They lied to me! They claimed, that when I reason with them, I will never have to leave safe world of four walls. And now, I am sitting in the cargo hold of a spaceship orbiting the World of Twelve. Place, where treasures are combined with danger and death. Only fools come here. I always thought so, and now I see, that it is otherwise: only those, who are commanded to do so come here, getting somebody else rich and richer.
And about adventures of these heroes tells brand new board game Krosmaster Quest. This game was quite long awaited and it is also the reason, why its packaging is dated to 2013. In fact, first game did not saw shelves of shops until late 2015. It was created by duo Murat Celebi and Pierre-Francois Fiasse and published by company Ankama together with Japanime Games. Distribution then provides Esdevium Games.
Box does not leave us in doubt, that this is so far the most epic experience in Krosmaster series of games. Packaging is really big and will certainly not save size on your shelf. On the cover, you can see all the main characters as they rush towards adventure.
A size corresponds to contents. There are rules and one small booklet with scenarios. Sixteen adventures plus seven other tutorials are included. Players then can expect sixteen game boards made of thick paper, but not cardboard. All of them are reversible. Apart from them, there are some other large format components – a pair of joint boards, one for a path of adventures and second servins as a market space. But we must also mention player boards made of cardboard with spaces for equipment, but for now filled with unlocking tiles (with printed price).
Packaging is crowded and this is especially fault of a big chunk of cardboard sheets. They contain within themselves dizzying number of pieces used to build trees, rocks or other objects. And then, there is a huge flood of other pieces – tokens for items, enemies, but also good old familiar injuries, kama stones and movement points. Newly, there are also tokens of resources (eight different raw materials), status and color designation. Certainly, you will many times in the game turn to dice and especially to large deck of cards, whether it’s scenarios, cards, personal tasks or conditions for enemies. But we must not forget the very Krosmasters, a beautiful detailed miniatures.
At the beginning of the game, there is a lot of decisions waiting for players. First is the choice of scenarios and game variant, in which they can compete with each other or work together against a common enemy (another player). Then, each participant must choose one of five characters available, which will he represent in the game. He takes its card, figurine and marking tokens and sets it all up with combination of a game plan. He places character card on the left side and covers any special skills (besides the starting one on first line) to block its usage. To unlock it, he needs to pay gold. For the beginning, hero gets a bit of the glory (scale is at the top) and also gold.
Everybody must also agree about family of enemies, which they might encounter during their adventure. Now, they also decide on other parts – about adventure cards, which shall be prepared on a special board (there is also space for deck of events). Players then also get their assignments, two cards worth one fame and two worth two points of fame. In addition, players will prepare board, with city plan in the middle. Other boards are then supplied with enemies. Map is then equipped with obstacles and market gets starting offer of items (with ingredients side up, so players do not know their identity) and all price indicators are set in line to number three. Preparation can be variously modified by the assignment of specific scenarios and as the last step, this scenario creates first card in adventure trail on separate board.
At the beginning of his turn, a player must decide, whether he wants to fight or explore the world. This will also determine next course, because weapon tucked in its housing provides a bonus of three points for movement and hero can heal one wound. This is the main difference, because in both cases, player will then spend their points for movement and actions.
For action points, players gather resources in various ways, such as chopping tree or raising resources. With their use, they can produce any item from the marketplace, but they have to be in the city. In the game there are also other ways to conduct interaction with the environment, whether selling raw materials, trading and changing equipment from player‘s bag.
But there are alliances, that different Krosmasters can establish. This allows them to behave as a group, if the heroes decide and enter the cave. This must happen at said moment. At the end of the current turn.
Players take turns in activation of their heroes. But then, demon player gets a chance to act. This is the one player, who commands all creatures on the board. Before he will be able to move and attack with them, he must first draw as many event cards as there are Krosmasters in the game. Their result will reinforce range of his wards, but they can also reveal new materials or tasks on adventure trail. This role has to be dedicated to one of the players at all the time, or all participants can alternate in this role. This provides next level of tactics for gameplay.
