I highly recommend Thunderstone Quest and the Ripples in Time expansion quest to fans of deckbuilding.
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG)
Designer: Mike Elliott, Bryan Reese, Mark Wootton
Artist: Jason Engle, Matt Paquette, David Su
Game Type: Deck Building, Dungeon Exploration, Hand Management
Initial Year of Release: 2018
Age Range: 14+
Expected Playtime: 60-90
Number of Players: 2-4
Theme and What is it?
The 5th questline in Thunderstone Quest brings the previous adventure stories to a new point of chaos. Ripples in Time starts with the battle against Miricelle and the destruction of the Scionic Annals. As the book is destroyed, the power being channeled through it snaps back to the land it came from. The energies Ripple through Time and cause storms, volcanoes, geysers, and earthquakes to unleash throughout the material plane in all time streams.
With the flood of energy, new magicks have been birthed. New heroes must rise up to defend the old world and rid themselves of Doom itself. The Foundations of the World have been shaken and broken. Not all is lost, not yet. With this conclusion of this epilogue quest, the main storyline of Thunderstone Quest ceases. What new quests will come next? I am excited to find out!
The basic flow of a Thunderstone Quest game has players choosing to take their hand of cards to the Village or to the Dungeon on their turn. Depending on where they go, they can activate different powers on the cards in their hand.
If visiting the village, players can heal, buy a card from the market, level up one hero from their hand by spending experience, and the special action of the specific village location they visit.
If visiting the dungeon, players will use weapons, spells, and items to equip their Heroes for battle then travel through the rooms of the dungeon to get to their chosen target monster. Some rooms have effects just for travelling through, and many require light sources to be able to move into. Monsters may have before or after battle effects that will impact player decisions heavily.
Ripples in Time quest expansion offers new variety of market cards and some truly villainous monster effects to overcome. There are no drastically different gameplay changes, just loads of cool combinations to explore.
Most Thunderstone Quest lines have 3 setups with a story moment before each one. Ripples in Time only has 2 setups and only the first comes with a story moment. The players must tell the rest of the story through their own adventures. That said, a brief look at the different hero abilities and market cards gives a promising set of combinations available. New setups and new enemies to overcome promise great gaming sessions to come.
Game Build Quality
Ripples in Time features 3 new tiles for dungeon setup, 6 new heroes, 4 items, 4 spells, 4 weapons, 6 enemy sets, 2 new treasures, and an absolutely terrifying guardian. I am quite satisfied with the quality of the components. They are exactly what you would expect having already bought the base game with many of the same parts.
My favorite card art from any game is contained within the Thunderstone Quest ensemble. The Giant Rat in the wilderness is clearly an ROUS and it is attacking a character who needs no introduction to those familiar with ROUSs. There is nothing new to say about this quest that you do not already know from experience with the base Thunderstone Quest game. The artwork has fantastical items, monsters, and adventurers featured. The artwork is not cartoonish nor is it hyper realistic. I really enjoy the style it gives being clearly game art without leaving any room to wonder what the item depicted is.
My opinions of Ripples in Time are basically the same as all the rest of Thunderstone Quest setups. I love it. If you have enjoyed your base game setups it is a no brainer that you are going to have a blast with the new combinations available. Just know that the enemy sets are devious. Each different strategy will find some enemies they will favor while other players might be all but unable to deal with them.
Age Range & Weight
14+ is a little high for the content of the game. There are some thematic violence and monsters but that is likely 10-12 range instead of 14. The difficulty of learning Thunderstone Quest is higher than most deckbuilding games. Dominion, ascension, clank, and other mainstream deckbuilders don’t take much time to learn and get into. Thunderstone quest offers distinctly different village and dungeon phases with a number of steps to follow in each phase in addition to the many built in card combinations where activation timing matters.
I highly recommend Thunderstone Quest and the Ripples in Time expansion quest to fans of deckbuilding. I do caution you to be a player who enjoy complex card interactions and making decisions with a bit of a risk. The best Thunderstone Quest players will be willing to commit to the dungeon when they have a few tricks to draw more cards but are gambling they can pull it off in the end. These extra cards will allow all sorts of new combinations with the older cards and be pleasant pop ups in epic Thunderstone mode.