231 – CoraQuest with Dan Hughes – The Family Gamers Podcast
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What is CoraQuest?
A family dungeon crawl with a strong creative streak. It’s pretty easy to get started, and very easy to make your own heroes and bad guys. All the art in the game was created by children!
What We’ve Been Playing
CoraQuest – of course! Our youngest practiced some reading, and our 10-year-old learned why it’s a bad idea to split the party.
Bloom (Gamewright) – a roll-and-write of harvesting from a flower garden. We love Gamewright’s quality.
imagician (BLAM!) – follow the “recipe card” to join up symbols and guess the hidden picture. Fun, but better as a cooperative activity than a competitive game.
StarLink (Blue Orange) – Another game of drawing pictures and connecting the dots! Our SNAP review is in the show break.
Concept Kids (Repos/Asmodee) – We love Concept.
Cloaked Cats (HABA) – a simple deduction game with a cute theme. Unfortunately very luck-dependent at 2 players.
Dream Runners (Ankama/Luma) – arrange polyomino tiles onto a 3×3 square while avoiding nightmares and capturing good things.
We won’t take it from our kids, but we love it from you!
Jim Cushman highly praises 5-Minute Mystery after trying it with his kids.
SNAP Review – StarLink
Can you quickly draw a constellation that your fellow players can decipher? Find out in StarLink, a draw-and-guess game with several unusual restrictions that make for a quick game that’s not frantic.
Read the transcript and see more pictures at our SNAP review page.
More About CoraQuest
CoraQuest started as a “homeschool” project during the early days of pandemic lockdown. Cora had seen her dad play various dungeon crawlers, but they were just too much for an 8-year-old. So they decided to make their own, combining math, language work, art, and technology skills.
Dan’s artist friend Gary created box art as a joke… leading Dan to think this was a game that they could actually share with others!
They’ve wanted to keep it very genuine. Cora made all the hero art, and other art has been contributed by other kids (and “coloured in” by Gary). Because they had so much fun creating it, they wanted to allow a sandbox-feel where anyone can make their own characters.
What We’re Excited for in CoraQuest
“It’s a polished game, but it feels like there’s a lot of kid in it.” Cora has been involved in the entire process (although she got bored of play-testing).
The art is cute but not cutesy. And the names! “Spear Woman” and “Crossbow Dude” are perfect.
As you explore, you’ll randomly lay new tiles – but story elements are tied to specific tiles.
“Becoming determined” is a brilliant way to handle bad dice rolls. If you completely miss your attack with all dice, you “become determined” and gain another die until you manage to hit! Really helps kids who struggle with failure, and takes the edge off.
There’s a threat of spiders suddenly swarming the dungeon. Keep them at bay by continuing to explore! This built-in urgency is a great motivation to keep moving.
The spider threat is tracked on a cooldown track, but so are player special abilities! This caused our children to think hard about when they wanted to use special abilities.
There’s a good balance between staying appropriately simple, while containing some complexity when it’s worthwhile.
And the dad jokes! We are fans of “Slithers McBiscuit” the giant snake.
(Check out the names of Scottish salt-spreaders/plow trucks, also known as “gritters”. They’re amazing.)
Find Dan and more about CoraQuest:
Find CoraQuest on Kickstarter for £30 (about US$40).
You can also find Dan on the Sporadically Board podcast
And video reviews with Cora on the Dice Tower (sometimes Boardgame Breakfast, sometimes standalone). Find a few on Youtube.
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