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Board Game Spotlight

 

Cheese Quest: The Quest for Cheese - A Kickstarter Preview

The floor creaks and you stop. Slowly, you look left, and then right. You’re alone; or so you think. A massive shadow immerges from behind you. You tremble, and your whiskers twitch. You hear a low, throaty rumble. Time is running out! The cheese is in your grasp but you drop it, there’s no time to waste. You take off, weaving left and right, scurrying as quickly as you can. The cat is close behind! Up ahead, you notice a small crack in the wall. The cat swipes at you as you jump at the last second and barely manage to squeeze through the hole. The cat hisses and paws at the hole but for now you’re safe. Your family hungrily awaits your return with cheese; wasting no time, you scamper along and search for more.

PUBLISHER: self published
DESIGNER: Phil Schadt
PLAYERS: 2-4
TIME: 45-60 MIN

Introduction to Cheese Quest: The Quest for Cheese

You’ve finally found a place to call home! There’s a safe place for the nest and plenty of cheese lying around. There are just two problems: you aren’t the only mouse here and, worse yet, a bunch of cats are prowling about— but it’s dinner time and nothing’s going to stop you from stealing that cheese! Be crafty, strategic, and fast!
 
- Kickstarter Product Page

 

Cheese quest is a light-hearted and fast paced family game for 2-4 players. Players will compete to bring back cheese to their nest to feed their mice families! Do you have what it takes to win? Will your family go hungry? Act quick! The player who is crafty, strategic and cunning will win.

 

How to Play

Cheese Quest is played until one player returns 2 cheese pieces back to the nest. Each player’s turn consists of 3 steps, which are broken down into handy player reference cards.

At the beginning of the game, each player will draw 2 pantry cards and place their mouse in the center nest hexagon.

On your Turn

  1. At the beginning of a turn, the active player removes any Yarn or Shadow Tokens they placed on their last turn. If there are none, proceed to step 2.
  2. The active player may perform UP TO three actions in any combination, performing the same action multiple times if desired. There are five possible actions for a player to perform:
  • Move your mouse 1 space to any adjacent space not separated by a wall.
  • Pick up a Cheese token. The mouse must occupy the same space as the loose cheese.
  • Steal any card from the Pantry. (Do not refill the pantry as you draw cards). Players are limited to 7 cards in their hands.
  • Play a card from your hand and follow the printed instructions.
  • Disable any obstacle on the board. To disable a trap, your mouse must be adjacent to an obstacle. Discard two pantry cards with the matching trap symbol to remove it from the board.

Step 3: At the end of your turn, refill the pantry. If there are no cards in the draw pile, the Pantry is empty and does NOT get refilled!

4th Wall Break: Throughout the game, your mouse will encounter various dangers. You will need to be sneaky to avoid them in order to secure your victory!

 

The Pantry

This is where players can draw cards to activate cats, place debris and use special cards!

Cats

Cats are represented by black tokens on the board. Cats may be moved by players through cards stolen from the pantry. If a cat shares a space with a mouse, the mouse is spooked! The mouse will drop any cheese it was carrying on the space. If two Cats ever share the same space as a mouse, the mouse will not only drop any cheese it was carrying but will also scurry back to the nest!

Obstacles

  • There are two different types of obstacles in Cheese Quest: Debris and Traps.
  • Cats and Mice cannot enter this space. It must be removed from the game by disabling a trap.

 

Traps

The Snap Trap is at the top of the image with a cheese on it!

The Snap Trap is at the top of the image with a cheese on it!

 

There are three traps in the game: Snap, Glue and Humane.

  • When a mouse sets off a Snap Trap, they will drop any cheese they are carrying and immediately return to the nest and the trap is removed from the board.
  • A mouse on a glue trap may not use the move action until the trap has been disabled.
  • When a mouse enters a space with a humane trap, it drops any cheese it’s carrying and the mouse and trap are removed from the board. The mouse is placed in the nest at the beginning of their next turn and the player will have ONE LESS action that turn.

 

How to Win!

Collect two cheeses and return them to the nest! A mouse may only carry one cheese at a time and must return each to the nest in order to win.

 

 

What did I love?

Cheese Quest is a fun, frantic and light game for families. I really enjoyed how streamlined it is and that it’s simple enough for gamers of all ages 8+ to understand and enjoy. Although it is light, there are strategic decisions to make with the cards you draw and can play, especially when deciding to use them to disable traps or to set traps. Sometimes the “amazing” strategic decision you make placing a trap will come back to haunt you if you don’t plan accordingly and you cut off your own route of escape later in the game. I love that the included hexagons are double sided and allow for a lot of variety in creating the map each game. The mice and the cheese cubes are neat components. I like that the cheese fits on top of the colored mouse base.

4th Wall Break: You can make the game as competitive or relaxed as you want. The group dynamic will certainly play a part in how you play! 

 

 

Just a little too much text for me.

Just a little too much text for me.

What I didn’t like

The randomness of the pantry draw in correlation to the strength of some of the cards was a bit steep in my opinion. Though there are more than enough of each card type, sometimes the luck of the draw can determine the winner. Using the cats were the strongest option available when trying to seal a victory. A well-placed trap helps as well, but utilizing the cats is fundamental to success, and that all comes down to drawing the prowl cards from the pantry to activate a cat. A few of the cards felt cluttered with text though this is a prototype and the final version is subject to change.

 

 

What would I like to see?

The prototype I received was incomplete as far as art but the completed art samples included are great; I’m excited to see the remainder of the game and the stretch goals that accompany the project! As far as thinking outside the box, I think a team variant would be fun or 1 vs many e.g. pit a player as the cats against the players of the mice.

4th Wall Break: You will like Cheese Quest if you enjoy light fillers you can play with your entire family with a little bit of “take that.”
 

Final Thoughts

Cheese Quest’s length of play works for its weight. It doesn’t overstay it’s welcome but offers enough value to satisfy players who are looking for a fun, family game night. I don't see Cheese Quest seeing a ton of table time with an all adult crowd or a group looking for heavier games, but it will be a hit with kids. Even with the luck of the draw from the Pantry, the game is an enjoyable way to spend time with your family.

If you are looking for a complex, intricate strategy game involving mice that run around collecting cheese whilst avoiding cats and traps, you should likely look elsewhere. However, if you enjoy light-hearted fun where you can scare mice using cats, trap mice in glue and collect cheese in a quick, 30-45 minute game Cheese Quest is for you, so act fast!

All art and components shown above are subject to change.

Cheese Quest will sneak into the Kickstarter Pantry on September 12th! 

You can follow the project here!

Druid City Games and the Board Game Spotlight were paid to advertise, market and preview this game. Our opinions are our own and we remain objective as we play and preview our games for the board game community.  We reserve all rights to reject games that do not meet our standards.