Moon Adventure (Saturday Review) – Tabletop Games Blog

Release Date: 2021Players: 2-5 Players
Designer: Jun SasakiLength: 30-45 minutes
Artist: Jun SasakiAge: 10+
Publisher: Oink GamesComplexity: 2.5 / 5

A massive magnetic storm had hit our moon base. All of our supplies had been hit and were now scattered in a 20-mile radius around the base. The base itself was intact and secure, but we only had a handful of supplies left, including oxygen. We had to work together to recover as much as we could to have any chance of leaving the Moon and returning to Earth. It was going to be tough, but we were all ready for our Moon Adventure by Oink Games.

Of course, this is another review of a game from the wonderful Japanese publisher. I said it before, these games are great, because they come in a small box that’s rammed full of components, they’re easy to learn and usually very quick to play, but they give you enough depth to be appealing to people who like a bit of strategy and planning.

Moon Adventure is no different and it’s a cooperative game, which I think is rare for Oink Games. It’s basically a push-your-luck game where you try and go as far as possible along a trail of scattered supplies, all the while keeping an eye on the oxygen levels. The further you go, the more valuable the supplies will be, but the higher the risk of you dying. You have to work together and place oxygen generators along the track, so everyone can top up their tanks, improve the track to make travelling along it quicker, so that everyone can get to the more precious items, and also decide who picks up what supplies when, because everyone has only so much room to store things.

If you have played Deep Sea Adventure, then you will know how all of this works – the difference being that you all work together, rather than selfishly dive to the depths to get your own treasure. If you don’t know that game, then let me explain things a little bit more in detail – and even if you do know Deep Sea Adventure, it’s worth continuing to read, because there are quite a few nice twists that make Moon Adventure quite different to its sibling – and possibly more interesting as well.

So, imagine a track of small, face-down tiles, which represent the supplies. Each tile has a number on it, which you won’t be able to reveal until the very end of the game. All you know is that the further away from the moon base you travel, the higher those numbers are going to be and to win the game, you need to add up the numbers on the tiles you successfully brought back to the base and if that number is above a certain value, you’ve survived and will be able to make it back to Earth.

You roll either two or three of three-sided dice (they’re actually six-sided, but the pips only go up to 3), depending on how much oxygen you have left and that you want to spend. After all, you might want to keep a good stash of oxygen for later, when you more urgently need it. The dice results represent the action points you have to spend on your turn. Moving costs one action point, gathering supplies and placing an oxygen generator along the track each cost three, developing a route costs two, dropping supplies costs one and so on.

On your turn, you have to decide how much oxygen to spend, then roll the dice and finally choose how to spend those action points and in what order. Travelling along the track is the most obvious, but is also something you want to think about, because if you want to travel more quickly, you want to jump over your fellow adventurers or over developed spaces. So one of you will probably march ahead and place cubes onto tiles to develop them, meaning other players can jump over them for free, thus allowing them to travel further. However, it also means that those tiles can no longer be picked up, making the supplies they represent unattainable.

You also want to place oxygen generators, so players can stop on them to top up their oxygen tanks. The problem with the generators is that they lengthen the track. You insert them between two tiles, so now the journey to the end of the track is going to be one step longer. The other issue with oxygen is that it uses up valuable storage space. Every player has only so many slots available for oxygen and supplies. If you want to carry more supplies, you have to carry less oxygen. It’s another difficult decision you have to make.

There is more though. It’s not just your decisions that decide your fate. The game itself also tries to make it hard for you. There is a deck of cards that represent the oxygen that you can get when you land on an oxygen generator. The problem is, that deck also contains so-called “magnetic storm” cards, which will disable one of the oxygen generators you have placed along the route. Every time the deck is empty, you add another “magnetic storm” card to it. So the more oxygen you consume, the more likely you are to damage one of your oxygen generators.

So, like in every cooperative game, you’re unlikely to survive on your first attempt. You’ll definitely have to play the game a few times to see what you need to do to survive – and even when you all make it back to the moon base alive, you won’t necessarily have won. It’ll depend on what supplies you brought back. It ensures that you need to keep playing and practicing.

Given that the trail of supplies is random, the amount of oxygen you gain is random and the dice rolls are random, every game will play very differently. I suppose, in theory it is possible that you never stand a chance of winning a particular game, if you have really bad luck, but because the game is pretty quick to play, you can easily play again and thus even out the randomness a little.

Also, every player will take on a different role, giving them specific special abilities. The mix of roles can make your adventure harder or easier, depending on what you choose. However, it’s an interesting addition and I found that certain players prefer to play certain roles. Everyone will feel more comfortable doing certain things, I guess. It gives you additional variety, making Moon Adventure even more fun to play over and over again.

The game also doesn’t take up too much space on the table and as it comes in quite a small box, it’s the sort of game you probably want to have with you and play while you’re out and about. Now that we can start going out again, it’s one I’m going to have with me. It’s definitely a lot of fun and a good balance between being easy to learn while also keeping you thinking, without being too demanding.

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Transparency Facts

I feel that this review reflects my own, independent and honest opinion, but the facts below allow you to decide whether you think that I was influenced in any way.

  • I bought and paid for the game myself.
  • At the time of writing, neither the designers, nor the publisher, nor anyone linked to the game supported me financially or by payment in kind.

Audio Version

Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (

Adventure Games: The Dungeon (Saturday Review)

Release Date: 2019Players: 1-4
Designer: Phil Walker-Harding, Matthew DunstanLength: 3x 60-90 minutes
Artist: Martin HoffmannAge: 10+
Publisher: KosmosComplexity: 1.5 / 5
Plastic to Non-Plastic: <1%Air to Components: <10%

Waking up from an uneasy sleep, you look around. You aren’t quite sure where you are or how you got here. There is moonlight streaming through the small, barred window. It looks like you’re in some sort of cell, but you’re not chained up or otherwise restrained unlike the skeleton opposite you. There is only one thing for it. You have to find a way to escape Adventure Games: The Dungeon by Phil Walker-Harding and Matthew Dunstan from Kosmos.

