DrunkQuest - Drinking Game Review
Last August we posted about a Kickstarter fundraiser for a game called DrunkQuest. The game was successfully funded and shipped out earlier this year and we got our hands on a copy to play. Boy, what a night.
The first thing you’ll notice when you open DrunkQuest are the crazy large cards. Originally I was turned off by the size, as the cards about double the size of normal playing cards. While I thought it might be annoying to have to hold onto a big hand all night, my opinion changed in the night. The play area isn’t huge, so table space wasn’t an issue and after a few rounds the large text was still easy to read while tipsy. The size of the cards also makes them extremely hard to lose- a definite plus with a drinking game. The game also came with two plus/minus dice, which is really just a fancy coin flip. Overall, the packaging is solid and portable enough for me to throw in a bag when I take it to a friend’s. Now let’s dive into the gameplay.
Each player picks a hero card and a realm, which gives players a permanent ability that they can use by rolling a die. The heroes are colorful and fun, depicting classic RPG classes like thief or mage and throwing in a few new classes like brewmaster (my favorite). The other card decks are for monsters and items. The goal of the game is for a player to defeat enough monsters to obtain level 6.
A player encounters a monster on his or her turn by drawing them at random from the pile. Each monster has a drink value (red number), an ability, and a treasure amount (green number). To defeat the monster, the player must drink the drink value of the monster. Drinks can be determined by the team, but generally a sip of a beer or cocktail works just fine. They will then gain a level and collect their treasure from the treasure deck. Here’s where the fun, and competitive, part comes in.
Once a player draws a monster, every other player has a turn to play cards that advance the monster by adding to it’s drink value. As seen above, the Wineapple card adds three additional drinks to the monster, making it harder for the player to defeat it. If by the end of the circle the player doesn’t feel like drinking the final amount, they can pass up and not gain any levels. However, the player isn’t entirely helpless to the will of their jerk friends. Over the course of the game you’ll also gain armor and weapons to help reduce a monster’s value. There are also instant cards that can be played at any time that allow you negate a players card, steal their armor, or even force all your drinks onto another player. This makes for an incredibly fun, fast, and chaotic game. We had many rounds where players would battle it out with instant cards, adding and subtracting drink values, stealing items, and forcing each other to take drinks with cards. It felt very “you’ve activated my trap card”-esque and was very fun. Players can also choose to help each other out by splitting drinks on normal monsters, generally agreeing to split the loot gained.
Every once in a while you’ll encounter a boss monster which the whole team has to battle. These special monsters have high starting drink values and it was neat to see everyone stop trying to screw each other over and work together to slay the beast.
One negative that we experienced in the game was length. Games with 4 and 5 players took over an hour, sometimes closer to an hour and a half (which can feel around 3 hours in drunk mentality). This was largely due to instant card wars that sprung between players. There are a few especially evil cards that cause players to lose an entire level, which can really add some length to the game (It should be noted that there are other gain a level cards). While I enjoyed myself thoroughly the whole game, some people might not have the attention span for it while drunk. And trust me, you’re going to get drunk.
Players are going to drink a lot in this game. This can be a positive or a negative for some people. Personally, it was the first and last game I played on the nights we played. We went through a crazy amount of beer, as some encounters demanded up towards 20 drinks to kill a monster. If you’re going to play this game, I advise starting sober so that you remember winning. When the game labels itself as a drinking game, it totally means it. The more players you add to the game, the more you’re going to drink and the longer the game will go on.
Overall, DrunkQuest is one of the most fun times I’ve ever had with a drinking game. It’s fast paced, competitive, and really suits table top gamers who enjoy to drink with friends. The presentation and art of the cards is colorful and quirky, mixing RPG themes that players will find familiar with drinking culture. It’s regularly been requested that I bring it back to friends’ houses when my wife and I go to visit and I highly recommend it. I’m definitely looking forward to the expansion, which we will post about later today.