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BradHB
September 18, 2021
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DavidNorris
September 16, 2021
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Quick, Simple Fun: High Society

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Andi Lennon
September 15, 2021
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oliverkinne
September 14, 2021
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Play and Pass

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ubarose
September 13, 2021
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thegiantbrain
September 13, 2021
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oliverkinne
September 10, 2021
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Karuba Board Game Review

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BradHB
September 10, 2021
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kneeshawdevelopments
September 09, 2021
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DavidNorris
September 09, 2021
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adamr
September 08, 2021
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Mariposas - a Punchboard Review

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oliverkinne
September 07, 2021
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Paring down

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BradHB
September 03, 2021
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oliverkinne
September 03, 2021
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Earthenwar Review

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DavidNorris
September 02, 2021
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August 31, 2021
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Dark Venture Review - The Colour Out of Space

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07 Jan 2021 09:00 #317789 by Andi Lennon
It’s a word where driven individuals and small teams can...

One of the greatest advantages that the tabletop gaming hobby has over other prevalent entertainment mediums such as cinema or videogames is that of scale. In a world reigned over and mercilessly throttled by design-by-committee thinking, focus group testing and lowest-common-denominator economy as ambition – the world of chit and card remains a place where the singular vision of wilful auteurs stubbornly continues to thrive.

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07 Jan 2021 10:54 #317790 by jeb
Honestly, I think the best place for DARK VENTURE is being the only game in someone's collection. It is absolutely amazing, but the work you need to put into it doesn't seem "worth it" to folks that can run their hand down a shelf and grab five other games.

For that one kid or couple of cousins or something, this thing is stacks of hours of wild mind-bending times. I want to leave my copy at the library or something and spawn some psychedelic weirdo in the neighborhood.
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07 Jan 2021 11:01 #317792 by Shellhead
I'm fond of Dark Venture. I like the bright colors, the wild creativity, and the peculiar setting. The bookkeeping is a bit of a hassle, but pays off as the locations gradually become populated by formidable NPCs. It's like a candy-colored Magic Realm Lite. The hassle of equipping the NPCs by flipping through a card deck in search of specific items is one of the worst aspects of the game, and I am nearly tempted to buy a second copy just to have an additional deck of cards in alphabetical order to speed the NPC setup in each encounter. But the single worst part of the game is the possibility of losing multiple, consecutive turns after losing a fight.
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07 Jan 2021 11:03 #317793 by Shellhead
Because I like the Dark Venture setting so much, I am pondering the second game in that product line, Battle of the Ancients. It's a completely different kind of game but in the same setting and with the same visual design. Tactical combat between small units competing to summon their Ancients, which sounds a lot like the setup for The Hills Rise Wild boardgame that I love.
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07 Jan 2021 11:17 #317794 by hotseatgames
Thanks for the review. Obviously this game looks fantastic, but it sounds like the process of playing it is cumbersome to the extreme. I generally don't care about video game adaptations of board games, but this sounds like it would make a nice light computer game.

I was very tempted by the area control sequel mentioned above; I ultimately didn't pledge for it because of two reasons:

1. I knew it would barely get any play
2. I instead pledged for something else that was on KS at the same time... possibly Nemesis Lockdown? I can't even remember anymore. Time has no meaning.
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07 Jan 2021 16:45 #317803 by Shellhead

Shellhead wrote: But the single worst part of the game is the possibility of losing multiple, consecutive turns after losing a fight.


Just to expand on this point, because I think that it's crucial... there are only 12 turns in the game, and you normally get 3 actions per turn. If your character gets knocked unconscious (hit points reduced to zero), you get one chance to wake up on each subsequent turn, by rolling a 15+ on 3d6 + your Mind attribute. IIRC, it is not unusual to have a Mind attribute of around 4, so you have about a 50% chance of not waking up each turn. And a 25% chance of missing two turns in a row, which would be 1/6 of the game. And a 12.5% chance of missing three turns in a row.
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08 Jan 2021 00:17 #317806 by Gary Sax
Man, I do need a copy of this to shelf toad.
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08 Jan 2021 09:37 #317809 by Shellhead
Despite the flaws, Dark Venture is a keeper. It offers a very distinctive setting, a strange little sandbox to play in for a couple of hours. The rules are light and easy and get out of the way so the players can focus more on the emergent sense of narrative. The encounters often offer an element of Choose Your Own Adventure gaming. The game can be played either competitive or co-op or solitaire. The equipping of NPCs by searching for specific item cards is a nuisance but not a dealbreaker. The harsh KO rules could easily be houseruled away by letting a player automatically wake up the following turn.
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08 Jan 2021 12:26 #317828 by jason10mm
I don't have much to say about the game (other than it is about 30 years too late for me), but as a creative writing exercise i really want you to review opening the box, reading the manual, and the first use of some random appliance like the Instapot :p

And i never want to play you in scrabble!
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09 Jan 2021 09:56 - 09 Jan 2021 10:01 #317881 by Josh Look
I'm quite a fan of this game. I know alot of it sounds very cumbersome to those who have never played it, but this is a game that I am entirely content to play by myself. I do find that the rich and unique world building (which is really what it is, I refuse to call the linking of unrelated dots "narrative," because fuck you, Arkham Horror) to be worth the work. I don't mind digging through a stack of cards and lost turns when there's nobody's time to waste but my own.

That said, I have the next game backed and if it's a tad bit more multiplayer friendly, I wouldn't mind.
Last edit: 09 Jan 2021 10:01 by Josh Look.
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10 Jan 2021 17:43 - 10 Jan 2021 17:44 #317911 by Andi Lennon

jeb wrote: I want to leave my copy at the library or something and spawn some psychedelic weirdo in the neighborhood.


That sir, is the Lord's work. Soak the cards in blotter acid first for maximum efficacy.
Last edit: 10 Jan 2021 17:44 by Andi Lennon.
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10 Jan 2021 17:47 #317912 by Andi Lennon

Shellhead wrote:

Shellhead wrote: But the single worst part of the game is the possibility of losing multiple, consecutive turns after losing a fight.


Just to expand on this point, because I think that it's crucial... there are only 12 turns in the game, and you normally get 3 actions per turn. If your character gets knocked unconscious (hit points reduced to zero), you get one chance to wake up on each subsequent turn, by rolling a 15+ on 3d6 + your Mind attribute. IIRC, it is not unusual to have a Mind attribute of around 4, so you have about a 50% chance of not waking up each turn. And a 25% chance of missing two turns in a row, which would be 1/6 of the game. And a 12.5% chance of missing three turns in a row.


Sounds like the mathematical elements won't be an issue for you hey :)

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10 Jan 2021 17:49 #317913 by Andi Lennon

jason10mm wrote: I don't have much to say about the game (other than it is about 30 years too late for me), but as a creative writing exercise i really want you to review opening the box, reading the manual, and the first use of some random appliance like the Instapot :p

And i never want to play you in scrabble!


I didn't think this was a particularly perspicacious piece. (How many points for that one on a double word score?) :)
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