Travel into an ancient temple in search of fame and glory, but be careful of obstacles, traps, and being locked in forever! Sound familiar to a certain Egyptian tomb? For those of you who enjoy the will we/won’t we make it out element of escape rooms, The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac has a similar feel. It’s essentially a lighthearted push-your-luck game in which you embark on an Indiana Jones-style temple run, complete with giant boulder chasing you (or somewhere ahead of you threatening to seal the exit), scrambling to get out alive with as many riches as possible.
The Adventurers is a quick game, roughly 30 minutes, with a three dimensional board that will appeal to the child in everyone. Choose a character and linger around deadly traps for as long as you dare in order to collect more treasures. That ancient vase worth 5 points is enticing, and you’ll have a few seconds to consider your choices in life as you fall over the edge of a waterfall. Tiptoe over a fiery lava pit with unsteady stepping stones or waltz across the rickety drawbridge hanging over a deep, dark abyss? Dice rolls determine much of your fate here but it’s not all luck – knowing when to stay put or move on is important, and your ability to memorise intricate symbols is a great plus when it comes to crossing the lava pit successfully.
This game is easy to teach new players and the theme shines through. Don’t expect deep strategy; there’s really not much to it. This is both a good and bad thing. Some gamers may find it too light and possibly boring in subsequent plays. Having played this game many times I do find myself wanting a bit more now – an extra dynamic to the game, like hidden objectives and side quests.
If you die in the temple you lose all of your treasures and start from scratch with a new character who quite literally jumps in through a hole in the ceiling (which begs the question- why not just climb back out again?). You must wait until the boulder reaches a certain point, however, often leaving you so far behind you may as well have waited outside. I also find the moving walls lack the same stress factor as the other obstacles. The idea is that you should move out of the passage before the encroaching walls crush you, but it’s not the walls that make you hurry up, it’s the boulder that’s quickly catching up with you. In every game I’ve played, players have left the walls far behind before they come close to crushing anything.
I can’t complain when it comes to theme and immersion. The Adventurers is a fun game, and with the right group it can be hilarious – laughing at the fatal mistakes you and your friends make out of sheer greed. In the end, treasures may not even matter. When playing with a group of risk takers you might be the only player to make it out, winning by default, clutching only onto life and a clay tablet of little value.
The Adventures: The Temple of Chac gets seven boulders out of ten.