- For ages 10 and up (publisher suggests 7+)
- For 1 to 4 players
- Variable gameplay length
- Active Listening & Communication
- Counting & Math
- Logical & Critical Decision Making
- Emotional Coping Skills
- Hand/Eye Coordination & Dexterity
- Strategy & Tactics
- Risk vs. Reward
- Visuospatial Skills
- Cooperative & Team Play
- Reflex & Speed
- Child – Moderate
- Adult – Moderate
Theme & Narrative:
- Help the young knight save a very unstable kingdom!
- Gamer Geek approved!
- Parent Geek approved!
- Child Geek approved!
American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said, “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” If it hurts you to think – to furrow your brow and concentrate critically – then I have a game here you should avoid. This is a puzzler – a quest – to navigate as a team through treacherous terrain and dangerous turns. Only the bravest and most emotionally stable need to apply to play this video game inspired tabletop challenge.
Slide Quest, designed by Nicolas Bourgoin, Jean-François Rochas and published by Blue Orange Games, is comprised of one Platform, four Levers, 20 Challenge maps, one Rolling Knight pawn, eight Obstacles, nine Traps, one Life counter, one Heart marker, and one Game Level Saver. The game component quality is excellent, with solid plastic pieces, thick cardboard maps, and an adorable little plastic knight that you control during the game. Artist Stéphane Escapa has given the game color and depth, with detailed pieces and lush landscapes on the board that make the game appealing to the eye. Another quality game from Blue Orange, which I have come to expect and appreciate.
Insert Coins to Play
To set up the game, first remove all the content from the box. In this game, the bottom of the game box is a component of the gameplay. Place the bottom of the game box in the middle of the playing area where everyone can easily reach it.
Second, place the four Levers in the notched sides of the bottom game box.
Third, place the Platform on the Levers.
Fourth, place all the remaining game components to one side at this time.
That’s it for the game set up.
Select Your Game Mode
Slide Quest has two types of game modes. These are “Mini Quest” and “Grand Quest.” The game mode selected determines the victory condition, as well as the overall length of the game.
- Mini Quest challenges the players to help guide the Knight through five different paths of one specific “World.” There are four different worlds. These are “Coast”, “Mountain”, “Castle Grounds”, and “Castle”. The world selected determines – to a certain degree – the layout of the map, obstacles, and traps. Moreover, the world selected also influences the overall navigation difficulty, with the Coast being the easiest, and the Castle being the most difficult.
- Grand Quest is similar in every respect to the Mini Quest with one exception. Instead of choosing a single world, the players take the Knight on the entire journey, starting with the very first Challenge map to the very last. Grand indeed!
Based on the game mode selected, the players will now find and set aside the maps they will use and those they will not. Place the first Challenge map (per the number sequence on the map) on the Platform. Any maps not used go back in the game box.
Depending on the world and the difficulty of the map, additional components might need to be attached. These are obstacles and traps. By default, maps will have holes in them that will dump the Knight into the bottom of the box, causing the Knight to take damage. Additional obstacles include stone arches, boulders, small barriers, and large barriers. Traps include dynamite, guards, and a villain. The plastic pieces fit easily into the small guide holes on the map. The map gives the players a visual queue that easily allows them to identify the piece to add to the map.
Select Your Difficulty
There are three levels of difficulty in the game. The harder the challenge, the fewer lives (hearts) the Knight has. The amount of damage the Knight can take is tracked with the Life counter and Heart marker. As the game progresses, the Knight will take damage, but will also heal.
- “Easy” level of difficulty gives the players five hearts to start with a maximum of eight.
- “Medium” level of difficulty gives the players four hearts to start with, with a maximum of six.
- “Difficult” level of difficulty gives the players three hearts to start with, with a maximum of four.
The Knight will lose a life (thus reducing the number of hearts) when it falls into a trap (hole), knocks over a dynamite, drops the dynamite into a hole, pushes a guard or the villain into the wrong trap, pushes the villain into the right hole but does so before taking out all the guards, or tips over (fall down, go boom). Additionally, if a guard or villain ever falls into a hole without being pushed by the Knight, a life is lost. This keeps the players from “cheating” by manipulating the map instead of the Knight to complete the game objective.
The Knight will gain life if it reaches the Heart symbol on the map.
When the Knight falls into a hole or tips over, the life lost is accounted for, and the Knight “respawns” at the starting position of the map. There are two maps where the path the Knight must take must be traveled on precisely. If the Kight goes off the path, a life is lost, and the map must be started over.
Go Quest, Young Knight!
After the maps are selected, obstacles placed, and the difficulty set, it’s time to go on the quest! Place the Knight in the starting position.
The game is played by manipulating the Levers to tilt the map on the Platform. This creates different grades of slopes. The Knight has a ball at its bottom that keeps it rolling around. Players manipulate the Levers to adjust the Knight’s position and speed, navigating through the map using teamwork and a lot of communication. Players must coordinate and plan their efforts, working together. Failure to do so will result in the Knight never completing the quest.
Depending on the number of players, each player will either control one or two Levers. How the players use the Levers is simply an act of applying pressure, moving the Levers up or down, changing the pitch, and grade of the map. If the players work together successfully, they will be able to navigate the Knight through the traps and obstacles, reaching the finish. Doing so allows the Knight to move to the next map. The completed map is removed, and the next map in the number sequence is placed, along with any accompanying obstacles and traps.
