This month's game is a relatively new one for us, but it's one that once the extensive set up is done, we really enjoy playing. It's part town/deck building, part storytelling and a lot of fun. It's Above and Below.
From Above and Below's website:
Your last village was ransacked by barbarians. You barely had time to pick up the baby and your favorite fishing pole before they started the burning and pillaging. You wandered over a cruel desert, braved frozen peaks, and even paddled a log across a rough sea, kicking at the sharks whenever they got too close, the baby strapped tightly to your back.
Then you found it! The perfect place to make your new home. But as soon as you had the first hut built, you discovered a vast network of caverns underground, brimming with shiny treasures, rare resources, and untold adventure. How could you limit your new village to the surface? You immediately start organizing expeditions and building houses underground as well as on the surface.
With any luck, you’ll build a village even stronger than your last– strong enough, even, to turn away the barbarians the next time they come knocking.
You definitely need a good size space to play this game, especially if you want to play with more than two players. Also, you'll want to allot some time to the set up because there are a lot of pieces to this one. Once you make it past that, though, it's a fun game. I've only played it with two players, and it takes a long time to play with just two. If you had the max, four players, it would – I imagine – take twice as long.
The goal of the game is to build the best village, both above and below ground. You assign your villagers duties that range from harvesting resources, constructed new buildings, training new villagers and working for gold to help you get what you need to win. You also get to send villagers to explore the depths of a giant cave below ground and that is my favorite part of the game.
When you send them down, you roll a dice and have to do the adventure you rolled based on the cave card you are playing. You then have another player read the adventure aloud from the book provided and you have a kind of choose your own adventure moment. You are offered a choice and presented with different difficulties to roll to achieve the desired outcome. You have to base your choice on what you will be able to actually roll, and then roll for the outcome. If you succeed, you could be handsomely rewarded with resources, a new location to build underground, gold, and/or boost your reputation!
Red Raven Games
Dice Rolling, Set Collecting, Storytelling
The under ground adventures are what give this game it's replay value. They are random and there are a lot of them. I've played this game a few times now, and we have yet to have a duplicate adventure. This game is good for two players, but if you are wanting to play a good, long game for a game night with friends, then this one would be a good pick!