Role Quest is a storytelling party game for 3–6 players. It's an inexpensive game, currently in the middle of its funding campaign on Kickstarter, and it is due to be published in April 2019.
When two players place their character meeples on a town location, another player uses the characters and location to set a scene to be acted out. For example, “The Blacksmith visits the Mayor at the Town Hall to apply for planning permission to build an extension to their forge.”
Scene set, each of the two players at the location pick a character/personality trait from those on the cards in their hand and they act out the scenario in character with the selected trait. Players then have to guess the trait being displayed. To make things more difficult, other players may also play a ‘curse’ on one or more of those acting out a scene. These impose some action or impediment which is likely to distract both the actor and the audience and so prevent them from correctly guessing the trait. Since the person dishing out the curse is also going to want to correctly guess the trait, imposing these impediments may add to the fun but they could be self-defeating in terms of game play.
Successful guesses earn goblin heads (the currency of the game) and the winner is the player who ends with the most goblin heads after an agreed number of rounds.
This is a party game where the fun will entirely depend on how well players throw themselves into their performances. As any stand-up comedian will tell you, ‘improv’ always looks easy when it is done well but it is hard to make it look easy. The improv scenes are only 60 seconds long, however, (timed with a sand timer) and this injects the urgency needed to drive the game forward.
Shown here on Board’s Eye View is the prototype of the game that will be published by Hercules Games Studios as a result of the Kickstarter campaign. We played using the rules downloaded from the campaign. Although game play is simple and straightforward, it looks like some work is still needed on the rules to clear up some apparent contradictions and omissions. For example, our copy of the rules seemed not to mention fighting or ‘gauntlets’ but these are referred to on some of the cards. We daresay these points will be sorted during the course of the Kickstarter campaign. Some players also complained that some characters had special abilities that were much more powerful than others.
You may find play affected more by the design decision the creators have made to colour character cards so that they tie in with the colours of the words (trait words in red are negative; those in green are positive). This allows players to push the envelope in the hope of securing a bonus score but it also means there is nothing to connect your meeple colour to the character card it represents. This is a game that needs to add a clear link of character card to the corresponding meeple. The game would be improved by substituting standees so that it is always clear which character is at which location.
There is still just over a week to run on the Kickstarter campaign. If you have fond memories of the improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, this may be just the thing for you.