The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game is Inconceivably Fun | Casual Game Revolution

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game is Inconceivably Fun

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game

Help Buttercup to escape from the shrieking eels, Westley to climb the cliffs of insanity, and true love to win in the end.

In The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game from Ravensburger, players must work their way through six chapters in the adventure book, each one reflecting a different portion of the 1987 film. It’s a story of adventure, love, and revenge. Does the game live up to its source material, or is it just another cash grab?


The game book is set in the middle of the table and opened to the first chapter. Each chapter in the book shows a map in the middle, on which characters are placed and moved during the game. On the right is the list of challenges you have to complete in order to complete the chapter. On the left is listed special rules for the chapter, typically how you can lose, and there’s a table that informs you what happens when you draw a plot card.

At the start of each chapter you shuffle all the cards in the story deck and deal four to each player. You also shuffle the plot deck. Next, you look at the unique setup rules for each chapter. These will tell you things such as which characters are used in this chapter, where they start on the board, and any extra tokens that need to be placed.

Players are working together and everyone controls all the characters. On your turn, you start by moving a single character two spaces or two characters one space each (you may skip movement if you want). Then you may take the following actions in any order: trade one story card with another player; discard as many cards as you wish to move a character one space per card; spend a miracle token to draw three story cards or one special card (players gain miracle tokens by landing on spaces with them, and if unspent they carry over to the next chapter); or you can complete a story challenge. Also, during this phase of your turn, any player can play any special cards.

Special cards have their own deck, and often you draw them as a reward for completing challenges. Some of them are wild cards while others have special abilities such as allowing you to draw extra cards or skip drawing a plot card this turn.

Each challenge lists the requirements for completing it. Often it will require the active player to spend certain story cards. Story cards come in five different suits. Typically, certain characters also have to be at specific locations on the board or have to interact with tokens on the board in specific ways, in order to complete the challenge. Once a challenge is completed, there is usually a reward.

After choosing which of the above actions to take, the active player draws two story cards, and then draws a plot card. If the plot deck ever runs out, the players lose the chapter. Each plot card is numbered one through twenty. You check the number of the card you drew and then compare it to the current chapter’s plot table. The result will typically push players closer to losing the chapter or set them back. For example, in the first chapter, plot cards can put chore tokens on the board. Players can move Westley to the chore’s location and discard a card to remove the token, but if there are ever too many tokens on the board, the players lose the chapter.

If the players lose a chapter, they may try it again. If they lose a second time (that chapter or another one), they lose the game.

Once you complete a chapter you move onto the next one. Players discard their cards and any special cards that were played or that are still in a player’s hand, are added to the story deck before it's shuffled. Complete all six chapters and you win the game.

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game Components


The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game is beautifully thematic. It does a lovely job of capturing the adventure of its source material, and it’s delightful to explore each chapter. The variety between the chapters is also well done and each one does feel like a unique experience. The win and lose conditions vary wildly and there’s generally a nice escalation of complexity. We liked the way the story deck evolves as you add more special cards to it.

There are other games that have players playing inside a book, but this is the most casual-friendly version of the idea we have found. While the gameplay does run a little on the longer side (roughly 1.5 to 2 hours) you can in theory pause the game, though the experience feels more intended for one sitting. The gameplay itself, though, is not that hard to learn and a lot of it feels intuitive.

We liked the elements of strategizing where best to move the characters, looking at the cards we’d need for challenges, which ones we might need sooner rather than later, considering what we could afford to discard in order to move characters farther, or when to use our miracle tokens. We liked the way all of these different elements came together to give players something to plan and discuss, while the plot cards are always around to throw those plans off.

Also, while it’s a minor point, this is the most fun we’ve ever had with a game’s starting player rule, with a unique one presented for each chapter, themed around the chapter’s setting.

In general we did find the game a little on the easy side, only struggling at one chapter, but to some extent luck will vary this. There’s some luck of the draw involved both from the story deck and even in the plot cards, as sometimes those can inadvertently end up helping you if they move characters around. The difficulty does keep the game more accessible for people less familiar with board games and ensures the game is family-friendly, though we would have liked it to be a bit more suspenseful.

The components are generally quite good. The book is nice and solid and the artwork across the whole game is beautiful. The style has a storybook quality to it that fits so well with the storybook mechanics. We also liked the cards. However, while the character figures are nice, one came out of the box with his sword already bent.

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game is a fun, light cooperative game. The source material is based on a beloved classic and the game is clearly intended for those who enjoy the movie. The gameplay is enjoyable in its own right, and we’d like to see more adventure book games from Ravensburger in the future.

Pros: Variety between chapters, artwork, design of the adventure book, easy to teach

Cons: A little bit on the easy side, might run a bit long for some players

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.

Ken C
Ken C's picture

Do you think the game has replay value?

Paul S.
Ken C's picture

I think I would have bought this game no matter what.  The source material is one of my favorite intellectual properties.  Easily one of my top 10 movies of all time.  Looking forward to spending some time in the world of "The Princess Bride"!

Naomi Laeuchli's picture
Member Since: 12/12/2013

I would say some, but not huge amounts. Once you beat itI think you can revisit it occasionally, but it’s not something you’re going to be bringing to the table repeatedly within a short space of time.