Crusoe Crew from Graphic Novel Adventures – Review

Crusoe Crew from Graphic Novel Adventures - Review 1

It’s a nice lunchtime game that we can play sitting around a picnic table on a warm day or huddled inside when it rains.

Steve Mayne

Meeple Gamers

5/10
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Theme and What is it?

8/10
*Note* Copy of game provided by publisher for review.

The time has come for Robinson Crusoe to set sail for treasure and adventure. Unfortunately, he’s fallen ill and can’t perform his duties. It falls on you and your siblings to sail the sea, explore islands, and bring home the loot. You’ll face traps, riddles, and explore multiple paths on your way through the story. In the end you’ll need to have found enough treasure for your family to be secure until the next trip to adventure.

Crusoe Crew is a chose your own adventure style story game that uses graphic novels to convey the story. Each player will get their own book and use it to navigate the story. With multiple paths, a time limit, and an open invitation to find a new way through you’ll need to work together to find enough to satisfy the pirate Raloo Pali.

 

Are you ready to set sail?

Gameplay Mechanics

8/10

Crusoe Crew use a set of graphic novels to lead you through a story of adventure. Every play will get a book representing one of Robinson’s four children. Each child has a unique skill they bring to the game that will help solve puzzles as you play through the story.

You and your group will make decisions together and flip back and forth through the story to explore new locations. In each location new details to explore and look at will reveal hidden objects that you can find to help you locate the treasures you need.

 

The four books are all show similar images all the way through. In each picture there will be a number indicating a new picture to go look up. These numbers can lead you to new locations, give you a closer look at items in the game, or offer you more options to explore. Each child has a special skill that is reflected in the number offered in their book. Gaby is good at riddles and in her book there are places where she has additional information. These additional clues will let the player with Gaby’s book find hidden items, read coded messages, and have a few steps removed from solving different puzzles. 

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Initial Impressions

9/10

I was very excited about this game when I first heard about it. I grew up reading the old Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston Chose Your Own Adventure books. I always look for things to play with my niece and this felt like a good family game. Once I opened the box and saw the l way the books looked and how everything was put together I was happy I’d get to share this with my family.

Game Build Quality

4/10

The quality is mostly good here. The pages and layout for the books is very nice but the binding on my books deteriorated on the first game. One of them has pretty much fallen completely apart. The rest all have some level of pages falling out. I feel like with the amount of flipping back and forth they might have spiral bound them to allow for that. 

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Artistic Direction

8/10

I like the art here. It’s all caratoony but clear. It never felt like we wouldn’t be able to find something hidden in the pictures. Things might have been well hidden but never impossible to find. It’s cute and fun.

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Fun Factor

7.5/10

This is a cooperative puzzle game. You’ll be searching images for clues, solving riddles, and trying to figure out the best way through the story. The game is geared at younger children but some of the puzzles still have a good bit of bite. 

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Age Range & Weight

5/10

The box says 7+ and I think that’s pretty much dead on. While some of the riddles can be a bit of a challenge there’s never a point where you can’t turn back the way you came. The game gives you enough outs and warnings to guide you in the right direction. Even with that younger children can still participate by finding hidden objects in the various pictures. The reading level on the book is pretty light and should be easy for young children to keep up with. 

Conclusions

8/10

I really like this game. I had fun playing it with my family. We all participated in solving the riddles and getting to the end of the story in a pretty great manner. The time mechanism keeps the game moving and puts pressure on you to find treasure quickly.

The game changes based on the number of players. It’s possible to play it solo using just one book. However, the game really shines when you have all of the characters. Each book offers different experiences and rewards for having that character. There are places that only Neta can get to because of his height and it’s reflected in his book. Kik has bombs and is strong enough to blunt force some of the puzzles. Sarah can get hints and clues to the different puzzles from the various animals in the world. Gabby has extra information in her book for many of the puzzles.  All of these things add together to help create a nice well rounded experience.

The timer element is also very nice. Since you only have so long to explore you’ll never find your way to everywhere in the game. In our first game we explored one possible island and were able to only follow two of the three paths presented in the book. This adds a nice chunk of replay to the game that will encourages extra plays. There’s even a small reward at the end of the book that carries from one story to the next helping to make further visits more rewarding.

As I said earlier my books started to fall apart and I’ll drill them to add a spiral binding. It was annoying and slowed us down since we had to spend time reordering one of the books pages. It’s also not always clear when you have to stick together and when the characters can split up. There are places where we did one of the two and then realized after a couple of panels we should have to the other.

All that said, I had fin with this and look forward to playing again this summer. It’s a nice lunchtime game that we can play sitting around a picnic table on a warm day or huddled inside when it rains.

As always, I recommend you try before you buy. Head to your local game store or convention and give the game a try to see if you like it.

 

For me, I can’t wait to explore some more and see if we can get a better score for next time.

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Finally, do remember as you’re running around out there to take a moment for yourself. We can all get pretty wrapped up in a lot of little things and forget to give ourselves the chance to breathe. I hope you keep yourself well. Remember, you are the only you there is or ever will be and it’ll be a shame if you weren’t here. Be well.

Crusoe Crew from Graphic Novel Adventures - Review
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Facebook Twitter Instagram It’s a nice lunchtime game that we can play sitting around a picnic table on a warm day or huddled inside when it rains. Steve M

Editor's Rating:
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