The Witcher series is big business. With two video games from the main line already published and a third on the way in February, not to mention the myriad adaptations in other form that also sprang from Andrzej Sapkowski‘s original line of books, The Witcher Adventure Game is the latest addition to the stable. With iOS, Android and PC releases, as well as a physical version of the game produced by Fantasy Flight Games, the series is branching into new areas, but without overstepping itself.
The game itself is fairly compelling, with offline and online play available, and play for 1-4 players. I haven’t tried out the multiplayer section, so can’t comment on that at this juncture. I have dug into the single player , and my experience so far has been enjoyable.
There are 4 characters to choose from to use as your avatar; Geralt, the eponymous Witcher, who is a master of combat, Triss Merigold, a sorceress, commanding powerful magical abilities, Dandelion, a Bard who uses his wit and charm to complete goals, and Yarpen, who together with his band of followers has a level of flexibility to his play.
The aim of play in The Witcher Adventure Game is to complete quests, given to you by drawing 2 cards and choosing the option you wish to pursue. There are side quests to complete as well, all done by saving up clues (different coloured tokens found at the various cities around the map and as rewards for investigations) or finding other rewards such as money etc. You can develop your character in a number of ways, each unique to the specific avatar in use. These give you different ways to manipulate the dice you roll when facing a challenge, and are immensely useful when you get a good set together.
Turns are played out player by player, and each avatar can act twice on their go (unless something happens to cut this). You can gain wounds, which inhibit what actions you can take until you rest, which removes an amount of wounds from your avatar, and when you end your turn you must deal with any obstacles in your way, which might be monsters that need fighting, or foul fate cards, which penalize you in some way. You resolve combat by rolling dice, with the symbols on the dice needing to match up to a set of individual requirements in order to succeed and avoid penalties.
A major flaw in the otherwise solid showing is the lack of a save feature, and I don’t really understand why it isn’t present. The game tracks events for you on the side of the screen which only serves to highlight the lack of this utility. It’s a basic feature that would be incredibly useful, especially when an average game session might take between 40-70 minutes, according to their own estimations!
Still, if you enjoy board games, The Witcher as a setting or the games themselves, I would urge you to go out and pick The Witcher Adventure Game up, either digitally or a physical copy of the board game. It’s a solid offering, and well worth your time.