Review of Slide Quest
- Designed by Nicolas Bourgoin and Jean-François Rochas
- Published by Blue Orange Games
- Players: 1-4
- Playing time: 15-45 minutes
While crowds at Essen might convey a different impression, boardgaming remains a niche hobby compared to watching football, fad dieting, or criticizing politicians. Within our niche, there are smaller niches: wargaming, trick-taking games, and so on. Then, there are truly tiny niches. The small genre of “heavily themed dexterity games” is one of these. 2010’s Catacombs combined flicking pieces with a dungeon crawl, and 2011’s Ascending Empires did the same with spaceships to win galactic dominance. In 2019, Slide Quest combines RPG elements with a tilt maze. Yes, RPG elements … with a tilt maze.
The Basic Idea
In Slide Quest, you’ll play a simple role-playing-game in tilting table form. The box of the game cleverly transforms into the base of a tilt maze, with four levers controlling the angle of the tilt. On top of the four levers sits a plastic board with a series of holes, on top of which one of a number of dungeon levels, so to speak, are placed. Small pieces of terrain attach to the board, such as arches and barriers. Players cooperate to move a rolling hero through the level, avoiding holes, bashing bad guys into those holes, and avoiding dynamite. Like a classic RPG, your hero has health which can run out and be upgraded during levels. The game includes a series of mini-campaign “worlds”, each made up of five levels. The levels hook together with a tied geography-based theme, such as ocean, mountain, or castle. The game is accompanied by an app that runs a timer for the levels, so unless you ignore the app, simply going slow and careful isn’t an option.
Slide Quest is good, family-level entertainment. (I’m approaching this from a family gaming perspective, because we played it at home rather than with a game group.) I don’t know that it will revolutionize the gaming world, but it’s a clever idea, well-executed. The artwork is charming and captures the light-hearted fun of the game. The components are sturdy, and despite ample use by my children ages 13 to 4 has held up without any problem. It is satisfying to finish a level, and like a good cooperative game, can be frustrating when playing with someone with a different plan. The kids enjoyed the game mostly without the timer, which adds considerably to the difficulty.
The game is solidly a “like it” rating from me, with the one caveat of longevity. When I first brought it home, it got a lot of play time from the kids, which is saying something with as many games as we have. I wouldn’t say the novelty wore off, because it got played more than novelty’s sake would warrant, but life started moving on. I’m honestly curious if a year from now it will be gifted to a relative with similar aged children, or if the kids will break it out once in a while to have another go.
I roped in my 13-year-old daughter for her perspective. She noted:
I feel like once you figure it out, it’s less exciting, like the last couple levels. The timer didn’t excite me, but might have seemed cool to someone else. I still haven’t been able to finish it on my own or in a team. So it’s still a cool game…. Although it was really exciting when we beat world four. I remember we were jumping up and down, ‘Careful! Careful!’
I would say I rate it ‘I like it’ on the Opinionated Gamer’s scale. I think it’s harder than it looks, but once you start playing it, it’s easier than it seems. It would be so cool if they made an expansion for it ….
In sum, Slide Quest is a unique take on dexterity and dungeon crawls, and if that niche sounds appealing to you, I recommend giving it a try.