Game Review: Quester’s Keep

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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# of Players: 2-6
Time: 90 Minutes
Age: 13
Gamer Type: Casual
Game Type: Board/RPG
Complexity: 5

Dungeons and Dragons, White Wolf, the Core system, these are the granddaddy role-playing game (RPG) systems on the market. Each of these systems defined the genre. The drawback of these games is that you almost have to “live” the game to play it. All three have playtimes of days if not weeks to ensure that you get the best of the game. Quester’s Keep by DN games simplifies the Role-Playing game, taking many of the fun elements from the classic RPG and putting it into a board game format to welcome all fans.

Story

Questor’s keep focuses on the trope of the classic RPG. You are a treasure hunter who is looking for treasure. At the beginning of the game, you choose a class with different abilities for each one. The story is better than “You’re and elf fighting orcs,” but it still follows the classic imagery of the old school RPGS. The story is well known and well worn (which was the goal of the game) which scores the game a solid 5 out of 10 for the story.

Art

The artwork of the game is quite well done. Art is core to a board game and this gives this game a slight edge over classic RPGS. RPGs have always suffered from a lack of artwork (other than book art). The cartoon nature of the cards have enough realism to make the game “real” for players, but do not cross that line of ruining the fantasy. The box is a good size and the insert helps keep your parts well organized. DN games earns a strong 6 out of 10 for the artwork.

Mechanics

The game’s mechanics are a mesh of classic board game mechanics and classic RPG mechanics. Players have the ability to explore (RPG) with a tile flipping function (Boardgame). This gives the open-world effect with actual boundaries that keep the game focused. Players then complete quests to earn treasure (RPG) which keeps the game moving. The combat system is simple and fun, something that your non-RPG friends will be able to pick up quickly. With two statistics, the abilities system is also stripped down from the “classic” 300-page manual. This lets the players dip their toes into the more complex RPGs, without having to commit to a two-week playing system. This earns an excellent 7.5 out of 10 for mechanics.

Strategy

As with other RPGs, how you play the game is determined by who you select as your main character. This makes the strategy element of this game quite unique. No class has all four strategy elements (offense, defense, rush and engine building). With the exception of rush, the systems are all there. How you play depends on your play style and your character. This gives you an unprecedented amount of strategy choices. This earns the game a score of 5.5 out of 10.

Novelty

This game is an RPG Lite. There are dozens of RPG light games on the market. Most of them are not fun, are overly complicated, or are just poorly done. Luckily Quester’s Keep does not fall to these foils. Quester’s Keep builds the fun elements of RPGs and the simplified elements of a board game. This is interesting in the genre as it is a bridge game. This brings this game into the realm of board gamers who see themselves as RPG players and RPG players who think they are good at board games. I see a lot of tournament competition coming for this game as it allows two of the three macro-fields in gaming to compete with one another. This earns a 7.5 out of 10 for Novelty.

Overview

With the 8 bit feel of the tiles and the cartoony pictures on the cards, this game brings you back to the golden age of RPGs, both digital and live. This game has the exploration, battle, and quests of RPGs and the controlled world, cards strategy, and markers of board games. The difference between this game and other games that attempt to bridge RPGs and board games is that this game keeps it simple and doesn’t try to be more than it is. This earns Quester’s Keep an overall score of 31.5 out of 50.

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer is a writer for NRN and an adjunct professor at both Penn State University and the University of South Florida. He is the author of several books, most recently “A Criminal History of the Democrat Party” which is available on Amazon and via the publisher, Elite Exclusivity. Follow on Twitter at @Acriminalhisto1

NRN • New Right Network
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