I can assure you that I will not spoiler anything in my review. The intro to this article is basically what you first encounter when you start your adventure. There are no clues here for you to follow. So please do read on without fear. You will still have to solve the puzzles and find your way out on your own – or rather with up to three other players, unless you do want to go it alone.

I’m not a great fan of exit or escape room games. Too often these types of games contain lots of rather abstract puzzles. I never feel absorbed in the setting and would much rather solve a Soduko. Adventure Games: The Dungeon is very different though. It is more of a choose-your-own-adventure style of game, even though you are trying to escape the dungeon.

Your Choice – Your Consequence

So, yes, it’s a co-operative game and like most co-operative games, Adventure Games: The Dungeon can suffer from quarterbacking. However, if you do have a dominant player in your group, then play this game without them. It is so much more fun when everyone makes their own decisions – and suffers the consequences of their own actions.

After all, every player has a limited amount of health. Nobody can die as such, so don’t worry about player elimination. The worst that can happen is that you get down to your last health and any further damage will then affect the player to your left. They basically do the selfless thing and fling themselves in front of you to absorb the damage instead.

I haven’t come across it yet, but I’m pretty sure that health will play a role later in the game. It is possible that certain actions will fail if you don’t have enough health left – but that’s just an assumption on my part. So when you get the opportunity to heal, you should probably take it.

health counters in "Adventure Games: The Dungeon"
health counters in “Adventure Games: The Dungeon”

Other than a player’s health, which character they’re playing will also be important. Who you are will have an impact on the outcome of some actions. You might be The Strong and be able to batter your way through a locked door. You might be The Attentive who is better at avoiding traps. So do consider who does what on their turn. It can make your escape easier.

Beat the Dungeon

The rest of the game is pretty straightforward and very similar to other co-operative games you have played. Everyone takes a turn in clockwise order. On their turn, they can do one of a number of different actions.

For example, you can move to a different location. Movement is completely unhindered. You can go to any location that’s currently visible. So you can keep going back to the same location, if you wish, for example if nobody can remember what happened there.

Once at a location, you can explore it. Every location has a number, so just read the relevant paragraph in the adventure book. Sometimes you then get to draw adventure cards, which are basically some sort of items. They represent things you’ve found there. Sometimes something happens and you might lose health, as mentioned above.

the adventure book tells the story
the adventure book tells the story

You can also try an item at a location. The obvious thing is to try a key you found in the location of a lock. Every adventure card, so every item card, is also numbered. You combine the number of the card with the number of the location and read that section in the book. So in our example, if the key fits, then you will be able to open the door. That will be represented by swapping the location card with a different one that shows that the door is now open.

Similarly, you can put two item cards together. The example given in the rulebook is that of a can opener and a can. Combine the numbers of the two cards and read the section. If the can opener isn’t broken, the book will tell you to discard the can opener and can and draw a new adventure card, that of an open tin.

The Game Changes As You Play

So, as you play the game, your decisions will have an effect on the world you’re in, the dungeon in this case. You will even meet other people and be able to get their help. Many of the things the game wants you to do are pretty obvious. Sometimes you have to try a number of different things before you get to where you want to be. More often than not, the illustrations give you plenty of clues as well. So do take a careful look at every location and at every item you get. Also, make sure that you read the paragraphs in the adventure book carefully. They will definitely also give you important hints.

Speaking of hints, if you do ever really get stuck, the rulebook does offer clues at the back. So far, we’ve not needed them, but I can see why they will sometimes be necessary. Certainly, trying to get out of the first room, the cell that you start the game in, seemed impossible until one of the group found a clue. After that, it was really easy – but we were close to checking the hints provided.

It’s really satisfying when you do finally work it out, but you may lose health in the process as you make the wrong choices. There are even moments in the game where you missed an obvious clue and kick yourselves afterwards for not seeing it sooner. We could have avoided a lot of damage to our health if we hadn’t missed one of these important hints.

the game box
“Adventure Games: The Dungeon” comes in a relatively small box

Adventure in a Box

Adventure Games: The Dungeon is a lot of fun. It’s a complete adventure in a really small box. The writing is spot on, the illustrations are highly detailed and it all really comes together well. You can save the game at any point. Additionally, it is divided into three chapters, each of which will take around 90 minutes to play. We found finishing one chapter and saving the game then the best, as it is the most natural point to stop. However, you literally can stop at any point you prefer.

Of course, like most co-operative games, you can play Adventure Games: The Dungeon solo. Yet, I did enjoy the company of others, because other people spotted things I would have missed. Four brains, in our case, were better than one. If you make sure there is nobody in your group who dominates the game and tells others what to do, then you will have a lot of fun.

The last thing I want to mention is that Adventure Games: The Dungeon is fully resettable. All of the cards are numbered or labelled with a letter. So just need to put them back in sequence and then you can give the game to someone else to enjoy. It’s the sort of game that keeps on giving.

Transparency Facts

I feel that this review reflects my own, independent and honest opinion, but the facts below allow you to decide whether you think that I was influenced in any way.

  • I was sent a free review copy of this game by the publisher.
  • At the time of writing, neither the designers, nor the publisher, nor anyone linked to the game supported me financially or by payment in kind.

Audio Version

Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (
Sound Effects: BBC Sound Effects Library ( – © copyright 2021 BBC)
Background Music: Dark Hollows by Alexander Nakarada