You slog through the haunted forests and dungeons of the fantasy realm completing quests and earning experience points only to find out that your opponent has accrued more experience points than you by the end of the 7th round. Can you get through the quests and end up with more experience than everyone else sitting at the table? In the 2021 game Questeros by Wesley Woodbury with art by John De Campos you will find out who among you is the most deserving.
Questeros is many things, A 2-6 player trick taking game, a solitaire game, a fate deck for your RPGs and a fantasy themed tarot deck. The solo game and the 2-6 player game is where we will spend our time today as I do not know much about tarot cards aside from they look very interesting and have a lot of meaning.
The Multi player version of Questeros is a trick taking game at its heart. Its played over 7 rounds and the player that accumulates the highest score (XP) wins. There are 3 kinds of cards within the Questeros deck, Ther are epic cards, normal cards and god cards. The game has the feel of spades or hearts without partners and with a twist. Each player is dealt a hand of 10 cards each round. The player with the initiative token plays first.
The game has the feel of spades or hearts without partners and with a twist.
There are 4 suits in Questeros Orbs, Cups, Blades, and Staves. There are the epic cards too but they dont have a suit associated with them same as the 2 god cards in the deck. The first player plays a card and that is the suit (epic cards are basically the 5th suit) and everyone else plays a card from that suit. If you do not have a suited card you may play another card. Epic cards always rank higher than the other 4 suits. So unlike spades if you lead with a suit someone can swoop in with an epic card and take the quest. There is one exception to that you can pay 1 xp to play an epic card if you are holding a card in the suit that was led. Each player starts the game with 2 xp so this is something you are able to to on the first hand. This is where there are some interesting things that happen. All the epic cards also have an associated effect that happens when you play it. This mechanism is the one that really elevates this past the traditional card games. The first player token then passes to the player who won the quest.
like traditional trick taking game you bid at the beginning of the hand on how many quests (tricks) you will complete
So much like traditional trick taking game you bid at the beginning of the hand on how many quests (tricks) you will complete. If you get the exact number you bid then you get a 5 xp bonus. You will also get 1 xp for every quest you complete. There is also a special score if you complete zero quests in a hand, this will get you 10 xp unless there is at least one other person who completed zero quests as well. In that case everyone with zero quests scores zero xp for that.
There are 2 god cards in the deck and these have special rules. The god cards out rank all other cards if they are played they win the quest. However if both are played in the same quest then the entire quest is discarded and nobody wins the xp for it. It didnt take long to pick up on all the hierarchy and there are player aid cards to help with all the epic card effects. After each of hands there is an epic card added to the deck to make things a little more interesting. Depending on your player count it may not be likely to see some of them played. At the beginning of the game epic cards 10-15 are set aside and after the first hand they are added in one per hand
The single player version of the game is more like a solitaire game. I enjoyed it a lot I imagine that it looks more like you are using the tarot cards to red a fortune as there is a layout you create with the jester (Ero) in the middle and each suit around him. Each of the suited cards help you look through the deck, give you attack or are your hit points for the game. This version has you fighting the epic cards until you get to that big old nasty dragon at the end.
I had this on our family vacation and my brother-in-law Ryan brought it out to the table late one night and we read through the rules and we able to play through it just fine. I think that any player that has played traditional trick taking games will like the quests that Questeros will take you on. Its interesting, fun, and versatile. I found the solo game challenging and interesting to play and will play it a few more times. The art is really interesting and the production value of the game is very well done and clean.
Year Published: 2021
Recommended Ages: 12+
Time to Play: 30-45m
A copy of Questeros was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for review purposes.