The Adventures of Robin Hood – Review

A little while ago I finished playing through The Adventures of Robin Hood and had a really great time with it.

In The Adventures of Robin Hood you play as the famous outlaw and his friends as you battle the forces of the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John. You do this by moving around the map, fighting guards, finding items, robbing nobles and interacting with townsfolk.

The gameplay stays relatively light throughout, with new mechanics occasionally being introduced, such as being able to use a bow to defeat guards from a distance, and each character having their own special ability (Robin, appropriately, is a better archer than everyone else, for example).

I really like the way that the game handles movement. Each character is given a number of movement rulers, and when you move, you place the movement ruler next to your meeple and then move them to the end of it, almost like something you’d find in a miniatures game. This leads to a bit of imprecision in the moment: there’s no hexes or spaces to move to, but I actually think that adds to the sense of adventure in the game, somehow. You’re considered to be hiding if you end your moment in one of the shadowy areas of the map, and working out the best way to move while staying hidden is one of the most compelling aspects of the game. In some games, the artwork on the gameboard can be seen as just set-dressing: the gameplay would stay the same if you stripped away the art and just left the spaces, but here it becomes an integral part of the gameplay, as you try to dart from shadow to shadow. It’s a great way of interacting with the art and the world of the game.

As you move around the map, you’re directed to read from the book that comes with the game. There’s a few odd bits of phrasing, almost like it’s been translated strangely in some places, but it’s serviceable and fun, and tells a compelling story.

There’s a great sense of adventure to the game, as you explore the map, uncover tiles and race to do things before it’s too late. The game throws up some nice surprises too, which of course I won’t spoil.

There’s some replay value to the seven scenario campaign, too, as at one point you make a choice which leads you down one path or the other, and if you’re playing through the game for a second time, many of the scenarios will be subtly different. It’s a nice touch.

Overall, my wife and I had a great time with this game. If you come looking for something super deep mechanically, you won’t find it here, but it’s a nice and light experience which would be great for families, I feel.

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