GTM #219 - Maiden's Quest
by WizKids

Many heroes have entered here before. Wielding weapons and magic, skill and great power, they have all tried, and all failed to save a Maiden kept locked away.

You are that Maiden. Taught etiquette, poise, grace, and little to nothing about battle, weapons… let alone magic. You are thought powerless by others, but they are all wrong. You are armed with your will, your wits, and whatever you can find in your room. A dress. Maybe a mirror or a family heirloom you stashed away. Even your shoes can and will be used to do what no one else has done. Save you.

Starting with little skill or power, your raw determination and intellect will assist you in saving yourself… and maybe even others along the way. Time to take matters into your own hands!

Maiden’s Quest by WizKids is a unique game that can be played solo, cooperatively or competitively with 1-2 players (or more with multiple copies of the game). Each player will lead their Maiden down through a tower. If they either escape the tower or defeat the Captor who has imprisoned them, they win.

Each player constructs a 30-50 card deck made up of a Maiden, her health and her equipment combined with her Captor and the contents of the tower. Cards are cycled by sending them from the front to the back of the deck, which is called Cellaring. Players stop along the way to Encounter an Obstacle, upgrade the Maiden, fight her Captor or even find an escape. Because of an innovative spin-and-flip mechanism, each card can represent up to four different Obstacles or items.

All cards start in their “normal” state. As cards are Encountered, players have the choice to run or engage. If they run, they will have to downgrade one or more cards, moving them into progressively worse states from damaged to dangerous or even destroyed. If they engage, they fan five cards and compare the icons on those cards to the Obstacle. Losing an Encounter will almost certainly hurt worse than running, while winning flips the Encounter over to provide card upgrades, powerful game-changing treasures, or maybe even an ally.

As the deck is cycled, the Rest card, which begins the game at the bottom, will be revealed. The Rest card stops the current Encounter, shuffles the deck, and then increases the tower level. Tower level determines which cards in the deck are Encountered, so play increases in difficulty, allowing a progressive tower or dungeon adventure all in the palm of one’s hand.

When playing co-op, the active player explores their deck until coming to an Encounter. They then choose how many of their and their ally’s cards are used in the 5-card fan. The trick is they can see their ally’s top card. Rewards and penalties are split, but in the end, everyone must escape to win.

In competitive mode, each player bids on how many cards they need to win an Encounter. The player who bids the lowest numbers reaps all the rewards and penalties for that Encounter.

What makes the game truly different than any other card or board game out there is that Maiden’s Quest is built around the “Handmaid” game engine. In addition to being able to be played without a surface, it can be played for short amounts of time (a few seconds) per Encounter and then stowed in a pocket or bag, to be continued over the course of the day. The game also allows players to jump in and out of other people’s games to team up at any time, even for just a few seconds, after which both players go their separate ways. Special cards even offer rewards when teaming up with unique players. So, at a game store, convention, or other gatherings, players can jump in and out of multiple people’s games, granting a truly exciting and unique experience.The game comes with a rulebook and 163 cards, including 8 unique Maidens, each granting different abilities, 20 health cards, 44 item cards (representing over 150 different items), 10 saviors, 10 treasures, 45 Obstacles, and 10 Captors, who have unique abilities which can drastically change game play. 

Anytime, anywhere repeatable play, and unique mechanics aren’t the only exciting things found in the box. Over 75 pieces of beautiful art, humorous quotes, reference cards for each player and a rulebook with many examples take this progressive tower adventure experience to the “next level.” 

So, enjoy the solo play, have friends come over and join at any time, or head out to the local gaming spot to enjoy meeting and playing with as many people as you want. It’s all here in one box. Stow the game away whenever something else grabs your attention and jump back in later in the day or week! Pick up Maiden’s Quest at a FLGS this summer!