The Princess Bride, aside from being an incredible 80’s movie, is insanely quotable. It's quotable to the point where many people quote it, without actually knowing where the line comes from. The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game grabs the quotes and the theme by the throat and doesn’t let go until the game is finished. It takes 1 to 4 players across 6 chapters. Each chapter is a scene from the movie, and players need to cooperatively complete challenges to progress to the next.
Challenges are completed by moving certain characters to specific parts of the map and discarding the required story cards from your hand. Every map is a unique experience and players don’t control individual characters, but must work together to move the characters around, and trade cards to ensure the right player has the cards to complete a challenge.
During each player's turn, they can move a total of 2 spaces with the characters on the board, moving either 1 character 2 spaces or 2 characters 1 space each. After that, they can discard cards from their hand to move further spaces, trade a card with another player, and complete challenges.
Each map also has unique rules, and each turn, a plot card is drawn. Plot cards are numbered 1 to 20 and have an effect according to the current chapter map you are using. In the first chapter 'As You Wish', drawing numbers 1 to 15 adds more chores to the map. The first challenge requires there to be 2 or less chores and Wesley and Buttercup to be on the same space. So you need to keep on top of chores, which appear around the map, whilst positioning Wesley and Buttercup correctly in order to complete the challenge.
The rules are incredibly simple and the difficulty level isn’t high. It does allow for some quarterbacking, where one strong willed player can see the solution and plays everyone’s turn. But the real joy in The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game is in its grasp of the theme.
While the core mechanics of the game are a simple matter of getting the right combination of cards in your hand, those cards types are intrinsic to how the challenges match those scenes from the movie. The True Love challenge requires 2 parts love and 1 part courage to complete. When the challenges are not met in time with the specific chapter rules, a tile is flipped, showing that the boy has interrupted his Granddad in the telling of the story. Tying that mechanic, into a jolt similar to the one felt during the movie when it snaps between the tale and the framing, is one of the many ways that it truly grasp the theme.
The different chapters are played out on maps, which are all pages in a thick card book, the kind of reinforced book that withstands punishment from young kids. Each map is a fantastic visual representation of the scene, and each chapter’s supplementary rules, along with the plot cards, are loaded with detail and quotes to bring the movie to life. Each challenge is also a very specific part of the movie, and replaying them on the tabletop is a fantastic experience, regardless of the difficulty or complexity of rules.
The Bottom Line
Fans of the movie will get the most out of The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game, even as a collection piece after they’ve played through it. Playing the game will inspire players to either watch the movie again or watch it for the first time. There isn’t a lot of replayability, and while it was a blast to play through all 6 chapters, it won’t be a game that is played regularly. But just like a good classic movie, when you’re reminded of a quote, or you remember the movie and it makes you smile, then it will almost certainly find its way back onto your tabletop. So of course, we should end our review with:
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
Get This Game If:
- You’re a The Princess Bride fan.
- You want a fast, simple, and fun game.
- You want a game that incorporates theme to its core.
Avoid This Game If:
- You don’t want players shouting ‘Inconceivable’ at every opportunity.
- You want a game with a huge amount of strategic depth.
This copy of The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game was provided by the publisher.