Publisher: White Toe Games Designer:Phil Schadt
Artist: Peter Gandia Player Count: 2-4 Age Appropriateness: 9+ Playtime: 30-45 Minutes
"You’ve finally found a place to call home! There’s a safe place for the nest and plenty of cheese lying around. There are just two problems: you aren’t the only mouse here and, worse yet, a bunch of cats are prowling about— but it’s dinner time and nothing’s going to stop you from stealing that cheese! Be crafty, strategic, and fast! You'll use 3 actions each turn to move, steal cheese, disarm traps, play cards or acquire new cards. These cards are then used to move cats to corner your opponents, place traps, squeeze through walls and more! The first player to return two cheeses to the nest wins!"
"Cheese Quest is a game for 2-4 players. Players play as mice trying to sneak out of the nest at the center of the board, pick up cheese and bring it back. With the use of cards players control cats and traps to thwart their opponents. The player may perform up to 3 actions in any combination, performing the same action multiple times if desired. Actions are played one at a time, each resolving before the next. There are 5 possible actions: (1) Move your mouse token one space, (2) Pick up a cheese token, (3) Draw any card from the pantry, (3) Play a card from your hand, and (5) Disable an obstacle on the board. Players will try to combine their three actions to make progress while also hindering their opponents. When a player collects two cheeses, the game ends at the end of the current round. As a result, all players take an equal number of turns during the course of the game. The player with the most Cheeses wins the game! Ties are broken by the sum value of cards remaining in the hands of the tied players."
What We Think
Gameplay & Rules
To be honest my first impression of this game was not the best. This is no fault of the game itself, but thematically speaking I just didn't have high expectations. I was fully expecting this to be a poor attempt to make a kid-friendly theme appeal to adults. That expectation couldn't be more wrong. This is not a redo of mousetrap. This isn't for my six-year-old son (though young kids who are proficient at reading and are okay with the take that mechanic would most definitely enjoy it). This isn't a poor attempt at anything, but rather it is a unique light strategic game that incorporates hand management, take that, and a pretty nifty varied modular board. It was truly a delight to play and as someone who loves take that I really enjoyed the ups and downs the game creates. I felt like the whole game I was in an intense capture the flag match knowing that I could be hit at any moment, causing me to drop the flag and start all over. It makes for quite an exciting experience that can be enjoyed by families and gamers alike.
Cheese Quest is a pretty easy game to learn and seems to flow very smoothly once the concept is understood. There may be times you have to stop and seriously think about your strategy, especially at 3-4 players, but that doesn't seem to slow the game down too much since players only have three actions per turn to think about anyways. The way the boards are designed and randomly placed allows for every single game to play differently due to the various accessible paths that will be created. The design of walls within the game and the placement of cheese, traps, and cats help to make the race for the cheese dynamic enough that you can play loads of times without feeling as if you've been confined to a standard repetitive map. The gameplay of Cheese Quest actually reminds me of a spiced up modern take on the traditional family game Aggravation. The core idea of both of these games involves players racing along the game board to reach a finish line while taking down competitors in the process. Where Cheese Quest crushes Aggravation is (1) the theme, (2) the dynamic board, (3) the components...CAT MEEPLES, (4) the art, (5) the cards that shake up the game, and (6) the race itself since players don't simply run in circles, but they must actively navigate a sort of maze to get their cheeses to the nest! One negative I feel the need to mention is the variety of pantry cards. These are the cards used within the game, and I found myself wishing there were a bit more unique pantry cards. This is by no means a deal breaker, but I would've loved to see five to ten more unique pantry cards to diversify the game a bit. Lastly, in regards to Gameplay & Rules, the rulebook is excellent. It is straightforward and to the point. The solid organizational structure helped us to quickly answer all the questions we had in our first game and didn't seem to leave room for incorrect interpretation of rules. If you, your gamer friends, or your family like lighter strategy mixed with take-that then Cheese Quest is a game you definitely want to check out! Personally speaking, I cannot wait for my son to progress a bit more in his ability to read so he can enjoy this game with me, and I look forward to playing it with many of my adult friends as well!
Components & Art
When it comes to Components & Art board games are only getting more impressive. A game can have solid components, a good box, and nice art but still seem to come up short when matched up against other recent releases. This is kind of where I am at with Cheese Quest. The components and art for the game are not bad. Let me repeat, they are not bad! However, they are not quite what hobby gamers would probably desire. While the components are functional I found myself wishing that the mice and cheese tokens were on par with the cat meeples within the game. I don't know if this was more a result of production costs or the practicality of stacking cheese on top of the mice, but seeing the very cool cat meeples next to plain cylindrical wooden tokens and glossy cardboard chits just leaves a little to be desired. The board itself however is solid. I couldn't ask for much more from the modular game board and really like the design along with the quality material. As for art, it is pretty spot on for what I see as the intended audience of the game. It is fun and very good quality. Stylistically, the art and theme aren't what I'm typically attracted to, but I have to say, even with that being the case I really really like the art both within the game and on the box!
Here at Green Akers Games we love games. It sometimes can be difficult to be a reviewer since almost every game has at least something to love about it! So what we like to do is simply let our readers/viewers know if we think this game is a game we’d choose to pay for, play, and recommend to others without hesitation. A 3 out of 3 is a perfect score while anything less means the game has missed the mark somewhere in our eyes! Please keep in mind, our perception of or feelings about any game should not trump your feelings about that game. We believe that if a game interests you that you should at least give it a shot! Utilize your local FLGS or local gaming group to test out games before you decide to go all in!
Cheese Quest gets a 3/3 from us. I would 100% recommend this game to gamer friends of mine that may be looking for a fun take that strategy game and to families that may have young kids or teenagers. I would also have no problem paying for it at it's current price point of $30 or pulling it out of the closet on the regular to play! Despite my desires mentioned above for component upgrades and additional pantry cards I think Cheese Quest is a great game that could be enjoyed for a long time. Please remember, just because we like the game does not mean YOU will since not every game is for everyone. White Toe Games has done an excellent job with Cheese Quest and I am excited to see what the future holds for designer Phil Schadt and White Toe Games!
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