Thursday, June 1, 2023

‘Animal Adventures’ Brings Cute And Cuddly To The Fight

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Animal Adventures brings cute cat and dogs to life right on your tabletop. This is a roleplaying game where you play through a campaign choosing a dog or cat as your character. These animals have taken on the roles of different RPG classes and its your turn to create the ending of the story. Animal Adventures is for 2-8 players and plays around 1-3 hours depending on how verbose the players want to be. Simply take a character that already has its stats created and begin the story. Steamforged Games is a publisher known for their great themes.

Steamforged Games is know for Guildhall, Dark Souls: The Board Game, Resident Evil 2: The Board Game, more recently Birdsong, and their newest game from kickstarter, Rivet Wars Reloaded. You can also check out my reviews of their releases Ni No Kuni II: The Board Game, and Pac-Man The Card Game

Animal Adventures box art

What’s In The Box?

  • 1 Rulebook and Adventure
  • 1 Map
  • 7 Player Sheets
  • 1GM Screen
  • 17 item Tokens
  • 13 Enemy Tokens
  • 8 Dice
  • 7 Animal Miniatures

How’s it Play?

This is a roleplaying game, and a good one to play if you are new to these types of games. In the game you are a character in a magical world that you get to explore. Unlike a board game or computer game, in a roleplaying game there are no limits to where you can do. Each player will claim a character to play, a cat or dog in the game taking the matching miniature and player sheet. One player becomes the Gamemaster, which is abbreviated GM.

The GM will describe the world and certain situation in which the other players find themselves. The players who play as talking cats and dogs will explain to everyone how they want to deal with the situations presented. Each player can do whatever they’d like.  The GM asks the players to make a check. This means using dice to see if that player achieved their aim of what they want to do. Each character needs a different result to succeed based on their character’s stats. The GM then narrates the outcome of the player’s actions and describes a new scene for the players to embark on a new adventure.

Animal Adventures miniatures expansions

Each character has 6 key attributes that help or hinder them to perform responses to what the GM presents to them. Strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma are the six attributes shown on each character sheet. When you use an attribute, apply the modifier with your roll of the die. Some characters are very skilled in certain areas while others are not as good. 

While the story forms, the GM will decide if your attribute is relevant to your response of what you want to do. The GM also decides on a difficulty class. Lifting up a stick is easier than lifting up a big stone boulder. There is a chart to help the DM decide on the difficulty level. 

Animal Adventures dog miniature

The game plays out with players talking through the describing what they do and how they go about doing it, if they succeed or not depends on the difficulty level, the roll of the die, and the player’s attributes. In addition if you are in a good situation to perform something the GM might say you have the advantage, if you are in a poor place to succeed you might have disadvantage. This works by rolling 2 d20s and if advantage you take the higher result, if in disadvantage, you take the lower one. 

Animal Adventures GM Screen

Combat occurs as you find you and your team stuck in tough situations. To do this players all roll a d20 die to determine initiative, or who goes first. You can decide to move, cast a spell, dash, make an attack, and any other action you might feel you need to perform. 

The game provides the GM with a book to understand a good outline of a story, but it’s also the GM’s job to fill in everything with details. This requires imagination and for them to pain a picture so the other player’s can decide on how to respond. As the story continues there are different scenes to add structure, there are stats for all possible enemies, and a map will also help to complete a picture of what is happening in the game.

Animal Adventures animals

The Verdict

Animal Adventures is great for kids or new players who want to begin playing role playing games. The game is a cute theme with animal friends, more specifically cats and dogs.  It’s easy to be a cat or a dog, at least you’d think, but when placed in situations, sometimes your strengths and weaknesses show through. For that reason, it’s also great to have friends, as they can fill in  to help achieve certain goals.

This is a game that plays better when everyone goes all in. What I mean is that everyone needs to take on the role of their character, and continue throughout the game in character. This makes the game so much better and makes it feel so much more real. 

Animal Adventures dice
Animal Adventures miniatures

I absolutely love the miniatures included in the game, and there are a bunch of expansion characters that you can add to the game. The game comes with a big paper map that is used throughout the scenarios and helps bring the group of players together to know where they are at, where they can go, and how far these locations might be from each other. 

I’m traditionally more of a board game player and less of an rpg player, so keep that in mind as well. But, it was fun to just create and do whatever you want to do with this game. My kids really liked it, but their minds are different, and someone had to keep them on track as to what we were doing and explaining that they could make up and do things however they wanted to. They were not used to this as board games hold more rules, but with time they started creating and it was a great site to see them open up this way.

Animal Adventures tokens

Ultimately, this was a great intro game to role playing games for me and my kids. The animal theme is great, the characters are all different and fun to play as. The scenarios gave just enough information but not too much as to overpower the game and not let the players imaginations take control. Again, this is a great intro game to roleplaying and so if you want to dive deeper, I know Steamforged Games and other publishers have a lot to offer. Or, you can continue with your animal adventure with their campaign setting book, Animal Adventures: Secrets of Gullet Cove. 

Animal Adventures characters

Images via Steamforged Games

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  • Brody Sheard

    Brody is a huge board game fan who loves games both simple and complex and he loves how they tickle the brain like nothing else does. Brody works as a cardiac travel nurse, soon to be nurse practitioner and enjoys being healthy, active, knowledgable, and a fan of many topics.

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