This week I decided to do something a bit different, and instead of answering a question someone asked me, I’m going to answer a question you should have all asked me, which is:
Is Drinking Quest really as awesome as it sounds?
Before I answer that, some background for those of you who aren’t big enough RPG nerds to have heard about Drinking Quest yet. On their website, the makers of Drinking Game boldly state that they have seamlessly melded “the worlds of drinking games and pen & paper RPGs,” being the masters of Alchemy that they are. This caught my attention because I’m a huge fan of both drinking and roleplaying games. Generally I’m drinking when I’m rolling, and these guys were encouraging me to do more efficiently. Kudos, I say.
I decided to drop the $25 and order part I (there are 2 parts out currently, so this review is somewhat behind the times like everything in my life). Unfortunately, they had not anticipated the demand for their product and it was on back order. As a result, I had to sit around for a month and drink with my friends in real life instead of a new imaginary playland. When it finally arrived, I tore the package open and stared at the contents for three days straight until I could get my gaming group together. I was pleasantly surprised by the small packaging (barely larger than a normal deck of cards. way to not waste precious resources). Inside were dice, instructions, character sheets and cards. Everything I needed to play (except for an awesome Drinking Quest pencil, but that’s okay.)
Right away one thing I noticed was that I would have to select only 3 of the 4 to 5 people I game with, as the game only supports 4 players. I was a little disappointed, but was able to look past it because of the sheer potential awesomeness I held in my hands. When the friendship train finally arrived we sat down and chose our characters. I picked Chuglox because he had the best name and also, I could force other people to drink with his special ability. There is a thief, a wizard and a barbarian character, all of which have their own special abilities (which unlike Chuglox, are more geared toward gameplay, rather than drinking). We jotted down our character stats, opened our respective beverages, cranked up some High on Fire, and got down to business.
Play proceeded like most card games in a clockwise direction, drawing cards and either fighting a monster or making a saving roll against various things, including hot goth girls. Every time you win your roll you get either gold, experience points, or other special items and benefits. The goal is to be the player with the most experience points by the end of the game. The drinking comes into play when you die, drinking being one of the only ways to resurrect your character.
By the end the four of us agreed that Drinking Quest was a damn good time. It’s a fast-paced, well thought out game that isn’t rules heavy or complicated, making it perfect for drinking and socializing. We had a popcorn fight and licked a dog. Also, we got drunk and killed imaginary monsters. A successful evening if I ever had one.
There are a few drawbacks to the game for me, which others may or may not agree with, as they’re more of personal preferences. The game is divided into 4 quests, none of which took more than thirty minutes to get through. As someone who’s used to gaming for 3 or 4 hours straight, I was expecting more longevity of play, maybe even saving a couple of quests for another day. However, for others this could be a big plus, especially those with short attention spans and weak stomachs. And on the topic of weak stomachs, while I got pleasantly buzzed from the game, I wasn’t sloshed or anything. I would personally like to see a heavier drinking element: more cards that make you drink, or having to drink when you use the Bellow Ale card (another way to resurrect yourself). Again, for others this might be a good thing, and even 2 of my friends at the table disagreed with me, saying they were happy with the level of drinking that occurred. I guess me and my wife are just lushes.
All of these things can be easily remedied with house rules, so they’re really not a huge deal. The only actual complaint I have is that I would have liked the option to play with more players, which I realize would probably necessitate building a bigger deck and increasing the cost of the game. I even considered purchasing Part II, combining the cards with Part I, and drawing up some homebrew characters for others to play with (which obviously means I really want to play again).
Overall, I recommend Drinking Quest to any RPG fan, CCG fan, or drinking game fan. The creators claim it’s made for RPG fans first and foremost, but I have a hard time believing it can’t be enjoyed by a lot of people. Honestly, if you’re reading my blog, you’ll like the game. So just buy it, and support Canadian gamers.