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Party Wanted

What is it about dungeon crawler games and drink? We've drunk too much to keep track of all the fantasy drinking games we've played at Board's Eye View but among those that spring to mind are Drunkgeon (Flaming Troll), Dungeon Party (Forbidden Games), BarPig, Dwarven Beerfest (Triple Ace), Drinking Quest (Wiseman Innovation) and Skal!. So tho' Aric Lorton's Party Wanted is a curious concoction, it's in good company. It's a cooperative fantasy dungeon crawler card game combined with out-of-game 'social' challenges and a drinking game. Indeed, if you are downing alcoholic beverages in response to all the invitations you get on the cards you'll be lying level flat on the ground long before your characters level up.

The format will be familiar to fantasy gamers. You take one of the fantasy classes (Wizard, Fighter, Healer, Rogue in the core game, with Druid, Bard and Berserker Minotaur available in the Jennifer Love Druid, Dungeon Dating Simp and Drunker by the Minotaur expansion packs) and in initiative order you flip over a Land card to reveal your challenges. Cards.

The Land cards all have a Social, Action and Drinking section. Most of the Social challenges are for all the players, not just the player who has flipped the card. They vary enormously from simple balancing tasks to mini charades games or improv prompts. Few relate to the theme of the game. They are mostly challenges that players will find amusing after a few drinks, and pretty much every card invites the party to down at least one drink and many call for several!

However, before you get to the instruction to quaff your drink, you'll have to tackle the Action section of the card. That typically will require the adventurer to draw encounter and/or monster cards. To deal with these, players each have their own decks of hero cards and these will be supplemented by the treasure cards you'll pick up during the game. In addition to ordinary monsters, you'll periodically find your party is up against a boss monster. Kill a boss and your party members all level up.

Tho' there are a lot of cards in the box, Party Wanted wears its dungeon crawl aspect lightly. You may well find the social challenges take precedence over the action phase, to the extent that this becomes more party game than adventure. The publishers are Tavern Crawl Games and you would certainly be forgiven for thinking that this is a drinking game suited to take with you on a pub crawl. It is, but be warned that you'll need a fair amount of table space to follow the set up suggested in the rules.

Party Wanted is notionally for 1-8 players but you wouldn't and couldn't fulfil the social challenges solo, and if you are thinking of playing a drinking game solitaire then you should be seeking medical advice. You'll get the most out of this game with at least three or four players, tho' you'll really need to add in the expansion packs to take the player count to five or more.

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