The Adventurers–The Pyramid of Horus

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imageBy Dale Medhurst

Ever fancied taking on the role of an intrepid treasure-hunter, dodging the deadly traps and escaping with untold riches? Welcome to the world of the Adventurers, the Pyramid of Horus.

In the board game from the prolific board game company, Fantasy Flight Games, up to six players take on the role of an adventurer, each with his, or her, own history and special game ability. Each round players search the tomb, represented on a rather swish game board, looking for treasure of varying value. But, sometimes, instead of treasure they will uncover a poisonous scorpion or snake or savage crocodile.

As they take wounds, or become more encumbered by booty, players will find they can move less,search for fewer items. Players discover how many actions they can perform by rolling a dice at the beginning of each round. The less wounds they have or treasure they carry, the more they can usually do. This soon becomes a problem when they can only move one square and they have to reach the tomb exit before it is sealed forever by the massive blocks that fall from the ceiling at the end of each round..

Oh, did I forget to mention the giant slabs of stone that fall onto the board each round?

Well, after all players have performed their action, a block of stone (well, plastic) is taken from the side of the table. This is turned over and on it’s bottom is a number. This number matches a square on the game board where the block is placed. This can have two effects: landing on a player, giving them another imagewound( argh!) or blocking the exit. If the latter happens, it’s a case of “Game over,man!” Anyone still inside the tomb at this point has lost, buried alive.

Those who got out before that fatal block comes crashing down counts the treasure values on the cards they have collected and the person with the highest score, wins! Voila!

Then, there’s three mummies shuffling about the furtherest points, protecting the most valuable treasures, the statues of four Egyptian gods, which when gathered in sets are the most bountiful loot but are hidden by locked gates that players must spend time picking but rolling a sequence of dice in a Yahtzee-style. Anyway, that covers most the rules…

The game is gorgeous to look at. The figures that come with it are great and the cards are great stock, even if they are that small, fiddly size that Fantasy Flight insist on using. In fact, the look and feel of the game would appeal to most, especially kids. The art is beautiful, one of the things that originally drew me to the game’s predecessor, the Temple of Chac.

The game is pretty fast; if anyone gets analysis paralysis here,they need a slap!

The tension as the path to the exit becomes even tighter is tangible and players start wondering: who’s going to be first to crack. When that exit is finally blocked, there was a mixture of laughter and horror in the game I played with my family. As far as I’m concerned, a lot of laughter and shouting during a game is a sign of people having fun and isn’t that we play games, mostly?

There are two minuses to this game.

Firstly, you can buy some lovely painted minis to go with the game but these cost nearly £25! However, this is a personal bugbear, and the unpainted figs are great sculpts.

The main problem is that this game seems to pretty much do what Incan Gold or Diamant do but at twice the price and twice the set-up time. Sure, the Adventurers is prettier to look at but I kind of feel this sheen will fade over time and given the choice, it would be easier to play Incan with
similar results. They’re both great push-your-luck games but Incan is smaller, quicker and cheaper.

Summary: A fun game that kids will love but others do it better.

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