Crusaders Games

Adventure (co-operative)

An alternative to dungeon exploring is co-operative outdoor adventuring, heavily featuring hidden map exploration and movement, character development and variable encounters each game. This list leans more towards being best at the solo or two player count :

1. Too Many Bones – Chip Theory (2017)

A dice based co-operative or solo outdoor adventure where you are tasked to defeat one of six tyrants. The core box is big containing 4 gearloc characters with amazingly coloured dice and playmats having neat spaces to slot in your dice as you roll them, and weighty round chips with excellent printwork. When upgrading your gearloc, decide each time whether you need health, attack, defense, more dice to roll or work through its skill trees. Battles are the heart of the game, with a good selection of different monster types, and a small battle mat makes movement, targets and positioning important and visual, but not overly complex in its execution. The game is very tactile, rolling the dice and moving chips, with text storylines for each encounter, it works amazingly well as solo experience, playing as either one or two gearlocs. My more detailed overview > Too Many Bones

2. Runebound 3rd Edition – Fantasy Flights (2015)

A wilderness adventure game where heroes travel across the beautiful world map to complete quests and develop ready to take on a final challenge. This latest edition contains varied skills and equipment development, an interesting combat mechanic through a token throwing system, and time limited scenarios which push you onwards and make your game choices more urgent and important. The production quality of the board and cards is amazing, and the game tells a thematic story, with each scenario having its own unique story card deck. It provides one of the best terrain travelling mechanism using dice, and an interactive challenge and character story, and is best played with one to three players. The ‘Unbreakable Bonds’ expansion really made this game into one the best adventures around. My more detailed overview > Runebound 3rd Edition

3. City of Kings – City of Games (2018)

A tactical roleplaying game which can be played solo or co-operative, where you embark on individual scenarios or follow a longer story. Heroes will explore a broken world, while workers search for vital resources. Each of the six characters has a lovely board and unique skills tree, but free choice to specialise in attacking, healing, worker management or gaining their special skills. You explore across the hidden realm by turning over tiles, discovering locations, side quests, hazards, and creatures that will need to be defeated. This is a strategic game with great artwork where movement and positioning will be important, as are decisions about what to upgrade and when. It is an immensely satisfying experience, scenarios appear well balanced, and each game you can try out different ideas as you progress. My more detailed overview > City of Kings

 

4. Darkest Night 2nd Edition – Victory Point (2018)

A co-operative or solo game, where the world has been ravaged by the evil necromancer, and is covered in blights tainting the seven core locations. As the last heroes you must search for clues to locate missing holy relics, which will provide a way to defeat this enemy. Heroes start with 3 power cards, and these will help you directly support each other, increasing dice, or maybe provide unique abilities. There are 29 characters to choose from, and all have their own theme and attributes to try out The game features a darkness tracker which builds tension and increases the difficulty as time progresses. The production on this 2nd edition is amazing, from artwork, large tarot cards, thick tokens, large and small board choices, and the hero standees are lovely. It is a great card driven strategy co-op game. My more detailed overview > Darkest Night 2nd Edition

5. Mage Knight – WizKids (2011)

Considered by many as the ultimate solo adventure game, this is an exploration game across a revealing map with your mage hero who levels up, strengthens his powers and recruits followers in order to achieve his objective. The game has light elements of deck building, but its main mechanic is to manage your hand of cards each round to its best potential, using mana or crystals to boost or change the cards powers, and the game is a puzzle and an adventure rolled into one package. The components are good with painted models, nicely illustrated hexagonal tiles, excellent card art, although monster tokens could have been bigger sized to make them more interesting. This is a complex game and little combat rules especially are tough to remember, but I really find the hand management choices it brings an addictive experience that can be so rewarding. My more detailed overview > Mage Knight

