A few weeks ago a giant package arrived at the Troll in the Corner offices, and it contained a giant box of deck building happiness – Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin! I’ve now sat down and played this through several times and I’m ready to give you my honest assessment of the newest version of Thunderstone. To start things off on the right foot let me just say that I like this game a lot, but others in my gaming circles were a bit more on the fence. Here’s why!
Thunderstone Advance is a deck building game somewhat similar to Dominion, or Ascension, or many of the other deck building games out there. Thunderstone Advance differs though in theme and mechanics. You’re playing the part of an entire adventuring group, bent on building up your characters and equipment to enter the dungeons and fight your way to the fabled Thunderstone. You start off with a deck of 12 cards, drawing six per turn. You purchase new cards to add to your deck which allow you to defeat monsters or buy even more cool stuff. In defeating the monsters resident in the dungeon, you gain XP with which to do cool things, and accrue points that will allow you to (hopefully) win the game. The deck building aspect of the mechanics are similar to other games, with the difference being your choice between acquiring new cards, or using your current deck to go defeat some nasty creatures.
Are you ready to go shopping and then kick some monster butt?
In Thunderstone, at the beginning of each turn, you must make a choice. Are you going to venture into the dungeon area to take on some nasty things? Or will you head into town to do a bit of shopping, perhaps pick up a bite to eat or a new spell? You can also choose to do neither of these and either place cards from your hand into your discard pile, or remove one card from the game permanently.