The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the story of Nottinghamshire under the rule of evil Prince John and his henchmen. Players play as Robin Hood and his companions to unravel the story. The board changes over the course of the adventure, with movement handled by the players themselves using a unique mechanism of different length wooden figures. You will read passages in the book provided in the game until you complete the campaign. The Adventures of Robin Hood is designed by Michael Menzel and is published by KOSMOS.
What’s in the Box?
- 5 Robin Hood Figures
- 5 Maid Marian Figures
- 5 Little John Figures
- 5 Will Scarlet Figures
- 3 Guy of Gisbourne Figures
- 1 Raven
- 1 Special Figure
- 1 Bard Figure
- 12 Hourglasses
- 1 Gameboard (8 pieces in the slipcase)
- 1 Book
- 1 Cloth Bag
- 1o Wooden Discs
- 1 Arrow
- 130 Wooden Cubes
How’s it Play?
This is a story-driven, campaign-style game where you will be reading through the book to give direction to the game. You will make decisions as to where you explore and how you go about completing the tasks involved in that chapter. Many times you will be interacting with possible pop-out tiles to get information to complete your task.
Each character has 5 figures of which 2 are standing figures, and 3 are movement figures. You will move your character on the board by leaving your current active standing figure and placing 1-3 of your movement figures in a line and placing your other standing figure on the end. You will then take off all other pieces except the last standing figure, and that’s where you will end your movement.
You are not allowed to travel over trees, rocks, houses, the castle, the river, the waterfall, carriages, animals, or people. There will be times when you cut down a tree, and you can move over its trunk. Also, other rules will come out as you unlock other obstacles or as your environment changes.
There are clearings in the game which are the lightened-up regions on the game board, other areas are shaded and will let you not get caught when you move around in these darker areas. If a guard pops up in a clearing and you are there, you become captured. To become uncultured, you will need to win a fight against the guard.
As you play through the game, there is a bag which will house almost everything. You will be guided to pull out a certain-sized or shaped object like a cube or a token of a certain type. Seals are tokens that you will pull out that will be used in many ways, but initially to flip over new guards and merchants out on the map.
At the beginning of each adventure, the bard figure is placed on a numbered space on the banner of hope and a certain number of hourglasses are placed nearby. When the bard gets to 0 on the banner of hope, you lose an hourglass. When there are no hourglasses on nearby, all players immediately lose the adventure and have to read how the story ends . You get 2 chances to be able to complete the adventure.
The game experience is heavy on the story which is read from the book. In each adventure new rules are added on, so you will need to play through the game in order. Players take turns determined by the draw of their disc. These will be removed from the bag one at a time and will indicate that player’s turn. The red disc triggers dark events, the violet disc triggers its own dark event types. The white disc lets all players take a turn in any order. The grey disc lets any one player take a turn.
When your colored disc is drawn you will move lining up your movement figures. You can save energy by not using your sprint figure, which is the longest one you have. This will let you add a white cube into the bag which is going to help you out later on.
You will then perform one of three possible actions. You can examine a tile if it has a question mark on it and you’re touching it. You can defeat an opponent if you’re touching the tile. And you can pass an object to a teammate by touching their figure.
To examine an object with a question mark you will go to that number shown on the tile, read the passage in the book, and make decisions it presents to you. To defeat an enemy you will pull out 3 cubes total, 1 at a time. If you pull out a white cube you succeed in the fight and the guard or enemy will be flipped over. Once a white cube is drawn, you stop drawing cubes. If you don’t draw a white cube after drawing 3 total, then you fail and will have to fight the enemy again on your next turn.
When a red disc is drawn, the carriage that is face up in the forest is flipped and moved to the castle. The hope in the land sinks by 1 per player. A seal is drawn from the bag and its effects are applied. If a guard appears in a clearing where a player is it, they become captured and will be placed down on top of that guard. On your next turn, you will have to fight the guard to get loose.
There are some other events that will be triggered following the story, but these rules will let you understand the basics of the game. You will continue through the campaign, and if you fail, you will go through the adventure with reading part 2 of each page, which should make things easier for you.
This is a storytelling game where you find the clues to make the story progress. I know many would say that there isn’t really a game in this game since you move around the board just to follow a pre-set story. And that is true, but I felt like doing this was fun and let you figure out things on your own instead of the book telling you everything.
We liked working through this game because it helped my 7-year-old with her reading, as we had her read as much of the passage as possible. We enjoyed the puzzle as we started the game thinking very direct, but as we played we saw all these other random things happen to bring the story together and we thought that was super fun to see.
Now, the game did require maintaining the bag with cubes to make sure good things would happen, and keeping the hope alive on its track. And with time this did feel less exciting than it originally is when introduced.
Overall, this is like reading a book with some more elements to make the story entertaining and make you hunt down the answers to things yourself. This is not a competitive game, but it is a fun story to play through especially with younger kids like I have. The only bad thing is that the adventures can run a little long for some of them, and they can lose interest in the game pretty quickly. But ultimately, I did enjoy their design. I like how the board stays out and the changes are done by flipping tiles.
The tiles change from adventure to adventure as you read a different page during different adventures. My kids are homeschooled, and we used this game to help understand the Robin Hood story and have fun unraveling the secrets the game contained. I would recommend this for a good family game with young kids, or for a group of people who aren’t looking for a serious competitive game. It’s unique, and was fun seeing all the surprising tiles getting flipped over. After a while, it felt like a chore to do some of the housekeeping with the cubes and bag maintenance, but without it, the game would be less structured. So the game is solid overall but not for everyone.
Images via KOSMOS
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