Critical Reviews - The Adventurers, The Pyramid of Horus

Whether you are a fan of high adventure, Indiana Jones, or just like getting bit by snakes, scorpions, and aligators, The Adventurers: The Pyrmaid of Horus has something for you! Described as a board game of danger and exploration, around every corner lurk terrifying mummies that want to hurt you and protect their idols!  Along with the various monsters lurking in the sand and water, they'll do everything they can to ensure their treasures stay put!  Oh, and then there are the stones...

 

Essentially the game is a "press your luck" game where you and up to 5 other players run into the pyramid, set off a trap that starts the pyramid's collapse, and you have to capture as much treasure as your greedy, grubby little hands will let you carry... oh... and get out alive!  The winner is the Adventurer who not only gets the most treasure (each has a different point value from 1 to 10) but also gets out and escapes the Pyramid's impending collapse!

 

More in a bit, but here is our video on the game:

 

Now, in terms of the "collapse", this is possibly one of the more fun game mechanics both in design and in implementation.  There are a large amount of "blocks" which essentially represent the ceiling of the pyramid falling in on you!  After each round, the first player randomly chooses a block and places it on it's matching square on the game board (noted by number stickers underneath the blocks and numbers on the board).  If you are unlucky enough to be standing on said spot, fear not, you can't die!  I mean, what type of fun adventur would it be if Indy was just bitten by a snake and it was over right there?  

 

No, in this case, you simply take one damage and add a card to your "Wound and Load" count and move one space away (essentially jumping away, but taking a hit).  This is good and bad when it happens, as it can move you closer to a treasure, or closer to an escape path!

 

However, if at any time the blocks fall in a way that closes off all pathways out of the pyramid, then all the Adventurers inside are trapped forever!  Or at least until you play again!  Yes, as you have mathematically no doubt figured out, this can end very quickly or it can end over a drawn out period of time, but the tension that it adds of not knowing how much time you have left in side the pyramid lends itself to a total blast of a time!

Along the way, you may forge alliances to work with other players, using their once per game abilities to help youselves to treasures, or you may plot to ensure someone else takes the hit for you and you can sneak in and steal their goodies!

 

There are also unique idols of the 5 gods of the pyramid lying around... but beware, once taken, they are worth a lot of points, and they will curse you!  Each will eliminate a die from the results when rolled to determine how many actions you gain per turn, essentially slowing you down.  The more you get, the more points you get, along with a variety bonus, but it may make for slow going!

 

Any way you cut it, The Adventurer's: The Pyramid of Horus is a blast of a good time!  This game gets a "Hit" from us on the score level. It's a lot of fun, has some odd aesthetic choices (noted in the video), but has limited strategy as it really is smash and grab.  I feel if it had more elements of combat, both with the mummies wandering the pyramid and the other players, it could have added to it.  Additionally, the lack of any possible option to get out once sealed in kind of stinks.  Just a simple option, maybe even just one treasure if found, that could move a block could make it feel like you still have a fighting chance... instead of the block just dropping and crushing your hopes... but to some, that might be the tension that just adds to the fun!  Overall, it's a lot of fun and something we will see on the table many more times we hope!

Critical Review Score (Crit, Hit, or Miss):

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