Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin
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.
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.
- 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.