Today we are looking at the digital version of the Witcher Adventure Board game by CD Projekt Red and Can Explode. The Witcher Adventure Game is a board game for 1-4 players with local hot-seat mode and online, with the option to use the AI to fill any slots not filled by human players. The game is a points-race, which sees who can complete either 1, 3, or 5 quests first based on desired game length. The winner will be the player with the most points accumulated at the end of the round in which a player completes their final (1st, 3rd or 5th) Quest.
Quest cards show the target location, Proofs, possible Side Quests, Support Quest, point value, requirements for completion and Consequences for completion. Just like in the PC games, completing Quests and doing good can come with negative consequences.[/caption]
Players can choose 1 of 4 heroes, which are the titular Witcher Geralt, the Sorceress Triss, the Dwarven Warrior Yarpen or the Bard Dandelion. Each hero offers a different set of skills, abilities, dice and quest type. The asymmetry of the heroes is one of the game's strongest assets. The characters are very well balanced if the players are equally skilled and familiar with the game. Initially, Geralt felt overpowered while Dandelion felt very underpowered but, with experience and understanding of the concepts of the game, each character can be competitive.
Over the course of the game, players move around the game board in an attempt to complete Quests for victory points. Players will need to gather Clues, turn those clues into Proofs and ultimately present those Proofs to complete Quests and earn points. During their travels players can also complete Side Quests, Support other player's Quests, fight or avoid monsters and potentially suffer numerous Foul Fates.
Players also have the option of developing their chosen hero's skills and abilities. Each hero has a deck of Development cards that can grant the player various advantages throughout the game. Developments have a wide range of effects which differentiate the heroes from one another even further. It is up to the player to best decide how to balance hero Development, travel, Clue gathering, Quest and Side Quest completion to see their hero to victory.
A note on solo play: Solo-play vs AI is built into the game and is easy to pick up. The AI in the game seems adequate but in all of the solo games that I've played it never once gave me a run for my money, usually ending with a huge margin of victory. If you want a challenge you will certainly want to play with other people.
A note on game length: The game offers the option to play 1, 3 or 5 Quest games. The 1 Quest game is great for learning but usually feels like it ends too quickly. The 3 Quest game is the sweet spot and gives enough time for the game to develop without overstaying its welcome. The 5 Quest game can be quite lengthy and lasts too long to really hold player interest for the duration.
A note on “chrome”: The game is a direct digital port of the board game and as such it represents the components of the board game directly. This means that each player's miniature is a single color and there is almost no animation involved in the game. This is actually a big positive as it allows a player to transition from the digital version to the physical version and vice versa with very little effort.
The music gets repetitive rather quickly, especially in 3 and 5 Quest games, and the sound effects are decent, although over time, I've found myself turning the volume further and further down as I play.
The bottom line:
The AI isn't robust enough to give a good challenge once you understand all of the rules. The asymmetry of the different characters is nice and adds to the re-playability of the game but if you want the game to shine you will need to play with other people. Thankfully the game offers hot-seat local play at a fraction of the price of the physical version. The low price also makes buying multiple copies to play with friends online an attractive option. The digital version is also worthwhile as a companion to the physical version as it can help teach the game and ensure that you learn the rules correctly.
Get this game if:
You are looking for an affordable entry-point into board gaming.
You are a fan of the Witcher stories, games and setting.
Avoid this game if:
You crave player interaction.
The physical version of The Witcher Adventure Game can be purchased via Amazon.
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A copy of Witcher Adventure Game - Digital Version was provided to us by the publisher.