Oh, you want more? Then please enter my establishment...
See what I did there? It's like I attracted you with my shopfront, then lured you in, just like you do in Bargain Quest! So clever. Blog of the year.
the Kickstarter but there was a pre-order window between the crowdfunding and retail release and I got in there, which means I have a bunch of extra components you may not be getting if you buy now, but I'm also missing the Kickstarter bonuses and exclusives.
(I don't want to start with a criticism of the game, and to be fair this isn't an issue with the game itself, but a small number of the bonus items I got for buying the game before release are useless because they tie in with an expansion that Kickstarter backers got but those pre-ordering had to buy separately. This wasn't made clear at the time, but it's not a huge problem. Anyway, carry on.)
In Bargain Quest monsters are attacking the town, and
It's simple enough described like that but there are a lot of phases, making the game feel more complex than it perhaps is. You start by dealing random cards then drafting them; these are the items you are going to be selling in your shop. Then you place one -- or more, if you've upgraded -- items in your window. This item should attract a
(There's a semi-cooperative element in that if all the
There is a lot going on in the game and as most of it is driven by drawing random cards from various decks, the game can feel a bit chaotic and cluttered at times, but it does flow well once you've got the hang of it and it's always fun. With so much going on it is difficult to identify one approach or strategy that seems better than the others, and this seems like good design to me; do you put rubbish items in the window and hope that you can sell your good gear to whoever wanders in? Do you upgrade your shop or do you save the money and convert it to victory points at the end of the game?
(That said, there is a certain type of employee that provides a general boost to hero abilities and they seem to give a big advantage, but they don't always emerge from the employee deck.)
Some cards also modify other cards and mechanics when played or revealed, and this adds another level of complexity and interest. A monster might affect whether shops can upgrade this turn, or a
The game has great presentation. It all comes in a compact box and given it's got one of those Fantasy Flight Big Useless Insert™ things, you can even fit an expansion or two in there. The components are sturdy and the cards look like they will stand up to the metric fudgeton of shuffling the game requires.
It also has great representation, with lots of people of different ethnicities and genders on display, although I would have liked the artist Victoria Ying to lean more into the fantasy element and give us more blue, green, and orange people alongside the brown and pink. I do have a robot in my set, but I think it's a pre-order bonus.
The title is rubbish though. It's neither evocative nor descriptive, and instead falls into some half-arsed agonising beige abyss betwixt the two, but I'm not going to suggest you avoid it because of that.
In fact, I suggest you do the opposite of avoiding the game, which is... er, buying it, probably. If you can find it, that is. It seems to be out of stock or at a pre-order stage everywhere, including direct from the publisher, but there is a print-your-own version you can buy from the designers. However you get it, get it, because it's ace.
(It's also reasonable in terms of price at about £32, but even I have standards and the obvious pun is below them. Just.)
Arbitrary numeric score: +1/+1
But wait, before you go, I have a special offer for you!
(See what I did there?)
Perhaps I'm overthinking it, or perhaps the expansion should be called Strange Ghost Dimension Shopping. You decide.
Anyway. The solo mode works in much the same way as the base game but skews things a bit here and there and as such is both easier and more difficult, which I know makes no sense, but there it is. Your shop can suffer damage, and the apocalyptic losing condition remains and is a bit more pressing with
I think Bargain Quest works best as a group game because you can steal each other's
Arbitrary Strange Ghost Dimension score: X