Sunday, March 27, 2011

$20 Poorly Spent

Now, one could argue that any money is well spent if it means getting your child's attention for a couple hours. That being said, this particular $20 probably could have been better spent. I picked up the Island of Dread Runebound expansion last year and this was the first chance that Ashton and I had to play it. Basically, this expansion changes the game with a new board, new set of encounter cards and new endgame. There are also a set of heroes and a few item cards that can be used interchangeably with the main game. For the most part, you use the items, allies, etc deck from the base (and/or expansions you have) in conjunction with this expansion. Thematically, this isn't a terrible expansion (though the number of cards makes it very likely you'd be bored with it with a couple of plays). But, beyond the theme and such, this expansion has some issues. First off, it is much harder than the original. There are very few * spots that refill adventure spots. With just my son and I playing, it took us almost no time at all to get to the point where we had killed all the easy encounters and were stuck on the starting island. The choices were: fight the next harder stuff (very iffy), or travel by sea to another spot (also iffy as the sea encounters looked as hard as the medium stuff for sure). Once you break into the second level of encounters, you sort of skip a step (there are no 3rd level encounters). I guess for this game, they made the 4th level the 3rd, but the cards didn't seem to match this - they were hard as the end game ones in the base game. To top that off, to beat the end bad guy, you have to "find" the Island of Dread (easy-ish), and then beat a possible gauntlet of bad guys. If you survive long enough, you might get a shot at the Arch Villian (who is a reject from Arkham Horror), who first tries to make your allies encounters you have to beat first. After a couple hours, we gave up and both conceded defeat. Even with all the special items, my son said - "I'll never beat that guy". I'd be willing to play again, but only if we refilled EVERY spot on the board. As the expansion stands, one death (and the corresponding loss that accompanies it) makes it nearly unplayable and definitely less fun.

1 comment:

Mike G. said...

I have found the big box expansions to be lacking. I like the Frozen Wastes the best but that being said, I rather play the base game or the base game with one of the card expansions.