Review: Chronicles of Avel

In Chronicles of Avel, you and your fellow players explore the land of Avel where evil monsters lurk.

Publisher

Rebel Studios

60-90
minutes

€33
cost

1-4
players

Cover
Location tiles

Game overview

Chronicles of Avel is a cooperative adventure game in which you work together with your fellow players to defeat the beast!

At the beginning of the game, you prepare the playing field by placing a few starting tiles face-up and some closed tiles next to them. You can make your own layout or use one from the book. This part is modular and can therefore be different each time. You also place monster tokens on some of the tiles. On your player board, you may dress up your hero as you wish by drawing on the player sheet. Next, you may take 1 equipment token from the bag and start with a coin.

During a turn you can take 2 actions and you can also take the same action twice. For example, you may move to an adjacent tile or via shortcuts. When you reach a monster, you may attack it. Monsters never attack you, so don't worry about that! If you attack a monster, roll the indicated dice and win or lose the fight. If you defeat the monster, you get the rewards. It is also possible that you lose all your lives. Then you are knocked out, go back to the castle and lose all your money. You then come back into the game the next round. You can also place traps or build walls in front of your castle in some places. This is useful for when the beast comes at the end of the game!

When all players have taken two turns, the round marker moves forward one place. You sometimes receive a bonus such as a heart in return. Starting from specific places on the round track, you may no longer place traps or build walls. At the end of the track, the beast comes into play, together with a few more monsters. These move one place closer to the castle each time and you will have to defeat them before they reach it. If you succeed, you win the game and you have saved Avel. If you can't, you lose and have to try again!

Player board
Adventurer

Our thoughts

Chronicles of Avel is a new family/children's game from the makers of Meadow. So it is no surprise that this game looks beautiful again. It is so beautiful, in fact, that most adults cannot wait to play this game either. The reactions to Chronicles of Avel are very positive from all sides. Children stay at the table for the first time for a board game, parents have a lot of fun fighting the monsters and it is even called the best family game ever. Chronicles of Avel is more than just a nice packaging, it is a very good and fun game!

Let's face it, Chronicles of Avel certainly catches your attention at first because of its beautiful artwork. The artwork on the box is incredibly beautiful and invites you to play. The contents of the box are certainly not inferior. Avel contains beautiful components of high quality. Considering the price of the game, it surprised us how much content is in the box! Besides beautiful tiles, nice wooden meeples and double layered playerboards, there are also nice surprises like the characters that you can colour yourself. This addition of personalisation to the game has been an incredibly good choice. Not only children, but also adults can let their creativity loose. It is something you do not often see in board games, but we can certainly appreciate it.

We would like to emphasise the contents of the box. Avel contains a lot of nice extras that we definitely want to mention. For example, the backpack on your player board has an original and fun function. Different from the 'you may carry X items', in Avel you can try to puzzle in the items you have in your backpack to see if you can still take them with you. In addition, during the game you may grab items from a bag. By feeling, you can try to guess what you are going to grab, but you only have 5 seconds. These elements brought a big smile to our faces. And we haven't even mentioned the mini insert that comes with the game, in the shape of a treasure chest. You can store various components in here. The makers of Avel have really thought about everything and it shows!

Chronicles of Avel is fortunately more than a simple children's game. You could better see it as a family or gateway game. This game is not only perfect to play with children, but also fun with adults who have little gaming experience. We can also tell you that Avel is still fun and challenging enough for the frequent players. Believe it or not, Avel does it all. The game contains elements that make it extra fun for children, such as drawing your own character and the 'constellation map of names' with which you can create a random name for your hero, but it also contains elements that are fun for adults. The use of dice ensures that even with a lot of board game experience, you do not automatically win. So it remains exciting!

We have already read that Chronicles of Avel was called a mini Gloomhaven for children, we can understand this. If you like dungeon crawlers, then you'll see that there are definitely elements to Avel. You move around the map and encounter monsters. Luckily for the young players among us, the monsters don't attack unless you do something yourself. In Avel, unlike most dungeon crawlers, you have more freedom to walk around and explore the beautiful tiles. At the beginning of the game, you certainly don't feel much pressure, but don't underestimate the battle with the beast! The finale of the game brings a completely different feeling to the table, with exciting and challenging final rounds.

If you like playing games with children, enjoy dungeon crawlers or simply like the look of Chronicles of Avel, we can't help but say, this is a game for you! Avel is so popular with so many people that it is almost impossible to go wrong. This is a highly original, well-done family game. The box is packed with components and extras that surprised us. Even for adults, Chronicles of Avel is a world of discovery. This is a game you want to discover!

Dice and the beast
Monster tokens

Pros and cons

+ Simple rules
+ Cooperative
+ Beautiful components and unique extra's
+ Fun theme

- You have to like the dice randomness

Use the code 'SPELLENPLANK' for a 10% discount on your order!

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This game has been kindly gifted to us for review purposes by Rebel Studios.