Put yourself in the shoes of Woody, Bo Peep, Rex, Buzz or Jessie, and relive the iconic Toy Story adventures, in this cooperative deck building game!
🖨 : The Op
⚙️: Prospero Hall, Kami Mandell
👯♂️: 2 to 5 players
⏰: 45 to 90 minutes
👩👩👧👧: Ages 8+
You, my friend, are responsible for delaying my rendezvous with Star Command!
Let’s get my biggest gripe right out of the way. Ever since bringing Toy Story: Obstacles & Adventures into our home, my girls have been asking to play it every. single. day. At ages 3 and 5, they’re at least a few years away from diving into the game and not messing it all up for us big kids. That bright blue box is like a beacon of light for us all!
It’s hard to believe that over a decade has passed since the arrival of Dominion, the deck building game that changed the board gaming landscape forever. Now, the basics of the Dominion experience weave their way into the world of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story, in a colourful cooperative package that will make even a casual fan’s heart flutter!
Each player takes on the role of one of the iconic toys from the film franchise, and receives that character’s starting deck of 10 adventure cards. These basic cards produce the two currencies of the game – Imagination (bouncy balls) and Insight (bedside table lamps). Every adventure card has an Imagination cost that must be paid to bring into your deck, and Insight is used to overcome the game’s antagonist in the form of Hazard cards.
Hey, where’s that wimpy cowboy doll?
Hazard and Danger cards are where the bulk of the tension originates in Obstacles & Adventures. These cards are activated every turn, aiming to slow the progress of our heroic toys, and potentially even temporarily shelve them! The final Hazard card is always the main villain of one of the films. In the game’s first adventure, players must overthrow the severely sadistic child from the original 1995 movie – Sid.
Let’s all be polite, and give whatever it is up there a nice, big “Andy’s Room” welcome.
Inside the core box are six smaller adventure boxes, each of which offer new game content – stories to explore, characters to add into the game, and even a few mechanical surprises! Opening every new chapter box is a bit like Christmas morning, with excitement and delight at what the next game is going to entail. It’s not a legacy game, in that no components are permanently changed, and once all 6 boxes are opened, the game can either be reset for another run at the linear story, or combined for play in a variety of configurations, with options to ramp up the difficulty.
Obstacles & Adventures offers gameplay which is straight forward with a mild learning curve, all of which is enhanced by all of the familiar Toy Story imagery. For newcomers to the deck building genre of games, the first adventure box lays a solid foundation, easing everyone into a system that adds more layers with each new box discovered. On the other hand, it shares enough DNA with previously successful deck building games, that genre veterans will feel like they’re putting on a cozy and familiar sweater. It’s all a really wonderful experience, and for any die hard Toy Story fan, purchasing this package will reward them not only a healthy dose of nostalgia, but also a really great game!
It doesn’t matter how much we’re played with. What matters is that we’re here for Andy when he needs us.
The components of Obstacles & Adventures are largely fantastic. Featuring a toasted parchment look for the board, and using the colourful cards to bring the game to life. For the theme, it all just feels right. Each adventure box includes a miniature board, thematic to the cinematic storyline the players are re-enacting, along with a matching metal token to mark in-game progress. These two components help to make each game feel different – it’s a small touch, but makes a huge difference to the player experience. The one component concern I have is the quality of the adventure cards. Given how frequently they’re shuffled, I’d love to have seen a more durable production choice, with the lesser quality left to the Hazard and Danger cards, which see much less action each game.
Fortunately, it’s easy to overlook the one component issue. Toy Story: Obstacles & Adventures is an engaging, enjoyable gaming experience, which will especially appeal to fans of the films and characters. It’s not revolutionizing the world of deck building games, but it offers a handful of twists and turns to keep everything feeling fresh, and is well worth the purchase price.