Super Camelot was a very exciting game. It was fun to see how the game played like a classic video game. There was lots of nostalgia involved with how I responded to the game, but that was not all. Super Camelot is just a solid adventure game.
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Designer: Josh Derksen
Designer: Aron Murch
Designer: Josh Derksen
Artist: Aron Murch
Game Type: Exploration
Initial Year of Release: 2018
Age Range: 13+
Expected Playtime: 30-45
Number of Players: 2-4
Game Type: Pick-up and Deliver
Theme and What is it?
Take part in King Arthurs’s adventure to seek out and discover the location of the fabled Holy Grail, band together as knights of the round table and set out on an epic quest full of danger, treasure and black knights…wait…you thought I was talking about a movie? Sorry to disappoint but this is a review for a board game. A very un-movie-like board game that has 8-bit inspired graphics. No…it’s not a video game based on a movie of the same name. No…it’s not even a board game based on the movie of the same name. It’s just a board game full of danger, treasure and black knights where players take on the role of King Arthur and his famed knights. Now that everything is all cleared up, let’s press on with the review.
Super Camelot is an exploration game in which players seek out treasure and relics to eventually unlock the Holy Grail. Each player selects a hero of Camelot, has their own special ability, and begins their quest at the doorsteps of Camelot. From here they enter tiles that act like screens on old video games. The tiles populate with bushes and monsters when a player enters them and all of those go away when a player leaves. If the player comes back to that tile the baddies and the shrubbery all repopulate. The game has many characteristics of classic top scrolling exploration video games.
As players move through the world, they will encounter creatures that they can slay to gain loot. They can also cut down shrubs to find litter (like gems… who litters gems?!). Players defeat creatures by rolling dice. Score enough hits and the monster dies. If you roll the dice face for loot, the monster also drops loot. Sometimes they drop small keys which open chests that provide even better equipment.
As players explore, they will discover shrines which house ancient relics. There are three different ones. Once a player has collected all three, they return to Camelot and retrieve the Holy Grail and win the game. Or when a player has collected their 40th gem, they win the game (less climatic winning).
I am a huge fan of classic Zelda games. Because of this I was very excited to check out Super Camelot. It is basically an old school Zelda game in board game form. You cut down bushes and enemies to find gems and keys. Those keys are then used to unlock chests, which give powerful items to help you. It contains all of that goodness that made those games so fun.
Super Camelot was really easy to learn. It did have an extended setup process right out of the box because of the 3D bushes. But once they are put together it will go much faster on future setups.
It was very easy to teach. I played with Ally for the first game and she likes classic Zelda games as much as I do, so she totally got the concept. That made it easy. We moved right through the game, only needing to check the rulebook a couple of times to clarify situations.
After we wrapped up game one, we both agreed that we had a winner. Super Camelot will probably make it to our table often.
Game Build Quality
For the most part, all of the components in Super Camelot are great. My one exception to that are the cards. They are not as high quality as I like to see in a game, but they will not receive heavy use. Everything is thick cardboard and will hold up. The 3D bushes are very fun. Also, the castle is 3D. These items make the board pop and it looks awesome.
The graphics (since it’s based on old video games, I will call the artwork graphics) are classic 8-bit. If you are looking for crisp modern graphics you will need to look somewhere else. Super Camelot harkens back to a day when we still had to use our imaginations to fill in what the characters actually looked like. No polish, just hints at what is there. We have to supply the rest.
To be totally honest, I miss those days. Thank goodness for Minecraft making it cool again.
Exploration is king. Move from a space into an unknown tile and what might be waiting for you on that tile is suspenseful and exciting. Finding out you have wandered into one of the relic shrines means you are one step closer to victory.
I also love how the game operates like a classic NES game when you go into and out of tiles. The creatures and landscape repopulate. This will lead to some tough decisions once you discover a new area that may look really tough and you only have one life left. Do you leave and go back to the tile you were just on and face the creatures that you just killed because they will repopulate when you move back? Choices like this were made every day in old videos games.
Age Range & Weight
The publisher age recommendation for Super Camelot is 13+. I am planning on playing this game with my 7 and 10-year-olds. I am not worried about them catching on. They both have played enough games to understand some of the mechanics. I think they should do well with it. I guess you have to judge younger player’s skill level and problem-solving abilities.
As far as weightiness for Super Camelot, I would say it is a lite exploration game. No heavy mechanics are involved, but it has enough going on to make for a fun game for more skilled players.
Super Camelot was a very exciting game. It was fun to see how the game played like a classic video game. There was lots of nostalgia involved with how I responded to the game, but that was not all. Super Camelot is just a solid adventure game. It provided an evening of entertainment and I don’t expect that to be the only evening that I spend playing this game. The modular board and multiple paths to victory means that it will have excellent replay value.
Shoot, I might even throw on one of my all-time favorite movies about a guy and his friends who receive a commandment from God to seek a fabled treasure and while watching that play Super Camelot. Sounds like a perfect evening.
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