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New To Me – June 2024

Between a small, local convention weekend, a few new review games, and just general gaming, a whole bunch of new things got to the table in June! What would you most like to try from my list? Tell me what should I try from yours! πŸ™‚


❀️ – Loved It/Definitely Want to Play More (I rate it a 9 – 10)
πŸ˜„ – Liked It/Will Likely Play Again (I rate it a 7 – 8)
πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ – Okay/Take It or Leave It/Could Play Again (I rate it a 4 – 6)
πŸ‘ŽπŸ» – Didn’t Like/Would Not Play Again (I rate it a 1 – 3)


Can You Escape The FOG?

The mysterious, perilous FOG is rolling in. No one who has been swallowed by it has ever come back… As the island Guardian, it is up to you to help the islanders escape before it’s too late. The path may be difficult to navigate, but with the islanders counting on you, we know you’ll be able to come to the rescue. Hurry now, before the FOG consumes the whole island!


Can You Say CUTENESS?

We have an emergency! All of our cute and cuddly pets are sad πŸ™

We need you to heal, feed, and love these little darlings and make them happy again!

Who will be able to make the most animals smile? Let’s find out!


Spend Time to Solve the Crime

The clock is ticking, detectives. You only have 48 hours to close this case, or the mayor will have your jobs! I don’t care if you work together or solve this thing on your own, just make sure the job is done and the right perp is caught, got it? Then what are you waiting for? Get to work!


Seeking Light in the Darkness

The Starless Nights have returned, and now only the light of Kinfire can protect against them. Seekers, we once again look to you for help. Guildmaster Leera is sending you to the well called Scorn’s Stockade. Scorn has turned the well into a prison, so you must be careful not to be imprisoned by him yourself. You are our only hope for light in this darkness. Good luck.


Solo / Cooperative – Players work alone or as a team of 2 to take down the monster, Scorn

Action Selection / Multi-Use Cards – Each turn, the active seeker chooses a card in the well to interact with. Events will tell players what to do while challenges will have a difficulty for players to beat. To do so, players will play action cards of the right type, and can boost those actions with additional cards as well

Dice Rolling – Players always roll dice when attempting challenges as well, so they can often try to hedge their bets and hold on to certain cards longer, in hopes of rolling well enough to succeed at a challenge

Variable Player Powers – Each seeker’s deck is unique, they each have their own ability to use throughout the game (when applicable), and they have a unique lantern card they can use as an action, if they are lucky enough to light it

Hand Management – When players run out of cards to use for actions, they must exhaust themselves before drawing more. Exhaustion cards have some negative effects, and drawing too many can cause a loss in the game. Players must manage their hand effectively so as to not become exhausted too often.


  • 1 or 2 Players – The game works well both ways, but I personally prefer it at 2 because I like how well the decks balance each other
  • Ages 13 & Up / Mid-Weight Gamers – The rules are not too complez, but the game does take a bit of strategy and balancing the best actions vs boosts and the risk vs reward of certain well cards
  • Fans of cooperative or solo games, variable player powers, and other Kinfire games
  • Players who don’t mind a bit of luck, of course

  • Aesthetics – Gorgeous art overall, and nothing beats the gold foil on the card backs
  • Components – Nice quality cards and dice, no complaints
  • Rules are well written and clear
  • Symbology is clear
  • Interesting choices turn to turn of what to interact with and how to approach it
  • Unique system of diving into the deck and removing cards as rewards; never know what cards you’ll actually see during a game
  • Player decks are unique but feel balanced and work together well
  • Good level of challenge without feeling impossible to win
  • Turns are smooth and quick
  • Neat that there is an “auto-win” possibility if you complete certain cards
  • Rulebook – I dislike that the achievement list is placed in the middle of the rules, I think it’s distracting
  • I wish there were more chances to light the lanterns
  • The exhaust cards felt too specific in this one; since they name characters that don’t come in the box, most of the time they seem to be hardly a threat

Overall, I thought this was a nice follow up to Vainglory’s Grotto. The changes to the gameplay were fairly small, so if you know how to play one you can easily dive into the other, but it still had some nice differences between the seekers and well cards that it was able to stand on its own nicely.

If you liked the other, you’re bound to like this, and I love that you can swap seekers in and out and play them in any combination. If you haven’t tried the other one yet, this is also a great place to start if you like co-op, hand management, and really awesome artwork!


Additional Information:
My Final Rating – 6/10

Designer – Kevin Wilson
Artists – Katarzyna Bekus, Sandra ChlewiΕ„ska, Weronika Kozyra, Kate “vesner” Redesiuk
Publisher – Incredible Dream Studios
MSRP – $19.99
Website

My Vainglory’s Grotto Review

*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*

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