Publisher: Renegade Games Studios
Designer: Jonathan Ying
Artist: Victoria Ying
Playtime: 30-60 Minutes
Bargain Quest invites players into a charming fantasy world where they must run their own item shops and equip heroes to defeat menacing monsters. With whimsical artwork and a promise of economic strategy, it’s a game that immediately draws you in. But does it deliver on its promise of an engaging experience? Let’s break it down.
A Brief How To Play
The rules of Bargain Quest are relatively straightforward, making it accessible to a wide range of players. Each player operates a shop and aims to attract heroes, equip them with items, and send them off to battle monsters for rewards.
The game revolves around players drafting cards that they intend to sell by passing them around their hands. Players will then choose one item that they would like to place at their storefront (This item can’t be sold) to attract an adventurer to sell too. Every card has a suit, that matches the adventurers, and these heroes can only get items with matching suits. After players attract their customers, they sell their items, collect the money, and send the adventurers to fight a monster. Players are awarded victory points for having their hero damage the monster and stay alive doing so.
After this, players will upgrade their shop with employees and shop upgrades, and continue until three monsters are slain. The player with the most victory points wins.
Pacing and Interactivity
Here’s where Bargain Quest stumbles a bit. While there’s always something to do, the gameplay can feel sluggish. Turns tend to be lengthy, but unfortunately, not particularly exciting. The lack of engaging decisions can make it feel like you’re just going through the motions. Furthermore, the outcome of monster battles can feel too luck-dependent, which can be frustrating. The battles also just aren’t engaging.
On the upside, the game fosters interactivity among players. You’ll rely on your opponents to do their part, and there’s room for strategic play in drafting and passing cards. However, the interactions tend to lean more toward efficiency rather than meaningful positive or negative experiences.
Bargain Quest boasts a wide variety of items, heroes, and monsters, which should theoretically enhance replayability. However, the core gameplay loop remains largely unchanged with each playthrough. This means that, while there’s a wealth of content, the novelty might wear thin if you don’t fall in love with the game. It’s a title that may not have the staying power for everyone.
Theme and Components
One area where Bargain Quest truly shines is in its theme and components. The artwork is undeniably charming, with a cute and whimsical style that gives the game a lot of personality. The cards themselves have a pleasant tactile quality, enhancing the overall experience. The shop cards are especially well-designed and unique, adding to the immersion.
Additionally, the game’s components align perfectly with the fantasy shopkeeping theme. From the flavorful descriptions of items, heroes, and employees to the mechanics that mirror the theme, Bargain Quest succeeds in creating a cohesive and engaging atmosphere.
Bargain Quest captures the essence of running a fantasy item shop with its charming theme and well-crafted components, but falters in terms of pacing and excitement during gameplay.
Pacing and Interaction
Theme and Components