The Princess Bride: As You Wish Game Review

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The Basics:

  • For ages 8 and up (publisher suggests 10+)
  • For 2 to 6 players
  • Approximately 30 minutes to complete

Geek Skills:

  • Counting & Math
  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Reading
  • Pattern/Color Matching
  • Hand/Resource Management

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • Pursue your dreams and enjoy the bumps along the way

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek rejected!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!

Overview

American science fiction writer, Frank Herbert, said “If wishes were fishes, we’d all cast nets.” Who among us hasn’t wished to be bigger, faster, richer, or be granted more than what we think we have? Wishing is the act of longing and in this game, players will need to decide if what they long for is worth the risk of pursuing.

The Princess Bride: As You Wish, designed by Daniel Solis and published by Game Salute, is comprised of of 75 Quest cards and 10 Character cards. Each card depicts a scene from the movie The Princess Bride, along with many popular quotes from the characters. The cards are as thick and as durable as your standard playing card.

Farm Boy, Fetch Me That Game?

To set up the game, first separate the Quest cards from the Character cards. Shuffle both piles separately and place face-down.

Second, randomly deal 1 Character card to each player. The players should place their Character card in front of them. Any Character cards not used should be returned to the game box.

Third, deal 1 Quest card to each player. These Quest cards are placed face-up and in front of their owning player. Place the remaining Quest cards face-down in the middle of the playing area and within easy reach of all the players.

That’s it for game set up. The player who shuffled the cards is the First Player for the first round.

Characters and Quests

Each player is given a Character card at the start of the game. While the individual portrayed by the Character card may or might not be of any interest to the player, what is important to everyone in the game is the Character card’s listed methods of scoring. Each Character cards lists 2 different ways the player can earn points. It’s up to the player to determine which one to follow, but they are welcome to follow both, too, if they like.

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The ways of scoring describes the number of Quest cards the player must have and the number of specific icons. In total, there are 5 different icons to be collected, but only those listed on the player’s Character card will score points.

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The Quest cards portray specific events in the movie and include 1 of the 5 icons the players will be collecting. Some Quest cards will also include a bonus if they are collected by the player. When Quest cards are collected, the players arrange them in a stacked column so the Quest card title and icon are always shown, even when the Quest cards are overlapping. The number values on the Quest cards are used to determine which player go first during the round.

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Some Quest cards have 1 or more poison icons that look like tiny skulls by the Quest card’s title. If a player should ever collect and place a new Quest card that makes the total number of poison icons in the player’s Quest card column 4 or more, the player must rotate as many Quest cards as necessary to reduce the total number of showing poison icons to 3 or less. In this way, the player reduces the total amount of poison, but also loses the icons of the Quest cards they rotated. Which, honestly, may or may not be a bad thing depending on how the player’s Character card scores points.

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We Are But Poor Circus Performers On A Quest

The Princess Bride: As You Wish is played in rounds and turns for a total of 9 rounds of game play. Players can always determine how many rounds are left by counting the number of Quest cards in their Quest card column. A typical game round is summarized here.

Step 1: Prepare for the Quest!

For the first round of the game, the individual who dealt the cards is the First Player. Forever after, the player who has the Quest card with the highest number value collected during the last round is the First Player.

The First player now draws 1 Quest card per player, plus 2 additional Quest cards. The First Player, after reviewing the drawn Quest cards, places 2 face-down in a row and then places the remaining Quest cards, face-up, next to the face-down cards. For example, in a 4 players game, the First Player would draw 6 Quest cards, place 2 face-down and 4 face-up.

Step 2: Select Your Quest

The player with the lowest Quest card value now selects 1 Quest card drawn by the First Player. This could be any of the face-up Quest cards or any of the face-down Quest cards. When the player selects a card, they place it in their Quest card column so the newly acquired Quest card overlaps the previously played Quest cards. This should be done in a way so all the Quest card icons are showing. If the selected Quest card was face-down, it’s flipped face-up and added as normal. If the total number of poison icons in the player’s Quest card column is 4 or more, the player must turn over Quest cards until the total number of poison icons is 3 or less.

The player with the next lowest Quest card value now takes their turn, repeating the above actions.

The last player to select their Quest cards is the current round’s First Player. The First Player must take 2 Quest cards, be they face-up or face-down, and add them both to their Quest card column. Any remaining Quest cards are discarded.

This ends the round. A new round now beings as noted above.

