Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance, Board Game Review


Thunderstone is a deck-constructing sport through Mike Elliott, posted in 2009, 12 months after Dominion hit the market, creating a frenzy with the advent of a hot mixture of game mechanics: deck constructing and card drafting. In games using those mechanics, players pick out playing cards from a common pool laid out on the table and try to regularly build the nice deck of cards with which they will accumulate the maximum victory factors. The topic of such video games might also differ however the major idea remains identical. With this evaluate we can take a look at 2 games, the original Thunderstone launched in 2009 and the brand new Thunderstone Advance, that’s a brand new advanced implementation of the original sport.

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Game Overview

In Thunderstone, you are the leader of a heroic party of adventurers arriving at Barrowsdale, near Grimhold Dungeon in which the primary Thunderstone, an artifact of evil power, is stored. You searching for to find the Thunderstone, however, a good way to accomplish that, you have to conflict powerful monsters that guard the dungeon. You should construct a deck of playing cards, inclusive of adventurers, guns, magic spells, meals and other items.

Before starting the game, you have to set up three one-of-a-kind form of decks. Remember that during each recreation of Thunderstone you won’t be the usage of all cards available in the sport, however, every time the cards you use might be one of a kind:

Dungeon deck: There are 8 specific training of monsters. You choose 3 or more lessons at random, take all monsters belonging to these training and shuffle them to shape the dungeon deck. Shuffle the special Thunderstone card with the lowest 10 cards of the Dungeon deck. Now you are equipped to populate the hall that’s the region wherein you fight the monsters, placed subsequent to the Dungeon deck. There are three ranks of monsters inside the Hall Area. The card farthest from the Dungeon deck is rank 1 and the one closest is rank three. These ranks are populated with monsters from the Dungeon deck. The rank of every monster is associated with a specific amount of Light penalty, subtracted from the heroes assault electricity. This detail of the sport attempts to simulate a real state of affairs in a dungeon, wherein the farther you develop into it, the much less light there is, inhibiting you to properly see the monsters, for that reason lowering the energy of your attack. Each point of mild penalty subtracts 2 factors of electricity out of your attack. Monsters placed in rank 1, provide a light penalty of 1 (consequently attack -2), monsters in rank 2 give 2 points of light penalty (accordingly assault -4) and people in rank three deliver three factors of mild penalty (thus assault -6).

Upon beginning the container of Thunderstone, you notice a number of cards and a few XP tokens. Artwork at the playing cards is lovely and particular. And then comes the hard task of studying the guidelines. Although the rulebook is properly written, there may be a lot of facts in it that one wishes some time to absorb it and put it into use, particularly if you in no way played a similar game, like Dominion. But even when you have, Thunderstone presents superior mechanics in conjunction with good sized terminology and can, in the beginning, discourage you from playing it. Of path, matters get lots better if there’s someone willing to give an explanation for the fundamentals to you, this way eliminating the burden to study all of the 24-web page manuals.Thunderstone Advance makes a higher first effect by way of providing a board (it’s also a double-sided one), which lets you easier get worried in the sport and apprehend what is happening. There are slots drawn on the board for monsters inside the Dungeon Hall in addition to village playing cards and all appear better organized and gamer pleasant. The -sided board serves as a way for each beginner and superior gamers to experience the game enjoy. When you reach the factor of knowing how the sport works, gameplay is smooth and you will soon locate yourself very engaged and captured via the theme, striving to discover the right combinations of cards to build an operating, and with any luck triumphing, deck!


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The components of Thunderstone are simplest cards and some XP tokens. Cards have stunning and carefully designed art work. In Thunderstone Advance, things get even higher. There is likewise a gameboard, which gives a feel of organization and cards are redesigned with more variety in colors, even more, precise pictures and greater clean card format. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: 8/10)


Gameplay is interesting and gets you absolutely concerned. The recreation mechanics are properly-thought, blending the subject matter with sports movements and abilities. I suppose the idea of the usage of the light/darkness element is a genuinely remarkable one as is the ability to level-up your heroes with XP gained from beating monsters within the Dungeon Hall. There are many extra small details that enhance gameplay like dungeon outcomes and spoils, and all show that gameplay has been designed very carefully. However, throughout setup, it’s miles viable that weird mixtures of village or monster playing cards will arise, making the sport difficult to overcome, or incredibly dull. Good information is that this hassle has been eliminated in Thunderstone Advance, which affords precise quantity of slots for unique village card kinds, as well as monsters of different stages. In Thunderstone strengthen the greater option of “preparing” as a game motion, permits you to design your next hand and gives more flexibility and the capability to utilize better your strategy. Moreover, the replacement of Militia by using the more green Regulars is a totally critical development, allowing players to go into the dungeon quicker and quite reducing the lifestyles of “lifeless playing cards” during past due to recreation. The electricity of the sport lies in developing the nice method to win, by using the use of the excellent mixtures of playing cards and within the right quantities. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: 8/10)

Learning Curve:

The game has an instead steep learning curve. The first recreation will ultimate a lot extra than 60 minutes and you probably will should move lower back to the rulebook and look up a few information throughout the sport. However, after this primary game, things will run smoothly and you may likely experience glad for all those small information in the sport, that makes it a chunk complicated, however, in that way, greater exciting too. 6/10


The detail of topic is dominant right here, in comparison to Dominion, and you constantly feel the urge and anxiety to reach similarly down the dungeon and beat the ones despicable monsters. There are many factors that make contributions to the sense of immersion just like the light/darkness detail, curing illnesses/curses with Clerics and more. 8/10


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With dozens of various heroes, monsters, and village playing cards, no games can be the same. Randomizer playing cards can be used at some stage in sports setup, to randomly pick out heroes, monsters and village cards to be able to be to be had in the game. If you want the deck constructing/card drafting mechanic of the game, you’ll possibly spend many hours gambling this recreation and revel in it a lot. A number of expansions had been launched and extra could be released inside the destiny, bring to the sport extra heroes, monsters and village cards in addition to new card types, for this reason enhancing replayability. 8/10