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Andor: The Family Fantasy Game

Complete tasks around the kingdom and rescue the three lost wolf cubs, all before the fearsome dragon reaches the city of Rietburg.

Andor: The Family Fantasy Game is a simplified, family-friendly adaptation of Legends of Andor. A cooperative game for two-to-four players, it is a clever puzzle about how to best allocate your limited movements and use the strengths of your different heroes in order to accomplish your goals.

Gameplay

The board is laid out in the center of the table. The board shows a map with various spaces marked out. Most of the board shows the grassy plains, but there are also the dwarf mines in the bottom right-hand corner, which are separated from the rest of the board by a river with only one bridge. Each player chooses a hero. Each hero has different strengths, such as the warrior who has extra dice or the dwarf who can move long distances by traveling between caves depicted on the map.

Each player has a certain number of sun discs. Each round players will take turns spending their sun discs, until all players are out of discs. You start your turn by either moving or staying still. Staying still costs one sun disc, while moving costs one disc per space you move. After you move (or remain where you are) you may take actions on your current space (this does not cost any discs). If there is a face-down fog tile (placed on almost all spaces at the start of the game) you must reveal it and carry out its action. Some will spawn enemies, others might provide you with gold or wood or force you to roll the dragon die.

There are other actions you can take, as well. If there is a well on your space you may drink from it to take three extra sun discs for the rest of the round. Each well can only be drunk from once per round. You can pick up or drop items, or give them to another player if he is on the same space. If you are on the space with the watch tower, you can play a wood token to move the dragon one space back on the dragon tracker. If you are on a space with a merchant you can discard a gold to gain a torch token.

If you are on a space with an enemy you can also fight it. When fighting, you roll all your dice. Any swords you roll are placed on the board. If you are on a forest space you need two swords to defeat the enemy and if you are on a mountain space you need three. If you did not defeat the enemy, your dice stay on the board. You or another player can attack on a future turn of that round and try to add more dice in order to defeat the monster. If an enemy is defeated, he is removed from the board, you take back your dice, and the dragon moves back one space.

The dwarf mine spaces each have a face-down mine token instead of a fog token. When on a space with one of these tokens, you can take the action of trying to reveal it. You roll all your dice and if you roll at least one torch icon you flip over the tile. After rolling, you can also discard a torch token in order to reveal it. Three of these tiles are lost wolf pups. If you find them all you win the game. Many of these tiles, however, will have you roll the dragon die.

At the start of the game you select a certain number of task cards to play with. Before you can cross the bridge into the dwarf mines, you must complete each task. Tasks will often have you search for certain tokens around the board, or you may have to defeat a monster, or fetch an item and bring it back to the city in the top left corner of the map.

Once each player has used all their sun discs for the round, you roll the dragon die and move the dragon forward one to three spaces, depending on the result. If the dragon reaches the end of the dragon track, the players lose the game. All the monsters on the board then move forward to the next empty monster space. If a monster reaches the city, it is removed from the board and you roll the dragon die. Finally, new monsters are placed on the board. The number that is spawned is based on how far along its tracker the dragon is. Starting on the space furthest from the city, you place the newcomers one by one onto the empty monster spaces. Depending on the number of monsters already on the board, this could cause you to place one directly onto the city.

Andor: The Family Fantasy Game Components

Review

Andor: The Family Fantasy Game is certainly a simplified version of its predecessor, and the artwork and story are more targeted towards families and children. However, it does succeed in taking a great game and making it feel a bit more casual and generally accessible. There’s still plenty of strategy and figuring out the best way to solve each problem, and the different tasks provide you with a way to slowly increase the difficulty as you become more familiar with the gameplay.

It’s fun to figure out how to best use the different strengths of each hero, and how to best solve each problem presented to you by each task. There’s a lot of room for discussing solutions and figuring out clever plays, while the uncertainty of the revealed tiles and dice rolls keeps things unpredictable.

There are a lot of little rules to track for a children’s game, from how each token resolves, to how exactly the monsters move or spawn. This makes it a game that younger children will probably need to learn with their parents or older siblings before they can play it by themselves.

We did find the game’s story a little peculiar. A dragon is approaching your kingdom, monsters are running amok, and you are sallying forth to rescue wolf pups as the end goal? The wolf pups are quite cute, but it doesn’t feel quite in keeping with the rest of the game.

Andor: The Family Fantasy Game is a fun family co-op. The early levels are quite easy but there is a nice escalation, and we honestly found the game to be perfectly enjoyable in its own right. It’s a more streamlined version of a great co-op game, and it manages to stand on its own quite satisfactorily.

Pros: More accessible than its predecessor, different tasks provide difficulty range, good gameplay puzzles

Cons: Younger children would likely struggle to learn the game on their own, the story of the game is a little strange

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