Tabletop Tuesday: “Awesome Kingdom” by IDW Games


Get ready to get awesome!

Awesome Kingdom: The Tower of Hateskull, designed by Kevin Wilson (Descent, Arkham Horror, CHEW), will have the players taking charge of one of the “Awesome Ocho”, a band of heroes on a journey through a heavy-metal themed dungeon crawl searching for untold riches. This tongue-in-cheek dungeon crawl card game delivers three rounds of highly strategic laughter in an over-the-top setting of only the AWESOMEST proportions. (And awesomest IS a word. I’m a writer. I totally know these things.)

In Awesome Kingdom, Lord Hateskull yearns to spend more time with his wife, Lady Hateskull, and decides to have some heroes over to entertain them … by pitting these heroes against only the most vile, disgusting, horrible, and totally not awesome creatures imaginable. The players, as stated before, are one of the “Awesome Ocho” and have decided to accept the invitation. Smart move, right? It’s your job to survive three days in the dungeons while racking up the most riches and awesome points you can and then escape with your life.

To do so, you’ll need to collect treasures, defeat baddies of only the craziest bad, and avoid the Tower’s deadly traps all to rack up awesome points that, providing you rack up the most, get you not only the win, but the title of “MOST AWESOME HERO!” Oh, yeah, and you’ll be competing against your fellow Ochos to collect these treasures. Some, like the Clergeon, are going to help you (and get themselves awesome points in doing so) while others like the Killsassin (who gets points by backstabbing you) aren’t going to be as friendly. One thing is for sure though and that’s the fact that even though all of you are part of the Awesome Ocho, everyone will still be looking out for Numero Uno. With other folk like the Ragebarian, Paladude, Longtrudger, and Prestidigimancer, that’s going to be a tough gig.

I mean, come on, it’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes you for the sheer amount of awesomocity that you radiate. (Dudes, come on, these are real words. Stop judging.)

The art is a mesh of heavy metal and Thundarr the Barbarian and helps embellish both the satirical setting and humor that make up Awesome Kingdom. It reminded me quite a bit of Munchkin or Killer Bunnies in that regard, but something about Awesome Kingdom just felt more …. awesome than either of those two. Picking the game up at the store, not even the barrister recognized it, and it felt good to find something that no one had ever heard of, but enjoyed just as much all the same.

It is not a serious game and if you’re one of those people who go in expecting some sort of deep strategy, I’m sorry to say that you’ll be severely disappointed. The randomness of the dungeon cards that get drawn or where the other players move will throw any sort of strategy right out of the window. The only complaint I really have about the game is the lack of variety in some of the dungeon cards, but recent announcements on expansions to the game have helped quench that thirst.

Still… Try the game out. I guarantee you’ll have an AWESOME time.

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