Designer: Jean-François Rochas, Nicolas Bourgoin
Publisher: Blue Orange Art: Stéphane Escapa
1-4 players 15-30 minutes ages 7+
Time to teach & learn: 5 minutes
Your kingdom has problems. From the coast, to the mountains, to the castle at the center of the realm, villains have taken over! It’s up to you and your team to guide one brave night along a perilous path to reclaim the land for your king!
Slide Quest is a cooperative dexterity game that draws equal parts inspiration from video games and a wooden toy from a bygone era.
Slide Quest uses the game box in a fun way – as a point of balance for four plastic lever arms. You place one arm in a notch along each edge, sort of like a teeter-totter. The arms that extend into the box are used to hold up the maps representing different areas of the kingdom: the coast, the mountains, the castle grounds and the castle itself.
When each lever is depressed, the map will float, suspended above the box. This is the game board!
Each of the twenty map boards shows a path for the knight and a variety of obstacles: holes, stones, arches, fences, even sticks of dynamite. These obstacles are represented by 3-D tokens you’ll place on the map.
There are also guard and villain tokens you’ll have to defeat!
Our hero in Slide Quest is a big blue knight figure with a ball bearing instead of feet, so he will roll around the board. There’s also a life level meter with a marker that sets the difficulty and tracks your successes or failures on each map.
The goal in Slide Quest is to guide the knight across each map along a path, avoiding obstacles and defeating enemies along the way.
You chose a realm (five map boards in total) and the game will end if you manage to maneuver the knight through all five boards.
You do this as a team. You play together, each person controlling one of the lever arms along the side of the box. This causes the map board to tilt to and fro, making the knight slide around the board.
It takes coordination and communication between everyone to keep the knight on the path. And each level presents a new set of challenges. Sometimes the game is about finesse, sliding through arches or carefully avoiding sticks of dynamite. Other times, it’s a game of combat, pushing enemies into pits. The game can go from tense and delicate to loud and frenetic, all after one wrong flick of the wrist!
Pits, explosions, enemies, even just falling over can cost you lives. Run out of lives and you’ll have to start all over.
Slide Quest is a creative union of low and high tech game elements.
On the low tech side, Slide Quest is a modern cousin to a classic toy from the 1940s: Labyrinth. Labyrinth is a solitaire dexterity puzzle where one player uses rotating knobs to tilt a wooden maze trying to guide a ball to the finish line. It’s engaging and can be peaceful and frustrating in equal measure!
Slide Quest captures the essence of the original. By making it a cooperative experience, the game changes its focus from the ball to the players around the box. It’s this collective sense of accomplishment or abject failure that makes the game so fun!
On the high tech side, Slide Quest is built around a video game framework. There are five levels to beat. The levels build in difficulty and end with a boss battle. You lose lives when you fail and if you lose too many, you start over from the beginning. You can even play the game in campaign mode, trying to defeat all twenty in one go!
These high and low tech elements are a language that any modern game player understands on an almost instinctual level. Through them, Slide Quest speaks to a very wide audience of players. There are no barriers to laughter and teamwork in Slide Quest, only more bridges to Major Fun.
Written by: Stephen Conway
This review appears in the Spring 2020 issue of Casual Game Insider Magazine.
CGI publishes a wonderful selection of articles and reviews on a quarterly basis. In 2020, a Major Fun review will be featured in each issue!
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