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Con Quest

Con Quest Review

Who doesn’t love a good Con? Con Quest discovers what it’s like to be at a convention; the sights, atmosphere, and introduction of the unusual and random. Come with me, and we’ll uncover the people you’ll meet, and the encounters you’re bound to have with this casual card game.

 

Con Quest is a convention-themed card game, funded through Kickstarter and created by Tom Hare. Caitlin Cadieux is slated to illustrate the game, once their goal is met.┬áTo sum up Con Quest game nicely, I’ll let Tom talk:

 

“Con Quest is a card game that brings the unique, hilarious, and totally unexpected experiences of a fan convention to the game table. Players choose one of 12 characters, and then everyone sets out to explore the convention center.”

 

Pure genius. Plus, a lot less body odor if you explore a convention from home. Crude stereotypes aside, both myself and my willing victim Gary were pumped for this installation of fan based media. What else could be better than documenting a packed convention center with out favorite nerdoms?

 

Game Play

 

When starting the game, I was immediately hit by the fantastic usage of niche words and phrases. Like the above description states, you are started with a choice. You are given a choice of 12 characters. You can pick titles like Newbie, Collector, Night Owl, Veteran, Artist, or Gamer to represent you throughout your exploration of your Con. You place the card in front of you, and it acts as a score card during play.

 

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As you can see above, each player has three symbols on their card. There are a total of 16 traits in Con Quest. They are a way to collect points and eventually win throughout game play. Each type relates to the character you have chosen. For example, the Artist player has two ‘Experience’ symbols, and a ‘Fandom’ symbol. During game play, when these icons show up, you receive points.

 

To begin, find a large table or game play area. With yourself and your players, anywhere from 2-6 people in total, you place the three card stacks facedown: Where, What, and Who. Already on the table, will be the three starting ‘Where’ cards from the deck.

 

con quest card backing

 

You will start with three predetermined starting locations already on the table, then the first player states which doorway he is going to walk through. A doorway is labeled on the Where cards with a rectangle. Once stated, the player draws the top card on the Where deck. You can connect any door on your card, to the doorway you verbally indicated but receive a bonus if the doorway colors match. You then draw a ‘Who’ and a ‘What’ card, placing them out in front of you.

 

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This is the shining moment of the game, reading what room you walked into, with who, and what’s going on. Sometimes the outcome is silly, like a Z List Celebrity having a dance competition in the Men’s Room. Other times the cards you draw actually make sense, like People Watching Squealing Fan Girls in the Atrium. You then look at the symbols on all of your cards just drawn, even your Where card, in addition to your player card. If you see a matching symbol anywhere within these cards, you count all instances as a separate point.

 

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In this photo, for example, there aren’t too many matching symbols. This can vary from turn to turn, but as it is, this player would receive two points for the matching money icons on the Food Court and Space Troops cards respectively. The player then discards the Who and What cards, and his turn ends. Play goes like this back and forth until the Where deck is used completely.

 

A few things happen randomly when drawing cards. You can get a +1/-1 with some draws, an all player draw means all players add up their matching icons and score, you can draw a Who card that matches your own player card – thus enabling you to receive the same points as the main player, and you can also stumble across a Showdown. Showdowns are when players both tally up their totals, and despite whose turn it is, the one with the most points is the one who scores that round.

 

After a few turns around the table, Gary and I found this game was easy to understand and simplistic in nature.

 

What I like

  • Artwork – This component will be fantastic when the amount is raised on Kickstarter. Caitlin is a very sharp and detailed artist, which will bring another pop of excitement into this experience-focused game.
  • Humorous situations – Made by the random draw card drawing, funny combinations allowed us to play twice without feeling like we were experiencing the same convention. Also add in, wondering where a door would take you, and you have a realistic Con experience. It is obvious that Tom has been to his fair share of Cons in his life.
  • There are two optional rules that you are given to try with game play. Additionally, the rules provided were clear, concise and showed that the creator had tried his own creation dozens, if not hundreds, of times before attempting the Kickstarter release. This makes me extremely happy as a gamer, that I’m at least giving my money to another gamer, who is serious about his craft.
  • Ease of Use – This title would be perfect for just beginning table top gamers, or kids who want an adult game to play. Subject matter is mild and it still engaging enough to make a game memorable.
 

What I Don’t Like

  • While this game has a wide arc of potential, Gary and I were left with half of the game, simply counting points. The actions, so to speak, were not quite detailed enough for us to become entranced. If the game creator could add additional roadblocks, or even allow game play to happen with actual pawns, this would make me take notice. Obviously one could make their own house rules, but because the creator had made this originally as a table top game, and not a card game, I am hoping he releases an optional table top configuration.
  • Repeating Cards – While we had plenty of cards with our two turns, I worry about card fatigue. If I play this game 10+ times, I’ll know all the funny combinations, and feel bored. The creator has already noted expansions in the future directly relating to how much the Kickstarter brings in, so I’m hoping this becomes a reality. Things like Bronies, and other specific nerd items would make this much more agreeable to the randomness and uniqueness of the cards.
  • Point Counting – During game play, a considerable amount of time was spend counting our icons and tallying points. While this wasn’t something I hated, it certainly made game play concentrated in areas that were a bit mundane.
  • Lack of Finality – Tom states this is a game that isn’t so much about winning, but experiencing. I guess I prefer a game where I know I’m going to “win”. We’re all gamers playing a game about Conventions, after all.
 

Tips and Hints

  • Try playing with 3-5 players; this seems to take a bit more time, but allow for a more engaging game playing style.
  • Support this Kickstarter so additional expansion packs can be made with more specific Con artwork and game style
  • Use this game as an intro to table top gaming for newbies or the younger/older crowd. Just be ready to explain some terms that might get unrecognized.
 

Summary

 

Con Quest is the perfect replacement for a convention, especially if you cannot get to one. I enjoyed the concept and artwork more than game play. That being said, Con Quest was created with care and worth picking up, if a more casual and less task orientated game is your style. It appears as of this article release date, that Tom will receive his Kickstarter funding for Con Quest. As I was only playing a Beta version, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I would love to re-evaluate this game upon launch and see how game play and the artwork provided to customers will influence my interest and engagement of the game. So, go and put on your furry costume and I’ll see you at the Con!

 

Find out more about Con Quest or check here to see if it’s for sale on Amazon yet. Jessica reviews and discusses all things board games at BoardGameTavern. You can find out more about Jessica and her writing at JessicaAnnBooth.com

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