Each map is part of the Knight’s quest. Some maps require the players to guide the Knight on a straightforward path without falling to holes, but straying from the path means starting the map over. Some maps need the players to use the Knight to take out guards by pushing them into holes, or specific numbered holes. There is even a map that requires the players to use the Knight to drop dynamite into precise holes for maximum damage.
Remember: Failure to navigate the map correctly could result, at minimum, respawning at the start point of the map and might also lead to reducing the number of hearts. Guide the Knight carefully.
Saving and Ending the Game
Slide Quest comes with a Game Level Saver. A player can use it to record the level their Knight is on and their current number of Hearts. Very handy as this is not a game you want to rush, and the level of frustration can get to such a point where all players need a break. Record the current map and the current number of Hearts. Now players can walk away from the table in confidence; knowing their progress made so far is not lost.
The game ends in two different ways.
- The last map is traversed successfully with the Knight having at least one heart. The players win!
- The Knight loses all hearts. Game over, man. The players lose, but they are very welcome to start again by going to the very first map. KNIGHTS NEVER QUIT!
Honestly, the game is challenging enough as it is, but if you and the other players are looking for an additional challenge, there are a few game variants available.
- Timed Maps: Players are welcome to take as much time as needed to navigate the maps. If this sounds too easy, players can add a timer that forces the players to finish the map within the time limit. If time runs out, the Knight fails to complete the map, loses a life, and starts the map over. An app is available to use, or the players can use a simple timer of their own.
- Hero Mode: When the Knight takes damage, it’s moved to the Start position of the map (as usual), but all the obstacles and traps are replaced, as well! Total map reset!
- Questing Alone: Technically, one person can manipulate the maps by using all four Levers. This is very difficult, will require dexterity, speed, and a lot of saint-like patience.
To learn more about Slide Quest, visit the game’s web page.
The Child Geeks had a lot of fun with this game, but only in short bursts. Only the oldest and most dedicated Child Geeks completed the Mini Quest, and none of this group attempted the Grand Quest. The game takes a lot of emotional energy to play, not just physical. While the Child Geeks seem to have a near-limitless source of physical energy, their emotional batteries drained quickly, resulting in one meltdown, two Child Geeks storming away from the table, and one bout of screaming, complete with mild threats of doing the game and the Knight physical harm. In all cases, the Child Geeks enjoyed the game, but not for terribly long. According to one Child Geek, “I think this is the kind of game best played with a few friends and only for a map or two. The game just gets too intense.” Another Child Geek said, “I like the game best when people listen to the instructions I give them. If you don’t have good team members, you won’t do well.” When the maps were traversed and the Knight safely home, the Child Geeks voted to approve Slide Quest despite the emotional turmoil it sometimes brought.
The Parent Geeks were very pleased with the game, finding it to be a unique challenge and a great team activity. According to one Parent Geek, “The kids get frustrated quickly, but the game is all about communication. Sure the Knight will drop a few times, but the amount of laughter and cheers we get far exceeds the moans and groans.” Another Parent Geek said, “Great stuff and a fun challenge. I love playing it with the kids, but it is a lot of fun with just adults, too. I about had wine come out of my nose because I was laughing so hard when we played the game with another couple.” When quests were over, the Parent Geeks gave Slide Quest their full support and endorsement.
The Gamer Geeks were impressed with the game’s ingenuity and difficulty. According to one Gamer Geek, “This is a unique game. I rather enjoyed it and can see myself playing it again as a filler or as just a quick game for fun with some buds and some beers. The game is not to be taken seriously, but it has some very serious gameplay. Good stuff.” Another Gamer Geek said, “This game shines when you play it with people who know what the hell they are doing and feels horrible when you don’t. Luckily, this is a game you can get better at through practice. I won’t be playing this game with kids again – way too many whining and emotional outbursts – but I would sit down with some adult friends and give it a go.” When the last level was completed, the Gamer Geeks gave Slide Quest two thumbs up.
A quick comment on the game’s suggested age range. The publisher indicates the game is suitable for Child Geeks as young as seven-years-old. I disagree. This game requires a lot of communication and control. I have yet to meet a seven-year-old that has both in abundance. Playing the game with Child Geeks as young as four is possible, but the real obstacle to overcome here is patience and emotional control. This game can be – and most frequently is – frustrating for those who cannot communicate well or are playing with others who lack communication and teamwork skills. I warmly welcome you to play this game with whomever you have around regardless of age. Our greatest success came with playing with Child Geeks ten-years-old and older.
This was a very entertaining puzzle game. It requires dexterity and communication in equal amounts. Players will not be able to do it alone (yes, sure, you can play it solo, but expect a lot of heartache and heart loss) and must depend on others seeing the map as they do, anticipating movement, and making quicksaves or adjustments. The table talk in the game goes from laughter to loud exclamations of actions that should be taken with great haste. “NO! DON’T TILT TOO FAR UP!” “WATCH THE BOULDER!” “DUDE! CONTROL YOUR SIDE OF THE MAP!” And so on. In all cases, the players had fun with the only factor in dispute being the amount of time the game should be played.
Visually, the game is exciting and the gameplay from map to map is unique. No two maps are the same, and the different challenges and obstacles make each map a fresh new puzzle to solve. Great stuff for those players who like games they can manipulate and see immediate outcomes. Strategy and tactics are a must, with teamwork being the quintessential method to victory. Do try this game when time allows. I think you’ll find it a quest you’ll want to adventure on again and again, but only in short bursts.
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.