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Tabletop Game Review: The Adventures of Robin Hood

The Adventures of Robin Hood by KOSMOS
2 to 4
Playtime: ~
60 minutes
Perfect for:
Games and families who enjoy cooperative adventures with engaging storytelling mechanics.

The Adventures of Robin Hood is a game of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor! All while not being captured, that is. Players assume control of the classic literary characters (Robin, Marian, etc.) while traversing an interactive world. On these journeys, the merry crew evades the nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham while doling out good for those less fortunate.

To begin The Adventures of Robin Hood, two to four players select their characters and corresponding meeples which assist with movement. Next, the world map is placed centrally—this essentially is the gameboard and helps guide the narrative. And finally, players begin taking turns reading the story from the rulebook which reveals both how to play the game as well as the paths each character can choose to further the adventure.

Playing The Adventures of Robin Hood is very straightforward. The characters use their collection of meeples to physically move across the map. These meeples have varying lengths to represent running and walking. Thus, lining them up end to end determines how far a player can traverse. Once a player reaches a destination or encounters an enemy, they interact with that variable. Fights are resolved by drawing cubes randomly from a bag, which gets populated over the course of the rounds with favorable and unfavorable results. Location engagement involves a player reading an entry from the guidebook and in many instances requesting another character make a choice to determine what happens next. Play continues until the chapter concludes.

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What works in The Adventures of Robin Hood is the incredibly clever and engrossing collaborative narrative mechanic. There’s a hint of “choose your own adventure” as teams decide which roads to travel, and which goals to prioritize. Next, the board evolves as players explore and discover through removable pieces (sort of like an advent calendar). This makes each chapter feel fresh and exciting as new nooks and crannies become revealed. Furthermore, the rulebook itself reads like a fable and provides a bit of a roleplaying experience as players choose how they want to proceed. And finally, the “influenced-risk” element of combat keeps things exciting as a bad draws could suddenly thwart the heroes’ plans.

Players seeking a competitive, victory-point scoring game may not enjoy The Adventures of Robin Hood as much as others. The Adventures of Robin Hood is all about going on a literary journey together—not so much winning and losing. The thrill comes from unveiling the narrative, the same way a person would enjoy a book. People seeking a bit more “traditional” game, may want something different (but should still give this wonderful experience a chance!).

The Adventures of Robin Hood is an innovative way for families and gaming groups to cooperatively enjoy a swashbuckling escapade. There’s a great balance of strategy, ingenuity, and a dash of luck to make for a joyous storytelling time.

Recommended if you like: Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

Final Grade: A

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