Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina
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An iPad-only adaptation of the tabletop game of the same name, The Witcher Adventure Game is a rather daunting task for the uninitiated (i.e. me), but it’s worth sticking with. While it’s never going to replace the fun that could be had when gathered around the physical game, it does have its perks.
Starting out, you’re confronted with a plethora of tutorial videos. This is where it becomes apparent that The Witcher Adventure Game isn’t an entirely successful conversion to iOS. Interactive tutorials are so much better compared to what amounts to a series of YouTube clips. I’d suggest sticking with them though, as it helps ease the still quite daunting learning curve.
The Witcher Adventure Game is a game for up to 4 players, with each able to be one of four distinctive characters. Sorceress, Triss Merigold is one, alongside bard Dandelion, Dwarven leader Yarpen Zigrin, or the Witcher himself, Geralt of Rivia. Each come with their own strengths and weaknesses, such as Geralt being combat focused while Yarpen is more of a diplomat. It’s possible to play with all AI opponents, but the most fun comes from joining together with other players, either by passing the iPad around or via online multiplayer.
Each game can vary massively in length. You can dictate this by picking a quest goal benchmark, with sessions stretching from around 20-30 minutes to two hours or more. Success is fairly clearly laid out with players needing to complete the requisite number of main quests for the game to end. Whoever has the most victory points at the end wins. These victory points are gained through completing main and side quests, defeating monsters, completing diplomatic objectives, and so forth.
Throughout, a series of dice rolls and developmental card collections mostly guide you through what occurs. It’s all quite straightforward, given enough time. In theory you can work together to complete certain objectives, but this only really works when playing alongside other human players.
It’s a reminder that playing alongside others is so much more satisfying than being matched against the AI, as you can almost create your own adventure as you progress. Waiting for the AI to complete their turns is especially tedious stuff. Perhaps most infuriating of all, there’s no save feature - meaning once you close the game, you lose all your progress. That’s a huge issue for any game, especially one that can go on for as long as The Witcher Adventure Game.
It’s a shame that The Witcher Adventure Game doesn’t fully embrace mobile gaming in a way that it should. It’s a fine adaptation of the tabletop game, and one that’s pretty good for newbies to the genre as well as experienced players. However, losing so much progress simply because you wanted to switch to a different app for a moment is a big problem, and one that will understandably put some folks off.