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The Witcher Adventure Game - Board Game Box Shot

The Witcher Adventure Game

| Published: 2014
28 17 1

The Witcher Adventure Game takes players on a journey across the world of the critically acclaimed Witcher franchise. Based on the best selling novels and award-winning video games, the Witcher universe makes its way to your tabletop with The Witcher Adventure Game.

You and up to three friends will take on the roles of beloved characters from the Witcher universe and travel across the dangerous wilds, battling monsters, completing quests, earning gold and victory points, and vying for ultimate triumph. Along the way, you’ll craft an unforgettable narrative, unique to each and every game.

The Witcher Adventure Game in play
images © Fantasy Flight Games

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Stone of the Sun
40 of 44 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Time of Contempt”

tl;dr: Quests are all samey, narrative and story are nonexistent, game boils down to a multi-player solo race for VP, plus game is laughably light, avoid unless you just have to own it because it’s Witcher.

I played 5 full games of the beta on GOG. My opinion is entirely based on THAT version. I am unaware of any rules or mechanics changes to the final board game. [EDIT: After some research I have discovered that there were no changes to the rules from the digital to physical editions] I was so thoroughly underwhelmed by this game that I blame it as being one of my triggers for my clinical depression. When I heard this was coming out I was so excited, “a new fantasy adventure board game by an established and accomplished designer!?”

“BY ODIN’S RAVENS! This is going to be amazing”, I thought.

Unfortunately, I could not find anything really enjoyable about the game. It had no real driving force or feeling, the “narrative” that occurs feels clunky and disjointed, zero player interaction, bland gameplay, and an overall feeling of emptiness. Where did they go wrong?

The main issue is the questing system. The quests are, to put it nicely, boring. You go around the board to collect tokens, and you trade the tokens in to complete it. There is no consequence for failing the quest (since you can’t really fail quests with this design), which makes it just a VP race. Which would be okay, if the name didn’t promised an adventure game.

You see, an adventure game should focus on the stories that come about with the game, and I’m not necessarily talking about the game’s flavor text. I’m talking about the experience an adventure game brings you, the stories that are built by the player, their decisions, and the system. You remember games of Mage Knight where you burn down a monastery and steal the monk’s artifacts then turned around and sieged a tower with said artifact, laughing in the ashes of your foes. You remember games of Runebound where the Brave Sir Valadir was more like “Brave Sir Robbin” in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Even In Talisman you remember when your significant other turns you into a frog three times in a row. You see, its these memories and these situations that make an adventure game. By making the game a VP race, none of the quests matter really. All the work that went into the flavor text is all for naught when quests only serve as a means to VP, and the main “skill” is who can do it the fastest.

Another issue comes up when you have an encounter in the areas which are all but unavoidable unless you want to fall behind in the race to win the game. When you go to combat these monsters it’s QUICKLY apparent that unless you are Geralt you are going to lose and probably lose badly to the monster encounter. But you’ll see that it doesn’t matter, you get the token regardless if you succeed or not, it’s just a minor inconvenience if you don’t.

Worst of all, the quests that you go on (you know the entire point of the game) all feel the same. Regardless if they are combat, diplomacy, or magic, they all require the same skill and “strategy” all the same. It always follows the same path; Go here, collect a token, roll the dice and collect the token regardless of it’s results, go there, trade the token, move up the VP chart. It quickly makes the entire experience very tedious rather than adventurous.

I perfectly understand why Trzewiczek did what he did, and regardless of this mishap he is an amazing designer with a brilliant mind frame for mechanics and theme. Unfortunately he was under strict constrictions from the IP owner. There was no point from CD Projekt RED’s point of view to create a meatier game. A Witcher Board Game is just printing money. Furthermore the target audience are video gamers and the mass market, so it needs to be light and easily accessible to all kinds of people, not just the Board Game kind of crowd. Perhaps I’m being to harsh and expecting too much because of this fact. But I can only review this in the eyes of a gamer, not as a mass market player.

With that in mind I will not be purchasing this game, under any circumstance. In fact, I cancelled my pre-order of it. However, if someone else owned it, and enjoyed it, and I respected their opinions, and (a lot of conditions here), than I might play the physical version, if only to see if they improved anything after the beta [Edit: They didn’t]. Otherwise this is a STRONG pass for me, and NOTHING I can recommend to anyone other than the most casual of the mass market fans who love the IP enough to just buy it for that sake and not really play it. Such a missed opportunity.


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