More on The Witcher2015-05-14
Well, I got two more games of The Witcher Adventure Game under my belt this evening. The first game I played was supposed to go to 3 quests, but I quit after two. Man, that was incredibly frustrating. One thing that became very apparent is how little interaction there is among players. This is more of a “multiplayer solitaire” game than any other game I’ve played. I seriously just open a browser window and do something completely differently while the computer opponents play their roles. They can draw cards that negatively impact you… but you might as well just draw a random card at the start of the turn for all the input you have as to whether it’ll happen or not. I’ve drawn cards that have negatively affected other players, but it’s not like I ever chose to enact that ability or anything - it was fully automatic.
In that first game tonight, I managed to complete my quest first, and I was just ahead of the second place player. I managed to get a few sidequests and sneak ahead. I had a healthy lead at 22 points compared to 16, then zero, respectively. I played two more turns (not paying any attention at all to the opponents) and then the second place player was suddenly at 50 points! I have no idea how it happened, and it was shocking in a not-good way. From that point I simply got stuck at a location where I had to keep fighting gold monsters as a non-fighter character. I kept taking light and serious wounds every round, never being able to block or attack the monsters I was facing. In this situation you just continually lose victory points, and that is probably the farthest thing I can imagine from what fun is.
So here I was doing what I thought was pretty well, then an opponent launches way ahead of me seemingly inexplicably and I end up in a situation where all of my victory points are whittled away. This was so aggravating and completely unfun that I just sat there clenching my jaws until it was over. And then I found out it went for three quests! So I quite immediately and started a single player game.
Oh, hey, you can play this game single player! That’s actually a cool feature, but by this point the game has really aggravated me and the flavor text is doing nothing.
- Excellent flavor text
- Great production values
- Different characters feel very different to play
- It really feels like you’re going on quests and adventuring
- Wounds and foul fate cards make the quest feel like a struggle
- Multiplayer solitaire well beyond anything I’ve encountered before
- The amount you can do on one turn is extremely constrained
- A lot of randomness
- Ability to lose everything you’ve earned
- Characters feel incredibly imbalanced
- The game seems to be the reason why you do bad, instead of your own actions
- Very low player agency
- How the hell does the support sidequest work? The tutorial does not match what I’ve experienced in the videogame
I will say this: if you are curious about this game, then spend the $5 on the digital version to see if this game is for you.
I quite like The Witcher universe. I’ve played The Witcher 2 and liked it well enough. I’ve read one of the novels and enjoyed it. I’m certainly not an enthusiast, but I’m probably well within the target demographic. I was intrigued by my first couple of playthroughs of this boardgame, but at this point I have to say the game is most definitely not something I’m interested in. I’d probably play it if someone else brought it to the table, but I honestly don’t see it getting more than maybe 3 more plays, tops.