The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is from the same company that designs the Pathfinder role playing game. The card game is a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players (up to 6 if you get the expansions). Each player’s character is made for a deck of cards, stats, and class (familiar to all roleplayers). You’ll improve your character (specifically the deck you use) by earning or finding new spells, items, upgrades, and other loot to change your deck.
According to Paizo, “the adventure begins with a Base Set containing nearly 500 cards, including the first chapter of an Adventure Path that offers your characters interesting locations to explore, monsters to fight, and villains to hunt down, as well as piles of weapons, spells, armor, loot, and everything you need to build you own unique character deck.”
Getting into the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is for only dedicated players. The full Adventure Path will take you months to play (assuming a season a week like my friends). The base game is only around $60. However, the base game is only the first of many parts to the Adventure Path. With 6 expansion decks at $20 a piece, the full adventure will be over $200. If you want extra characters, items, and the ability to have up to 6 players, it’s another extra expansion. However, there is enough content to last 7-12 months depending on how frequently you play.
Pros: I enjoyed the mix of a card game and the idea of leveling up and gaining new equipment. The story was a little thin, but most card games, if they even have a story, ignore it during the actual game play. The full Adventure Path can take awhile to play. The group I play with has been playing almost weekly for three months, and we are not finished with part 1 yet. At the rate we are going, when we finish, we will feel as though we accomplished something. New players can join at any point and other party members can sit out if they can play that session (although if you sit out you miss out on possible loot).
Con: I have two main complaints. First is the price. Yes, the game is expensive if you want to do the full Adventure Path (about $200). If you are a fan of collectible card games or miniature war games, you may not have sticker shock. For others, here is my reasoning. If my friends and I are actually going to play it through, then the price is fair for the total hours play (100+). If you think you will only play a few times, only get the base game. It’s much cheaper, and you can try it out.
My second complaint is the potentially repetitive nature of the game. Once you learn the game play, each session consists of using your cards to defeat other cards until the boss creature is found and destroyed. Unlike Magic: the Gathering, there doesn’t seem to be too many synergistic decks you can make out of found loot. Rangers take range weapon cards; paladins take swords, and so on. However, we are still early in the game, and that may change.
In the end, the question is, “is this a fun game and worth the price?” My answer is yes. After you get over the potential sticker shock, the game will provide, by my estimation, over 100 hours of game play. This is a card game with loot that carries from session to session and the ability to add and drop players from session to session. My friends I and are looking forward to the day we finish the game and have a feeling of accomplishment we’ve never had with a cooperative card game before.