Tuesday, March 07, 2023


My number 3 favorite game of all time is: Oltréé, a cooperative adventure game. In Oltréé players are knights protecting a keep and the surrounding lands and its peoples. 

Oltréé is based on a French RPG (role-playing game) that I know nothing about. The game designer is the accomplished Antoine Bauza, known for such games as: 7 Wonders, Takenoko, and Ghost Stories. And the art is by Vincent Dutrait, whose stunning work graces so many games.

The art here is incredible! Vincent has covered every card, every board, every token in striking, beautiful illustration. Even the player meeples (little mounted horsey knights) are graced with his art. Oltréé is gorgeous!

In Oltréé players work together to deal with events that happen in locations around the board. Each round begins by rolling a die and advancing a counter on the story track. At the head of this track is a master chronicle made up of large tarot sized story cards. As each card is turned over and added to the "discard" the image presented resembles an open book. Each face-up card provides new text even as each face-down card reveals more of that beautiful Vincent Dutrait artwork.

Past the chronicle there are various stops. There are mid sized story cards that are distributed randomly around to locations on the board face down that need to be visited and revealed, and then resolved. Past these are small challenge cards that go to locations face up and block the benefits of the locations where they land. You know what you need to clear these and can plan for them. At the end of the track are event cards that effect game play in various ways until replaced by the next event.

Handling the challenges presented by the game is down to dice rolls. These are mitigated by the skills of your knights which are in turn enhanced by the buildings in your keep. Locations provide resources that are used to construct buildings. This city building element gives Oltréé a bit of a Euro-game feel that I really enjoy.

All of these elements work together to create variety and make each game play differently. The story track makes distributing the cards easy and intuitive. The core of the narrative is handled by the chronicle cards and each chronicle holds some interesting twists and fun surprises. The chronicles don't feel very replayable. So, I am not sure where Oltréé might fall for me in the future, but we haven't yet played all the chronicles in the base game.


With some expansion chronicles Oltréé should manage to stay on top of my favorite games for quite some time. I really love this game, and I am anxious to get more of it. If you like adventure style games, you like cooperative games, and you like games that are just plain beautiful, Oltréé is the game for you. I know its the game for me. That's why it's my number 3 favorite board game of all time!!

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