heroes to save the fantasy realm of Terrinoth. Players have two unique scenarios to play where they battle with the mighty Dragon Lord Margate or Rakesh, the Corpse King.
The game involves 2 to 4 players on an unforgettable adventure for around 2 to 3 hours. The players dodge all kinds of dangers and go on a thrilling journey to fight evil monsters that come from the past. You must race against your rivals to increase your power as you become the one to save Terrinoth. You will find that the game is loaded with thrill and surprises as you eliminate the monsters, explore the wild, and interact with the natives.
Runebound is recommended for ages above 14. It is a good game but has over a dozen expansions, which won’t be good for the health of your wallet. The artwork could have been improved as it feels low in resolution and some of the color choices are questionable. However, Runebound’s compelling mechanics make it fun to create a character and go for a battle. Once you start playing it, you will want to play it again, and again.
The adventure game DungeonQuest is a revised version of the classic game that released decades ago. It is quite easy to understand and fun to play with and has the recommended age as 13 years and above. It takes almost 1.5 hours for the game to finish and can be enjoyed by one to four players.
The gameplay is simple to understand and easy to execute. A player goes to a room in the dungeon and faces whatever lies there: it could be a monster that the player has to fight or just a dead end. You, as a player, will have to steal the treasure without waking up the dragon that guards it (or else it would turn you into a kabob). Some scenarios could end up taking your life and leaving you with no choice but to exit the game. You can get poisoned, cut by a giant swinging blade, or fall into a bottomless pit. The player who successfully escapes before sunset with the most treasure wins the game.
DungeonQuest is one of those board games that can be played and enjoyed solo – so you don’t have to wait for someone to play with. It is great for those players who are not sore-losers and when their character dies, they don’t end up ruining the game for others. It is not a strategy game so you have to have faith in your luck as you may not have much control over what happens to you. And don’t be disappointed if the game ends up without a winner.
The components used in the construction of this game are pretty good in quality. If you have played the game in the past, this revised version may bring back some memories and be a source of nostalgia, but it is equally fun for new players. So, do you dare to face the dragon’s challenge?
The Eldritch Horror board game is a fast-paced, story-driven game that could be played either solo or with up to 8 players. However, the game gives you the most fun when you play it with 4 players. It delivers 2 to 3 hours of adventure and like any other good board game, the storyline keeps the players glued till the very end. Since it is a cooperative game, all the players need to act as a team to win the game, and a player should ideally be above 14 years of age.
Eldritch Horror may remind you of the best-selling board game Arkham Horror. Rightly so, it has been inspired by Arkham Horror and you may remember many characters in this game from the past. Almost a decade ago when Fantasy Flight Games released Arkham Horror, it was a small board game that later became a superhit and had 8 extensions. However, there were some downsides of that game, such as, it was a bit hard for people to understand and some rules were a little questionable, or should we say, awkward. With the launch of Eldritch Horror, the board game now has the same exciting feel as an ideal adventure board game should have, plus, the rules are streamlined, and the game is easier to understand and play.
In this highly thematic board game, the players travel around the world to get rid of the Ancient One who threatens to destroy everything. On their way, the players fight monsters, solve mysteries, and prepare themselves for the adventures in the Cthulhu Mythos.
Although Eldritch Horror is nicely streamlined which makes it easy to learn and teach, one may feel a few of the downsides like there are not enough encounter cards in each deck. The game is fun even when played solo, however, with 8 people around the game board, Eldritch Horror sometimes feel too long and never-ending. However, these minute downsides do not deny how amazing this game is.
Robinson Crusoe is an award-winning board game that can be enjoyed by players who are 14 years and above. This bestseller involves 1 to 4 players where average game time is from 2 to 3 hours.
The Robinson Crusoe: Adventures of the Cursed Island is a cooperative adventure board game that involves an interesting storyline. The players are stuck on a deserted island, but the island is not as deserted as it may seem. It has many mysteries that players get to know about as they indulge and work together in the game. The players need to search for basic survival necessities like food, shelter, and weapons, etc. They also need to make many interesting decisions and adopt strategies to survive and thrive, and to defeat one of the greatest horrors the world has ever seen – the mighty King Kong!
One of the most important steps while starting the Robinson Crusoe adventure is choosing from one of the seven scenarios. Each scenario is played differently which adds to the versatility of this adventure board game. It is a highly immersive board game that will put you in the shoes of the character you are playing. If you have a mantra that losing is an important part of life, you will have a nice experience playing this game as there will be many times when the survivors don’t win, and this may end up making many players frustrating.
One of the downsides of the game, however, is that it is a little tough to understand at first. If you are new to the genre of adventure board games, it would be better if you do not start with this one as it may put you off. However, once you are comfortable with how adventure board games are played, you may find this game an asset in your board game collection.
Gloomhaven is an interesting adventure board game inspired by the European tactical combat in a world of ever-changing motives. You will take the role of a wandering adventurer who travels to the dark side of the world with a special skill set. The players need to play as a team to clear out scary dungeons and ruins. You will also discover new areas and improve your capabilities as you grow your experience. The way each player makes his/ her decision is crucial as your decisions will grow this already expanding storyline.
Gloomhaven is normally played over multiple sessions. You start in the town of Gloomhaven and need to take on quests to proceed in the game. The players fight against monsters using an intelligent card system that determines the order of the game as well as what each player does on his/ her turn. So, after a scenario, the players will work together to decide on what to do and this will determine the storyline. However, if the players take too much time in clearing the dungeon, they may get more and more tired ending up feeling exhausted, at which point they must head back to town and leave the game. The rest of the players will continue with their quest.
Once you get all the rules sorted, playing this game is absolute fun. The best part about playing Gloomhaven is that the game is as much fun playing with a group of 4 players than it is playing solo. And it is sure to keep you glued for months and even years. Gloomhaven is recommended for players who are at least 12 years of age, and its average game time is from one to two hours.
A negative for this game is that its setup is a little time-consuming. Also, while some players may find the rules hard to remember, others may make mistakes often even after playing this board game many times. The best part, however, is that Gloomhaven is anything but monotonous. It has a storyline that keeps on evolving, which makes the players glued to it for hundreds of hours for months – so it has the value-for-money factor.
Deep Madness is everything its name says – a dark and deep sea-mining site that has a mysterious sphere that drags everyone into its endless madness. The players must dash through the flooded corridors of the underwater research facility battling time before the Lovecraftian monsters, or madness overpowers them. The fear that resides deep within our minds is magnified and converted into horrendous monsters from other dimensions, torturing the players and testing their sanity. However, only those with unbeatable determination can escape from the wrath of this deep madness!
In the Deep Madness board game, each player takes the role of an investigator who ventures into the dangerous deep-sea mining site to investigate the truth behind the site being strangely altered. However, each player is oblivious of the deep madness that is silently waiting for it in the dark.
The board game is an adventure sci-fi horror board game that could be either enjoyed solo or by as many as 6 players. It is based on different scenarios from a continuous storyline where each scenario has its unique board layout and rules. Each scenario is played in several rounds, so if the players fail to successfully investigate and find the conclusion before the last round ends, all the players lose the game.
The level of difficulty of this board game may be off-putting for some players. It is suggested that the minimum playing age of this game should be at least 12 years, however, 14+ could be a better age for playing Deep Madness. If you are new to the world of adventure board games, you may try some other games before going for Deep Madness. Although the game takes a long time to be set up, the gorgeous miniatures and challenging scenarios make this game a definite hit and a must-buy.
Once you start playing an adventure board game, you may never find thrill in a normal board game. So, from the above-mentioned adventure board games, which one are you going to try first?