Chronicles of Avel
60m - 90m
1 - 4 Players
Dice rolling in a game can be used for many things, randomness being the most obvious. Dice can also be used as counters. The dice themselves can be unique and different sizes, shapes and colors to represent different things.
Play occurs upon a modular board that is composed of multiple pieces, often tiles or cards. In many games, board placement is randomized, leading to different possibilities for strategy and exploration.Some games in this category have multiple boards which are not used simultaneously, preserving table space. Unused boards remain out of play until they are required.
Gorgeous yet simple adventure game for the whole family. Children can draw their character's portraits, fight monsters by chucking lots of dice and not worry about the rules too much. Grown-ups keep track of vital information and get to enjoy a non-dull game with their children. Quite lengthy for a children's game, but entertaining and enjoyable all the way. Replayability may suffer in the long run, as there isn't much variety in the gameplay, but "Chronicles of Avel" is a great "main course" for family game-night. My review for German public-service broadcaster WDR2 (in German, online until 11.04.2023): https://www1.wdr.de/radio/wdr2/themen/servicezeit/spiele-chroniken-avel-100.html
It's like a babby Mage Knight. The multilayer hero tile is cute and adds an RE4 esque inventory system. Do not underestimate the difficulty because it is a family game. Action economy and gold are tight; it is better to team up to mitigate the luck. Speaking of, this game is highly luck-dependent which is fine for a game aimed at families. Because of this, gamer parents and their kids will find CHronicles of Avel enjoyable.
I have a lot of great things to say about Chronicles of Avel. It's a fantastically affordable RPG-lite family game with evocative lore, adorable character creation, and a production that's both functional and striking. The expansion content have been quite good and I'm genuinely excited for what's next. However, I also find Chronicles of Avel really frustrating from a design perspective. In part, this is because the narrative arc or lack thereof is constantly being undermined by mechanics. For example, monsters respawn regularly which eliminates any sense of narrative progression. This incentivizes players to defeat monsters in order to "level up" their character which makes it easier to defeat monsters. Since monsters are essentially the currency of the game, you have to defeat monsters in order to gain coin so that you can do many of the tile actions in the game which then make it easier to defeat monsters. Chronicles of Avel teases this explorative adventure, but quickly reminds you that three monsters are within one space of the castle and of course they are there because they respawn regularly. So you get this subtle kick-ass proud feeling about your character and then your mom calls and says, "Hey, you need to come home. It's time for dinner." Thanks a lot mom! Okay, but in all seriousness, my least favorite aspect of this design is that movement is an action. It undermines everything great about this game because monsters respawn every two turns. Conservatively, players are spending half of their actions in the game on moving, but it could be so much better if movement was it's own thing. How awesome would it be to: - defeat a monster, move, and then defeat another monster - defeat a monster, move, and then seal the liar Chronicles of Avel is an excellent example of overcoming adversity only to be told it doesn't matter. It's a tower defense game of risk management disguised as an RPG. A couple bad dice rolls and your accomplishments will be undone. I hate telling my kids, "I know that you want to do that but if you do that, then we will probably lose." I don't know what else to say. Chronicles of Avel is disappointing. It has an unbelievable amount of potential displaced by its own narrative hindering mechanics.