Review: The Quests for Valeria
Publisher and Developer: Daily Magic Games
Game Design: Isaias Vallejo
Illustrations: Mihajlo Dimitrievski
Copy and Editing: Sarah Bolland and Cardboard Edison
Graphic Design: Chris Kirkman
Play Time: 30 – 45 minutes
In the Quests of Valeria, The Guild Masters of New Shilina recruit citizens from the Gutrot Tavern to complete quests and raise the reputation of the Valerian Kingdom. Players choose one of six Guild Masters, each one has an emphasis on two of the four quest types (Adventure, Battle, Commerce, Subterfuge). When a player completes five quests, the end of the game triggers. Victory Points (VP) are tallied based on the amounts on the quest cards. Players gain one additional End Game Power bonus VP’s if the completed quests match their Guild Master’s card. The player with the most points wins. Will you bring honor to New Shilina and win the Kings favor or walk the streets of New Shilina in shame?
- Easy to learn
- Gorgeous art work and iconography
- Hand management + tableau building
- Light “take that”
- Victory point winning condition
- Solid solitaire variant
Quests of Valeria plays one to five players in about 30 to 45 minutes. Based on my three player playthroughs, I can safely estimate a five-player game hitting the 60 minutes or less once everyone gets a playthrough under their belt. Thanks to a well written rulebook and concise Player Aid, you will be up and running in 10 min for your first playthrough. If you are familiar with any other titles in the Valeria universe, such as Valeria Card Kingdoms and Villages of Valeria, you can general understand how to translate some of the iconography.
Quests of Valeria takes place over a series of rounds and the active player has two of four actions to complete on their turn:
Draw – Draw 1 card from the Citizen Deck.
Hire – Pay the required card cost and Hire 1 Citizen from the Tavern line. The hired citizen will be placed in your tableau and their Hire power is immediately activated.
Reserve or Reset – Reserve a Quest or discard all the Quests, refill them and then reserve a Quest. Reserve means near your player area and no one can finish it.
Complete a Quest – Complete one Quest from the Tavern or one that is reserved in front of you. When you complete a quest, the Victory Points and bonus actions are taken immediate with counting as a second action.
Ah Ha! I Get It!
Quests of Valeria rewards the inefficient and efficient player equally….sort of. A inefficient gamer like myself may spend more time hoarding citizens and end up running behind on completing quests, while the efficient gamer has “the plan” laid out for two of the four quest cards available. At some point, both sides are completing quests and creating combos, which is a huge plus for me. My lunch group of novice players were triggering combos with ease by their second playthrough. Quests of Valeria is easy to teach, respectful of your time, and provides replayability. I get this feeling like each turn there is “something” you can do that’s helpful to your cause. You also get that feeling you’re one quest away from making a comeback in a lop sided game. At least that’s what I tell myself.
The Solo Variant presents an interesting mechanic where the AI moves and burns Tavern Quest and Recruit cards each round. As the cards move left and off the board, you must make calculated choices to determine when you want to complete quests before the Quest deck or Citizens deck runs out. Since you can only complete the left most Quest, the difficulty and pace put on the pressure. The Solo Variant is a “beat your score” variant and has enough meat on the bone for a good 30 minutes of playtime.
Quests of Valeria is the type of game that introduces new board game enthusiast to some of the base mechanics of modern board games, such as tableau building. If you don’t like a lighter game experience, this may not be your type of game. In my opinion, the game is closer to the light/medium hybrid category. There are enough decisions during one turn to move towards my light/medium evaluation. For the skeptics, I challenge you to look past your hesitation and embrace fluid gameplay of Quests of Valeria. The game sales for $25.00 and I believe it’s worth every cent, even for a primarily solo player. I recommend you purchase Quests of Valeria and while you’re at it, check out the other titles in the Valeria world. Please feel free to comment below with any questions. I would grateful for a like and a follow. Thank you for your time.
Here is a hyperlink to the dailymagicgames.com site where you can purchase the game.
A copy of Quests of Valeria was provided by Daily Magic Games. Not a paid for positive situation party people.