It has been a funny month of gaming for me. I have played thirty-seven games a combined total of sixty-eight times, but no one game has had more table time than any other. Plenty of new games got ripped from shrink and we even played old favourites that had languished on our shelf for over six months too. However, April was also the month we played Adventure Games: The Volcanic Island. This was something a bit different for us as a family. As it entertained me, my wife and our eldest two boys for five evenings it seemed a pretty good pick.
Published by Kosmos, this is one of a series of Adventure Games. All are akin to the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books I devoured as a child and may be familiar to you. It converts this mechanic to a tabletop experience for up to four players. Collectively you will explore a modular board that changes as the story progresses, interacting with characters and the landscape looking for clues along the way. The adventure is divided into four chapters which work nicely as an evening’s gaming.
First and foremost, a rookie mistake saw this take an evening longer than it should have as we finished a chapter without realising it. A slight misinterpretation on our part, and entirely our fault! The story was a bit woolly in places, but my two boys (aged 10 & 13) were invested the whole time. Both were eager to play every night and looked forward to picking up the journey again. After the first night of gameplay my mind was whirring. My wife and I discussed how excited we were to continue the adventure the next day.
It is very clever how you can combine different objects with each other or with locations to expand the story and unlock more content. We did find ourselves getting stuck a couple of times but a handy hints book gives clues without giving anything away. At the end of each chapter you score points for clues and objects you have uncovered. I’m pleased to report our adventure was a success overall.
I will say that I get mixed emotions with these campaign style games. I feel like they need to be played in quite quick succession or else it is easy to forget the characters and the story previously uncovered. Yet I also like to play a variety of games and not commit to the same thing for a week’s worth of gaming. I personally found the last night I had lost a little of my immersion. My boys however, were still lapping it up and that is probably a better reflection of who it appeals to. So Adventure Games: The Volcanic Island gets the family vote this month.
While I may not pick it up and play it again soon, I will revisit the Adventure Games: The Volcanic Island another time. It will be interesting to see how the story plays out with different choices, as there are different endings to discover.
For clarity. We don’t get paid for our reviews. We purchased this game with our own money for George’s Birthday, this has not affected our review in any way.