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Critique the November 2009 GDS Challenge Entries

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Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

Use this thread to post constructive critiques of the entries to the November 2009 Challenge in the Game Design Showdown series.

This month's Challenge was entitled "Travelling Light: King's Quest Edition", and it was looking for small-packaged quest games. (


Jpwoo's picture
Joined: 03/26/2009
Nice job everyone! Congrats

Nice job everyone! Congrats to everyone.
My crits are a bit short this time, but that is fitting for small games.

Pocket Dragonslayer:

This game is the wandering kill the monsters adventure game distilled down to it near bare bones. The art and cards are nice. Many of this type of game boils down to, should I fight this monster? And should I run away? And that looks like about the only choice you make here too. The combat is just a die roll which keeps it short, but it doesn't look like you have many options for fun things to do while slaying the dragon. I don't mind deterministic dice rolling games, I love b-17 queen of the skies, but I think this is lacking a little meat. There could be more in the cards though.

Quest for Knighthood

I like trick taking games, and this one is pretty unique in that the theme of the game actually works for a completely abstract card game. It is cool that each player has a different trump suit. The real innovation in this game is hidden victory conditions. Which may or may not work for a trick taking game I'm not sure. Part of the fun of trick taking is the struggle for each trick, in this game you might choose to give your opponent a trick but not for any big reason, other than the trick is worthless to you. I can imagine the action would be fast and furious when two players both need a particular trick, but otherwise, it might just go around the table. Nice job on this one.

Heir today, crown tomorrow

Two games with standard cards in a row! Crazyness! This one falls more into the push your luck kind of category I think. The combat with the dragons seems kind of random. Maybe if you picked the treasure first and could see what it was, that would give you some incentive to play one way or another. The bribing the thief mechanic is neat, I like that you can risk, a treasure and possibly loose two. Clever use of a standard deck.


A pretty ambitious game here. Fitting a whole rpg in a little box, and here we go with the standard decks again, it is like the unannounced theme. I like this sort of enty in the GDS it is like an outline of the game rather than every mechanic. I like the random generation of quests and the character advancement. I don't have a clear idea of exactly how this game would play but it is the kind of game that I would like to play I think. However it doesn't really seem all that well suited to the small box genre, with several books and lots of things to keep notes on. This almost strikes me more like one of those book style games. Nice effort.

Rapid quest

This game could get painful with all the slapping and grabbing. I like that you have to take all actions with one hand while taking a different kind of action with the other. The game seems like it would work fine, my only complaint would be that it might be too complicated for a speed style game. Usually you are only checking one or two things in a speed game, like order of cards, or set collection. The complexity could work though.

Find me a new prince charming:

This game has my favorite theme of all the games. Set collecting goes very well with the theme as well. It seems like this would play pretty quickly, trading up and working on a good set. Hoeing that you aren't plucking at the same qualities as another player is while you choose which way you will specialize, I think this would be fun with 4+ players, after all what princess only wants to choose between two princes. The player cards would add a nice little bit of tactics or chaos thrown in along the way. The show me what you got card is cool, this would be like everyone showing their hands in the middle of a gin game.

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