6. Nemo’s War 2nd Edition – Victory Point (2017)

This game was specifically designed for solo play merging an adventure storyline with strategic battling against the ships which slowly fill the oceans of the earth. You will captain the nautilus, and choose a motive to search for treasure, discover scientific knowledge or wage war which will change the end goal emphasis for success. The game flows smoothly and each round is not overly complex, with most actions allowing you to wager extra influence on the dice roll by gambling the welfare of the crew, the ships hull or nemo’s own abilities looking for a success roll. It has great theme and art, and has adventure events drawn into a story deck which changes each game. Gameplay is strategic in nature and over time you will learn hidden depths, but it is tough to score highly and surviving is a measure of success in itself. My more detailed overview > Nemo’s War

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7. Tainted Grail – Awaken Realms (2019)

This is a solo or cooperative story adventure experience, where you will play as a flawed hero in a dying land which is sinking into wyrdness. Guardian menhirs are huge statues which have held back the destruction for many years, but they are failing, and as they are the only way to ensure safe travel throughout the realm you must keep them lit while you explore. The story game is built in chapters, each requiring you to complete one or more quests by uncovering remote locations, finding secret artifacts or learning hidden truths, there will be puzzles and branching paths, with difficult decisions to make, often with ongoing consequences within the game. The world is created by large beautifully illustrated map cards, and the adventure quickly becomes engaging and exciting to learn what each location has in store. My more detailed overview > Tainted Grail

  

8. Hexplore It : Forests of Adrimon – Mariucci J Designs (2019)

A roleplaying adventure game where you are taking on an evil sorceress who is trying to enslave the forest dwellers. Your heroes are searching for relic fragments to create powerful talisman and will be able to gain favours from the forest spirits, sneak into the cities, move though the fey-realm and interact with the Dryad, a powerful ally. It is very roleplay centric in that you have basic skills to move, search for treasure and survive in the forests, alongside combat abilities of attack and defense and two clever mastery skills. The game involves you upgrading your skills board using a mark and wipe process, and exploration is extremely freeform in style as you can explore where you want across the map which has quest destinations to progress your story. An excellent solo or two player game with lovely artwork and components. My more detailed overview > Hexplore It

9. The 7th Continent – Serious Poulp (2017)

A solo or co-operative game where you investigate a strange island to solve a series of curses. This exploration game works by revealing a landscape map of cards as you move around the land, uncovering new areas, learning skills and crafting tools to help you. You will constantly be faced with decisions, which actions to take or objects to keep or use, and the game builds a storyline, with some of your decisions becoming permanent game changes. Your life energy is a deck of action cards, which you deplete as you explore, making every decision vitally important. This game contains many neat touches, from amusing you to making you sigh with desperation, and you will always be second guessing your decisions. This is a clever and unique story exploration gaming experience which works best solo or with two players.

   

10. Gloom of Kilforth – Hall or Nothing (2017)

This card based fantasy adventure game sees heroes move around a map of 25 locations, encountering events, meeting strangers or fighting monsters, each character trying to complete their own quest line. At the end of their journey lies an ancient enemy plotting against them, and one that you must defeat, either cooperatively or competitively, to win the game. Time is precious though, as the locations are falling into gloom each night and when this takes over the whole map you will lose. The game distils a story about your hero into one game session, and as you play you will obtain new skills, items and spells, largely through encounters or competing quest stages, and each game offers up a different journey. The artwork in this game is truly amazing, and to get the best from the game you need to use your imagination to convert your encounters into a storyline.

Previously Owned Co-op Fantasy Adventure Games… due to space and funding restrictions i regularly trade out games to try newer ones, producing an ever changing favourites list, but one of these games may be right for you.

Eldritch Horror – a great co-operative survival game replaced by Darkest Night 2nd Edition, but still highly recommended

Spirit Island – clever co-op card game and highly regarded, but can feel a little anti climatic at the end and is not really an adventure

Legends of Andor – a good survival fantasy game where you quest around a superb looking board and fight off enemies converging on your home

Robinson Crusoe – a worker placement survival game with an exploratory feel, but really tough and a little on the complex and lengthy side

Runebound 2nd – world map exploring adventures, a really great game only replaced by Runebound 3rd edition