Based on the much loved cult film, Ravensburger's Princess Bride Adventure Book Game is designed by Ryan Miller. It's a cooperative game that plays out over six chapters, with each chapter taken directly from memorable scenes from the 1987 movie. The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game is for 1-4 players, but solo play is definitely considerably more difficult due to the lack of opportunity to trade cards.
Each Chapters board is the double-page spread of a heavy card book (and, no, it doesn’t have any sports in it). Chapter-specific rules are to one side of the main board and opposite are the challenges that need to be completed to progress.
Setup is very quick: open the book at the desired chapter, shuffle the story and plot decks, and deal each player four story cards, then follow the chapter setup rules. Each chapter uses a selection of characters from the film represented by very recognisable miniatures.
Gameplay is very simple, as you’d expect for a family game. On your turn you can do any or all the following actions with any of the available characters:
Move characters a total of 2 spaces
Discard a card to move further
Trade a card with another player
Play special cards, or
Play a miracle
After your actions you draw two cards and resolve the top plot deck card by referencing the number on the card with the chapters plot table – 'I’m explaining to you because you look nervous'
Challenges entail playing a number of cards with matching symbols - each story card represents one symbol (Intrigue, Love, Revenge, Courage and Adventure) - to meet the requirements, for which you receive a reward: sometimes extra story cards, a special card or ending the Chapter.
The special cards are either wild cards or can be used for their special ability – Inconceivable! Miracles can be picked up from the board at various points and can be used to draw three extra cards or 1 special card.
Chapter 1 – As you Wish - sees Wesley and Buttercup at their farm. Players must move them around the board to specific locations collecting chore tokens which keep getting added to the board via the plot cards, and resolving the three challenges by being at specific locations with the requisite cards.
If the plot deck is depleted before finishing a Chapter then you have to start the Chapter again, if it runs out again its game over and you are supposed to start from Chapter 1 again -Inconceivable! The Chapters also have unique alternate ways to end the game – 'murdered by pirates is good'
Each Chapter plays in a similar fashion, a very, very similar fashion. All six Chapters can be completed within a couple of hours with little chance of replaying Chapters unless you make silly mistakes or have very bad luck drawing cards.
The components are good quality and well illustrated with art by Medusa Dollmaker and Lucas Torquato. The game also benefits from a short commendably concise rule book. The main appeal tho' is not so much the gameplay as in all the references to the much-loved movie: the cards contain quotes, the locations are recognisable and the challenges are all events from the film. It was fun to play through once, and there will be replayability for younger gamers, but this is definitely a game that fans of the film will enjoy.
My name is Greg White. You read my review. Prepare to play...