In combat mode, it is all about magic. Gradually, heroes can unlock new abilities, but also more place in their backpack (required for raw materials or newly acquired items). Krosmoz is full of magic and it is also the only way, player can attack. Each character has specified range, damage and capabilities. In combat, players can be supported by their small friends.
But we left our heroes, as they walked into the underground. It has its own special map, where four demon creatures are placed. After their defeat and to get away from the cave, players have to defeat boss governed by drawn behavior. Enemies have several levels. They are stronger beneath the surface. Everyone has their statistics shown on the token as well as on the accompanying card. Enemies have their attack and number of lives. After their defeat, hero gets them as prey.
Just like in other games from Krosmoz everything revolves around fame in here as well. Golden wings carry players to victory, when he fills up his scale. Each new step is made as a reward for exceptional deeds or buying it for gold coins. Game then ends by victory of the one, who fills it up first. But if any time before that, journey trail is full of cards on common board, game ends prematurely and players must calculate their current fame score and compare it to decide the winner.
Krosmaster Quest is a game, that could be dismissed as just another dungeon crawling. And almost all would suggest its true. Fortunately, when you play it, you get finally convinced, that it deserves its place on the table along all other games.
First reason is player boards, that are really great. The game is easily extensible by new heroes using cards (you can also use existing heroes from older Krosmaster games). Unlocking new positions for items or skills is very easy, but also done with interesting solution of removing placeholders. You then always see at first glance, what which player has available.
The actual improvements of their character is bought for pennies collected. And who would not love the opportunity to make unstoppable machine out of his hero by himself. And here comes into play another important feature of Krosmaster Quest: variability. There are adequate supplies of items and menu is always fixed. Players can free space only by producing those weapons or armor, that are displayed in the store.
And then, there are scenarios. They differ from each other indeed, although tasks are always the same. But each game can be played in four ways. Players may share the role of a demon or let only one of them be the bad guy. This in itself greatly influences experience and capabilities of individual participants. Closely related point is also the opportunity to play all against all or to unite against a common enemy. Role of demon player has its own rules, but everything is still simple enough. And unfortunately, this position is not as interesting as in similar games, so you would rather stick to variant one turn each player.
Second reason for variability and existence of this game are tasks, that is every hero trying to meet by himself. These are not new, but their connection to the path must be completed gradually. This requires a certain level of tactics.
Individual matches are simply too long. It is and will be our main complaint about this game, because fights normally fills up two hours of your time and easily stretch even further by one hour more. And it not time even such an epic game should take, partly because its really so easy. Atmosphere rescues your experience, because it radiates in all directions and fills all adventurous taste cups. And what about number of players? In the higher numbers, there are more contacts and fights, which makes the game more interesting, while with two, its not as good.
Box itself will get you everything you need. Yet, the game is heavily focused on additional purchases. Who would indeed resist to those beautiful miniatures or additional tokens? This means, that even this high price will probably not be definitive, which is certainly unpleasant news for everyone. Processing alone revolves around miniatures, that are amazing. Everything else is of average quality. Unpleasing fact states, that boards are not cardboard. Additionally, map objects are not easy to store inside this box. But what is excellent news is usagee of binders, that players receive as part of the package, although even their dimensions in cutouts are a bit off.
So can Krosmaster Quest stand valiantly, when choosing dungeon-crawling against Descent or Arcadia Quest? Unfortunately not, because it lacks the continuous story, that keeps players interested for extended periods of time. That does not mean, that the game itself is not good or fun. Scenarios are thrilling and game works exactly as you would expect. And moreover, it brings exciting new features. Krosmaster Quest is definitely above average and efficient game, although not as good as we would like.
We could write a lot about Krosmaster Quest game. But the result will always remain the same, so it is better to pinpoint only those main points and leave the rest for players to discover. Those waiting for heroes, that can be improved during the game will be satisfied. It can be purchased for finance, which are possibly spent also for victory points. The game is very variable thanks to supply of items, scenarios, but also cooperatively-competitive playing variants. The overall impression is not completely exceptional because of a dull demon player and too long playing time. Krosmaster Quest will not delight you, but can still entertain.