This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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# of Players: 3-7
Time: 10-20 Minutes
Game Type: Fun/Strategy
Gamer Type: Casual/ Intermediate
Time for an RPG Party!
Have you ever thought about how hard it is to be the leader of an RPG party? Think about it…you know some of the people who are trusting you aren’t going to make it out of the dungeon, castle, forest, etc. alive. As the team leader, however, you have to make the hard choice of who fights the dragon, battles the mage, or tries to sneak through the series of traps. Too often games nerf the risk in this area. They have games seem like everyone is a winner and the only characters who don’t make it are those the DM or the other players kill. Venture Party by Golden Bell Studios goes after that oddity of fantasy games, along with several of the other tropes in the RPG world.
The story of the game is simple and fun. You are a leader of a party trying to “get the loot” and your goal is to determine who you are going to send on life-threatening missions to get loot for the party. “Life-threatening” is used loosely here because the heroes don’t come back once you use them. Each round you balance who will make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the group while maintaining the proper hand so you can win at the end of the game. This is a fun, challenging story loaded with jokes that will make veteran RPG players laugh. For this, Venture Party earns a solid 8 for the story.
Moving on to the artwork, Venture party once again comes in with a strong score of 8 out of the possible 10 points. The artwork is cartoonish, but this really adds to the feeling of the game poking fun at several topics.
They have artwork from several genres of RPG built into a world where it is in the hands of the players to decide who makes up the final party. The pictures are fun and really draw the players into the game, which is the hallmark of a good system of art.
The mechanics of this game are simple, but this is a must in a 10-20 minute game. This is a “draw a card, play a card” game. The system is simple and allows players to understand the game quite readily; however, it does limit the different types of play styles. This brings the mechanics score to a 4 for this game. Drawing and playing cards really keep players from utilizing the mechanics for strategy.
While the mechanics are simple, the strategy can be quite in-depth. Different cards do different things and the goal of the game is to end with the highest “loot” score. This is your hand total, plus the amount of loot you have taken. Knowing that information, you find the choice of whether to play a powerful, high-value card or to save it for your final score. Your plays really depend on what the other players are doing. This means you have to watch the cards and remember what other players did. This leaves the options for both offensive and defensive playing, which earns Venture Party a solid score of 6 out of 10 points possible for strategy.
The novelty of this game is interesting. It falls into the classic RPG genre, which is loaded with games. It also is a satire game, which is another loaded category. However, the combination of the two gives it a new feel. The only other game I know where the “hero” dies every time is “Kobolds Ate My Baby,” which adds to the uniqueness of this game. Therefore, we award an 8 out of 10 for novelty.
A Strong, Quick Played Novel Game
This is a strong little game that can be fun for gamers of all levels. The added benefit of the game having such a short playtime means when you are having people over to play games, this can be one that you grab to play with people who come early. The added benefit is because it is so short, no one is sitting for a long time not playing. With a total score of 32 out of 50, Venture Party is a great little game that you can have on your shelf for any time you want to play a quick, fun game with friends that have any level of gaming skill.