Fortune and Glory the Cliffhanger game, a boardgame for 1-8 players, by Flying Frog Productions (2011)

The torchlight flickered against the dark walls of the temple. It looked like no one had been inside for maybe hundreds of years. The ancient map showed two corridors branching off from the main room. Neither of them looked very promising. However at the end of one of them, the Armour of Atlantis would finally be found. Suddenly a portcullis slammed down, the way back sealed off. A maniacal laugh could be heard in the distance, quickly followed by a mocking voice with a thick German accent: “Good luck”. Now for those of you who think this is the opening scene of the new Indiana Jones movie, I am sorry to disappoint you. However I just made this up to help set the tone for the incredibly fun game Fortune and Glory, set in the Pulp Adventure era, and which comes about as close to you starring in a Indiana Jones movie.

Components

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This game is huge. I placed a small cover for a pen in front of the box, just to show you how big this game is. There are so many things included within, that it is impossible to describe them all. I will go over the most important things though. First up is the incredible gameboard, which shows you a world map, and all the places you can visit in your hunt for ancient artifacts. There are over 165 plastic pieces contained inside the box, which include miniatures, gold pieces, temples and a very cool looking Zeppelin. Then there are an enormous amount of cards that are used in a lot of different situations. There are cards that feature the dangers you have to overcome, gear and allies you can buy for your characters, and a lot of other stuff. The cards are made of very sturdy material, and can definitely take a beating. A pretty unique item is a soundtrack cd, which can help you get into the mood when playing the game. Rounding out the game are a whole bunch of counters, dice, and ofcourse a rulebook. The rulebook is a hefty 30 pages long, but written clearly. However it would have been nice to include an index, which could have helped you find certain rules more quickly while playing.

Game overview

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You can play this game in a number of different ways. There is a competitive mode, which means it is pretty much everyone for himself. Then there is the cooperative mode, which as the name implies, has everyone cooperating in trying to beat a certain evil organisation. And you can also play the game solo or in teams. Being mostly a solo player, my review will focus itself on the cooperative mode, which plays pretty much the same on your own, as it does when playing with multiple players.

So what is this game all about? In Fortune and Glory you take on the role of an adventurer who will travel around the world to recover ancient artifacts. While you are doing this, the game itself plays the role of a vile organisation, that wants the artifacts for their own nefarious reasons. Included in the basic game are the Mob and the Nazi factions. The game takes place in the late 1930s, and as such it creates truly a very rich atmosphere. When you finally arrive at the site where an artifact can be found, you have to take a number of tests to recover it. These are incredibly fun, and there are an enormous variety of situations you can encounter. For instance, you might have to solve an ancient puzzle, escape in a car chase, fight a bunch of enemies, the possibilities are endless. All tests are described on the so called danger cards, and resolved by throwing a number of dice.

When you fail a test, the danger card flips to a cliffhanger side, and things become even more dangerous. Just like in the movies, you might find yourself going over the edge of a waterfall, or having to escape from a plane that is going down. If you finally manage to overcome all the tests, you can recover the artifact, and sell it for Fortune, the main objective of the game. Depending on the number of players you have to reach a certain amount of Fortune, before the evil organisation you are fighting against, reaches it’s own goal. Things can become very tense indeed, with you racing across the world, trying to recover a final artifact in order to beat the game.

Difficulty

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Now I am not going to lie to you, this game has a lot of rules. As such it will definitely take you a while to get the hang of this game. I have so far played three sessions, and I still find myself looking through the gamebook trying to look up a particular rule. However, this game is such an incredible amount of fun, that I did not mind this one bit. What helps is just looking at a few great walkthrough videos on YouTube, especially the ones made by the Lonesome Gamer. Not only are they fun to watch, they really help you in learning the game. If you are a casual gamer, you might not like the game as this is definitely not a pick up and play type of game. Sessions can last for three to four hours, and time can be extended if you are playing with more players.

As for winning the game, that is also no easy task, but on my last game I did get close. One thing that can be annoying is the dicerolling. If you are really unlucky with the dice, especially when trying to pass certain tests, you have almost no chance of winning.

The Verdict

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I have had this game in my collection for quite a while now, and I finally got around to playing it. I absolutely love it. There are so many fun situations than can crop up during this game, that not one game is the same. One moment you try to sneak aboard a Nazi Zeppelin, and in another you try to escape from a crumbling temple. Everything can happen in this game, and if you are a lover of the Indiana Jones movies, than this game is really worth checking out. Yes there is a big element of luck involved, I can’t deny that fact, but the game is so much fun to play, that I really did not even care when I failed at another test. All in all I highly recommend this game. Put on your hat, crack your whip, and start the plane….just try to avoid any snakes while you are at it…..

I give Fortune and Glory a 9 out of 10 score.

 

 

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