Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin

What’s the worst that could happen? It’s just a box. Right?

Imagine sitting around a table with 3 of your friends.  Each has a hand of six cards.  These cards represent your adventuring party complete with heroes, villagers, weapons, spells, jewelry and other various dungeon delving supplies.  In the center of the table is a board with various stacks of cards arranged on it.  One section of the board comprises the village which is made of up of wares for purchase, helpful villagers, and heroes for hire, and in one shadowy, rather ominous section at the top of the board exists the dungeon.  Out of this dungeon spills a steady stream of monsters hell-bent on destroying you and the blasted village you happen to find yourself in.  Based on the cards in your hand, each turn you will decide whether to venture into the dungeon to try and slay a monster or play it safe by visiting the village to purchase an item, hire a hero, or perhaps even level up one of your battle worn veterans all with the hopes of increasing your odds of slaying monsters in the future.  This is Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin.

The seemingly never ending stream of monsters ready to spill forth into the village

Okay, getting friends to actually exist around your table is posing a bit of a problem?  I can certainly relate.  Lucky for us Thunderstone Advance also offers a rather interesting and challenging solo variant.  I’ve been playing this quite a bit lately.  As of this post  I’ve clocked in 5 plays  with a very respectable 0-5 record to go along with that.  Did I mention the game was challenging?  I’m beginning to discover some strategies now, and many of the monsters are meeting their death before leaving the dungeon.  Not enough to score a win apparently, but I’m getting there.

Game stats:

  • For 1-5 players
  • 1 hour to play (or less)
  • Ages 12+

Things I’ve particularly enjoyed about Thunderstone:

  • After slaying your first monster you gain a familiar that stays with you for the remainder of the game.  This familiar can assist you in various ways–offering attack power in the dungeon or purchasing power in the village.
  • Heroes can be leveled up with experience points you gain from slaying monsters.  Higher level heroes are considerably stronger and thus much more effective when going to the dungeon.
  • Bringing down that particularly tough monster with just the right combination of cards can be pretty satisfying.

Things I’m not particularly thrilled about the game:

  • Set up can be a bit tricky and a little time-consuming until you get the hang of things.
  • Because each game is randomized, there will be games where you’ll have a tough time killing many of the monsters in the dungeon hall.  This can make for a bit of a lackluster and confidence-crushing experience.

Posted on May 30, 2012, in Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin, Unplugged play. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. sounds interesting; have you played Magic: The Gathering or like Munchkins?
    Is it like that?

    • Randolph Carter

      I missed the boat on Magic: The Gathering, but I know enough about it to tell you that aside from the basic deck building mechanic, the games don’t share much in common. With Thunderstone, everything you need to play is inside the box and everyone builds their decks from the same card pool. I think Magic is more head-to-head competition where Thunderstone is more players competing against one another by seeing who can destroy the most monsters in the dungeon.

      Although Munchkin is played with cards and has a dungeon setting, it’s not really a deck building game. It’s certainly a more light-hearted (goofy, if you ask me) dungeon romp. There’s also quite a bit more potential for screw your neighbor in Munchkin than Thunderstone.

      I’m sure that cleared nothing up for you, but thank you for posting anyway.

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