The End of the Quest

The game continues until at least 1 player has 9 Quest cards in their Quest card column at the end of the round. The game is now over and points are scored. Players review their Character cards and tally up their points based on the points earned for quests completed.

Green colored Quest cards provide supporting quest icons for the Character card, while light-colored Quest cards score points based on the total number of specific icons provided by Quest cards in the column. Dark colored Quest cards will allow players to score points off their opponent’s Quest cards. In all cases, the Quest cards must be face-up (not turned down due to poison) to be scored.

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The player with the most points wins the game, the girl, the guy, or whatever they wish…

To learn more about The Princess Bride: As You Wish, visit the game’s web page.

Final Word

The Child Geeks really enjoyed the game and found it to be a fast and fun time. According to one Child Geek, “I really like this game. The hardest part is guessing if there is a better hidden Quest card than the ones showing.” Another Child Geek said, “I just think it’s fun to collect the cards and to score points off the other players. I know they hate that.” To which the Child Geek started giggling in a cute and somewhat evil fashion. Overall, the game both challenged and engaged the Child Geeks, keeping their focus both on the cards to collect and the cards to be scored. When all the quests were completed, regardless of their outcome, the Child Geeks voted to approve the game.

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Time to quest! But which quest should be taken? A quick inspection of cards reveals clues…

The Parent Geeks were also delighted with the game, for the most part. The non-gamers and casual players found The Princess Bride: As You Wish to be a light game with casual play, with just enough challenging logical and critical thinking to keep the game interesting. More to the point, difficult to win, which brought forth some very interesting levels of competitiveness not often observed from the non-gamer crowd. According to one non-gamer Parent Geek, “The most frustrating part of this game is being able to look over to the other players’ cards and being able to quickly see how far behind you are.” The veteran Parent Geeks who often seek more complicated games found The Princess Bride: As You Wish to be enjoyable, but not overly engaging. According to one such Parent Geek, “The game is good and even great for my family, but I found it to be little more than collecting a card each round and adding it to a pile of other cards. I was sort of bored.” When the games were over and the votes counted, the majority of Parent Geeks voted to approve The Princess Bride: As You Wish.

The Gamer Geeks were disappointed with the game on several levels. First, they found the game’s theme to be unnecessary and overly pasted on. According to one Gamer Geek, “I don’t mind games with pasted on themes, but the game play has absolutely nothing to do with anything about the movie or the characters.” Another aspect of the game they did not care for was already mentioned by a Parent Geek. As one Gamer Geek put it, “The game is nothing more and nothing less than deciding what card to take, place it in your stack, and then twiddle your thumbs.” The Gamer Geeks did acknowledge that the way a player scored was important, but they were quick to note that it did little to add anything to the game other than provide the player direction. According to one Gamer Geek, “I feel like this game is on rails and it’s not a great trip.” The Gamer Geeks voted to reject the game.

The Princess Bride: As You Wish is not an overly complicated game and I think it’s best with the Child Geek and Parent Geeks crowds. Players who hunger for deeper experiences with meatier game play will find The Princess Bride: As You Wish to be disappointing. The game itself, however, is most certainly solid enough to withstand any negativism thrown at it. The decisions to be made are not difficult, but each is very important. This really is a game about stacking points, but along the way, players can lose them, multiply them, and even benefit from their opponents’ hard work. But only if they think through what cards they are collecting.

I agree with the Gamer Geeks that The Princess Bride: As You Wish is not the kind of game I would want to bring to a gathering of gaming elitists, but nor is this a game I would turn down. It has its charm and it always kept me involved enough to feel that the game was worth my time. I rather liked it and have always found it to be a game that was enjoyed if not by all, then most definitely by the majority. Do try The Princess Bride: As You Wish with your friends and family. Those looking for a game rich with theme and deep in game play need to keep wishing for something a bit more…

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
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2 Responses to The Princess Bride: As You Wish Game Review

  1. juan73908 says:

    Thanks a lot for the review Cyrus!
    I have to say that I am a fan of the movie and somehow had higher expectations for this game… it’s a pity that it’s just a pasted theme 🙁

    • Cyrus says:

      Thanks for reading the review and taking the time to leave a comment.

      Those who enjoy the movie will find the images captured on the cards pleasing, but nothing of the film’s story can be found in the game play. Not a bad thing, but I’d rather not mislead anyone who is reading this review.

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