Do you remember Labyrinth? No, not the David Bowie movie, and not that place where Theseus fought the minotaur. I’m talking about this toy, where you used knobs to tilt the platform and try to navigate the ball towards the goal without falling in one of the many holes. Slide Quest is essentially that, but cooperative. Each player will take a side and can tilt that side of the board up, in a quest to navigate the heroic Knight on a quest through up to 20 various levels, facing obstacles and enemies as he goes. Can you work together to achieve victory in this fast and frantic game?
Slide Quest is very easy, gameplay wise. To set up, you put the four levers on each side of the box bottom and balance the platform on top of them. Then, decide whether you want to tackle all 20 maps in a grand quest or a subset of 5. Then, put the first map of your chosen selection on the board and populate it with the indicated obstacles: rocks, arches, fences, and enemies. The goal on most levels is to guide the knight along the line from start to finish while avoiding obstacles and falling in pits. For some levels you will need to push guards or bosses into specific pits without falling into them yourself. Once you complete a level, remove everything from the map, remove the map from the board, rinse, and repeat with the next one! The hero has health that you lose when falling in a hole or knock over dynamite, and you can gain health back by moving over one of the hearts printed on the map. The game ends either when you complete all of the maps or the knight runs out of health. Can you guide him to victory?
If some gamers see cartoony art on a game box, decide it’s for kids, and then gently put it aside, Slide Quest is the best example for looking beyond the label. Branded as a video game in board game form, Slide Quest requires cooperation, patience, and dexterity to conquer each level, with obstacles and bad guys preventing you from reaching your goal. Since I have very little of the three above-listed skills, I wasn’t sure how good I would be at the game, but I was willing to give it a shot. I expected to come into gameplay for some good, silly fun but quickly found there was more to the game than I expected. I mean, there was absolutely some good, silly fun, but as gameplay continued, there was a profound need for communication, quick reflexes, trial and error, and concentration.
Since Ethan and I play a lot of coops two-player, I expected to do reasonably well while playing, but the game was not without challenge. Each level introduces obstacles placed in new and challenging ways and enemies to thwart your advancement, breaking our streak and causing us to play some levels multiple times to succeed. While we didn’t find any level too challenging to pass, there was enough strategy in playing out some of these levels that we had to develop a full plan before we were even able to start. Before our state entered quarantine, we were able to bring Slide Quest to a local game night and asked for a few volunteers to play along with us. We were able to get a full four players (and a few spectators) and planned on playing just a few levels. The thing was, we were having so much fun, we just kept playing!
Slide Quest has the right amount of challenge without being too complicated and is a fun spectator game. And while playing with two players gave the feel of using a controller, a full group was a great exercise in cooperation. While I would recommend this game if you have kiddos in the family, don’t pass it up if you need more dexterity games on your shelf too!
Slide Quest is a fast and fun family weight game from Blue Orange. It is a cooperative dexterity game, which is a little-explored genre, and I think it pulls off what it sets out to do well. As fitting for a family game, it is super easy to set up, teach, and play. Setting up the game and switching between maps takes a matter of minutes. Learning and playing the game is easy and intuitive as well, though mastering moving the knight as you want may take a bit of practice. Fortunately, you can practice solo, or with any number of players up to 4. Having played at all player counts, I think it works pretty well at all of them, surprisingly so. Solo is perhaps the easiest, since you’re able to use one or two levers at a time to move the knight just a bit and let him settle down to plan your next move. With four players the game is more chaotic, with everyone needing to coordinate their moves together, which makes it good for the whole family. Lastly, the big selling point of the game is that it has a toy/fun factor. All of the components are really fun to fiddle with, and just provide a great experience!
Probably the biggest drawback of this game is that it is very simple and not necessarily suited for more serious or heavy gamers. While it is fun to take 15 minutes between heavy games for a fun, silly distraction, I can see how that might not be for everyone. But, that’s not what the game claims to be, so I can’t really fault it there. One potential drawback of the game though is that with only the 20 included maps, things might start to get stale sooner or later. You might be able to keep the game fresh with the free app, which includes timers and music and allows you to vary the difficulty. Still, once you master maneuvering the knight through all 20 levels, there isn’t much left to do. But, that might be easier said than done, as the levels can get pretty challenging, especially while timed. So if you want a fun, quick, family game that you can break out every once in a while, give Slide Quest a look!