Retro Recall: Dungeons & Dragons – The Fantasy Adventure Game

June 6, 2019 by brennon

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Back when I was younger during the fabled year 2003 a friend of mine got Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Board Game for us to play from his parents. To this day I don't actually know how deep this game could have been because we lost pretty much every game we ever played of it...

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So, in this Retro Recall, I am looking back at a game which I remember fondly not because it was any good but because we were genuinely stumped by it.

How Do We Keep Losing!?

Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Game was effectively Wizards Of The Coast's and Hasbro's attempt at HeroQuest. The box game with plastic heroes and enemies and had you battling through quests set forth by the dungeons we delved into.

D&D Fantasy Adventre Board Game #1

You might recognise the characters from the front of the box as the iconic heroes from Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition and 3.5. Each had their own focus and with the use of special abilities, weapons, custom dice and more you could battle through the game and level up as you went.

The problem was...we just kept losing. None of us understood why but the game was so different from actual D&D. Every encounter we went into the enemies just seemed better than us. We spent more time hiding behind pillars and avoiding skeletons than we did fighting them! Whenever we saw anything relatively big we were utterly screwed!

We looked at the back of the box...

D&D Fantasy Adventure Board Game #2

...and were immediately annoyed at how happy these kids looked! I mean, seriously, how are they having so much fun when all we faced was misery?!

In 2003 I was sixteen years old so we should have been able to play this bloody game but somehow...we were utterly defeated by it. To this day I have all of the components, custom dice and plastic figures from this game and one day maybe we'll go back and play it again. I mean seriously, we couldn't have been so bad at reading rules, could we?

Whenever we played, the Dungeon Master always won. Maybe this has fuelled my dislike of adversarial games over the years. Descent, Mansions Of Madness and more are cool, but they're much better as fully cooperative adventures.

You won't be surprised to know that we eventually dropped this game and went back to playing actual sessions of Dungeons & Dragons. Did you ever have as much of a problem with this game as I did?

This game will forever be my nemesis...

"To this day I don't actually know how deep this game could have been because we lost pretty much every game we ever played of it..."

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"Maybe this has fuelled my dislike of adversarial games over the years..."

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