Valroc is a worker placement game in which you compete with other wizards from the magical city. With the goal of becoming the Archmage. This review is written using a prototype, the final game can be different.
Valroc is divided into 2 stages. In the first phase, you select the monsters to defeat. In your first game this will be less understandable and there is a standard set you can use. If you have already played once, you can draft these cards yourself.
The game further revolves around the 2nd phase. Here you can visit places on the board with your 4 different pawns: the magician, the assistant, the mercenary and the monk. Certain places you can only visit with the magician. For example, in the magic fountain you can get magic points or in the tavern you can start a quest to earn Vals. At the training grounds you can get skill points by using push your luck. By visiting all the different locations, you can become stronger and then tame or defeat creatures in the arena. This is what the whole game is about. If you have enough skill points and magic points you may tame the creature and use it as a mount (if allowed) or defeat it and place it next to your player board.
The game ends when a player has tamed or defeated 6 creatures. The player with the most prestige points then wins the game!
Valroc is a game with a fun theme that combines different mechanisms. The main mechanism is worker placement, but in this imaginative game you also see card drafting, push your luck and other elements. This makes for a game with a lot of options and where a lot happens.
In a game where a lot happens, there are always a few nice and not so nice things. Valroc contains some very interesting actions and mechanisms, which made us very happy. One of our favourite parts is taming the creatures. In fact, by doing this you can use a creature's power and take it with you to your next fight. This is super fun to do, and we got very excited about this while playing. How nice is it to suddenly have a beautiful phoenix at your side? In addition, among other things, the drafting mechanism ensures that each game is different. This certainly benefits the replayability.
During the game you face interesting choices in various ways. For example, you get minus points for certain cards, and you encounter challenging push your luck choices. These actions in the game stimulate you to think carefully about your next move.
The idea behind all these different mechanisms and components is certainly good. Yet we doubt whether the amount of variation and the many different possibilities benefit the game. After all, there is a lot going on in Valroc. To us, the different actions you can take, all feel like individual actions. The game doesn't feel streamlined because of this. An attempt has been made to create a thematic whole, but it didn't quite come across to us. Perhaps a few tweaks could make it a nice whole, but we can also imagine that there might be too many different individual options.
Valroc has the potential to be a fun, interesting and themed worker placement game with lots of variety and replayability. The only thing we are missing at the moment is the feeling of "unity", where the game feels streamlined, and actions feel logical. We are very curious to see the end result of this new Kickstarter. Are you curious too? Then be sure to check out Valroc on Kickstarter!
Pros and cons
+ Fun drafting mechanism
+ A lot of choices
+ A lot of potential
- Actions don't always feel streamlined