Review: The Rise of Queensdale

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The Rise of Queensdale - Cover

King Nepomuk II has one request of you; to build the best castle for his Queen. It sounds simple enough, except he has also made the same request of several others. In The Rise of Queensdale you must compete with them for resources and buildings in order to complete the most magnificent castle.

What is The Rise of Queensdale like?

The Rise of Queensdale is a legacy style game where every decision you make throughout each game, has the potential to alter the rules, gameplay and what you have available to you for every game in the future. Since Rise of Queensdale is a legacy game each game has one winner, but there is only one true winner in the end. While I can’t reveal every aspect of the game, since many things are secret until specific points of the game, I can give you a general overview as to how it plays.

At the start of each round all players roll a set of dice which will determine what actions they can do that round. Then each player takes their turn completing one action at a time by placing a die onto one of the action slots and immediately carrying out that action. Play continues until all players have used their dice. The various actions include grabbing resources, scouting for resources, building an herb hut or tile (which allows you to use the awesomely ridiculous tiny plunger), hire workmen, feed the poor, etc.

Once all players have placed their dice, the next round begins and play continues in the same fashion until one player reaching their epoch goal. Each game could see different players attempting to reach different epoch goals (not a spoiler) which allows for players to not get too far behind in the overall scoring of the game.

Those are the basics of the game. It is a dice placement game where you are using the various actions to increase your points that game. What makes it a legacy game, though, is what takes it to the next level of fun and strategy. Each game a new story aspect is introduced which can change what happens in that game versus the others. You never know what is going to happen, so you have to be flexible. When you reset for another game, the building(s) you built in the last game are still yours and some of the resources you accumulated you get to keep. At the beginning of every game you get the chance to upgrade your dice (not a spoiler), making it/them potentially more powerful for future games.

The whole legacy campaign ends once someone reaches their final epoch goal, but will they have constructed the best castle for King Nepomuk II? I’ll leave it to you to find out.

The Rise of Queensdale - Components

Rating

Rating 4 / 6

The Rise of Queensdale is a good Euro-style legacy game. Each game is played simply enough and the story which drives the campaign provides enough twists and turns to make you keep coming back for more.

Beyond the mini plunger that comes in the box, my favorite aspect of the game was upgrading my dice. Deciding what stickers to buy and place on which dice to hopefully create one monster die, or multiple decent dice was a surprisingly satisfying decision. The upgrades weren’t just better versions of what was already on the dice, but they also introduced new mechanics and fun experiences that I wish I could tell you about, but I cannot. I want you to be able to experience the weird and wacky options for yourself.

There are many other aspects of The Rise of Queensdale that I really like, but sadly cannot inform you of, because it would ruin the surprise.

The Good

  • You never know what is going to happen next in the story
  • Upgrading your dice and then rolling the upgrade is a great feeling
  • Winning a game is good, but losing isn’t always bad

The Bad

  • Some of the options for upgrading your dice seem overpowered while others seem underpowered. 
  • As with most legacy games remembering new rules from game to game can be difficult.

Complexity Level

Complexity 4 / 6

The game is not difficult to play, however, because the new rules are added periodically and the story can change certain aspects of the game it can be tough to remember the new rules. Things are constantly changing in Queensdale, so it might be difficult for some people

Facts

  • Players: 2 – 4
  • Playing time: 45 – 60 minutes
  • Suggested age: 12+

A review copy of The Rise of Queensdale was supplied by Ravensburger.

Follow Jacob Coon:

Jacob is an American living in Germany who loves boardgames but is way better at teaching others how to win than winning himself.

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