Inheritors Review – Board Game Quest

The small card game space is a corner of the board gaming world that will never fully go away. Solo games are more popular than ever, sure, and expansive campaign games dominate crowdfunding platforms, but tiny, travelable card games? Never going out of style.

That’s why I was excited to have snagged a copy of Inheritors, a ladder-climbing card game with some extra stuff for 2-4 players. It’s designed by Jeffrey CCH and Kenneth YWN and, and published by NorthStar Games.

Gameplay Overview:

Turns in Inheritors will see players doing one of five basic actions. The first involves adding a card to one of the five Influence sections (denoted by unique colors) in front of them. These cards need to be played in order from 1 to 6 and players are not permitted to skip numbers. Players can also take cards from the market in two different ways—discarding 1 card to draw 2 or discarding 1 card to take an entire available row Rummy-style. Players can also discard three cards of the same color to grab one of the game’s Quest cards, which are essentially personal scoring opportunities. Players can also play one of their Advocate cards. These cards have game-breaking powers and manipulate either the market or the players’ tableaus.

Inheritors Clans
Look at how fancy these animals are.

Creating these runs of cards will eventually grant you access to one of the game’s Clan cards. These are obtained when a player gets to the third level in a particular Influence. These Clan cards offer powerful abilities that will stay with the player for the rest of the game. Similarly, the game has Honors that players are attempting to reach. These vary—hitting a certain Influence threshold, for instance—and are first come, first serve.

The game will end when all of the Quests and Honors are claimed or if the draw deck is empty. Whoever has the most points based on Influence levels, Quests, Honors, and a few scoring modifiers that pop up wins the game and inherits the kingdom’s riches. (Or something. I don’t think that’s actually the theme.)

Inheritors Gameplay
This is what the game’s “market” will look like during the game.

Game Experience:

At first glance, Inheritors looks like the type of small card game that everyone has played before. And, to a degree, that is true. Ladder climbing isn’t a particularly new invention. But the wrinkles to this simple draft-and-add gameplay that the game offers really do spice up the experience a fair bit. And the multiple ways to mix in the Clan cards, Quests, and Honors will provide a decent bit of replay value in a small-ish package.

Inheritors Cards
More fancy animals. They’re fantastic.

One thing to note, however, is that while the package is small, the game itself doesn’t play very small. This is good on the one hand—it certainly feels like a fuller experience than other one-or-so deck games you might find—but it also requires a good chunk of table space. It’s not overwhelming, mind you, but the exterior of the package certainly might have gamers think this is a perfect travel option and that’s not necessarily true.

One area where the game falters a bit is on repeat plays. The box has a good variety of cards, but after just a handful of plays, most gamers will have seen all the tricks Inheritors has to offer. If the game itself were more innovative that likely wouldn’t be a problem, but everything in this package has been done before, even if not necessarily in the same configuration. I don’t think this is a negative, mind you (the game is successful in what it’s going for), but it is a factor in its longevity overall.

Inheritors Quests
These Quest cards offer scoring opportunities and act as one of the game’s ending triggers.

Final Thoughts:

I like Inheritors. I’ll start by making that clear. Any misgivings I have about the game are more in regard to how many times it can be played without getting stale. Repeat plays in the same sitting, for instance, did tend to drag, even with intentionally mixing in new Clan and Honor cards for variety. The game is also longer than you might think. The box says 30-45 minutes, which is right, but given that the game arc is fairly flat, that can feel a bit long. The game scales pretty well, however, which is nice.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars – Inheritors is a solid hand-management game with a few fun twists that really help mix up the experience. While not revolutionary, if card games of this type are your jam, this one is unique enough to carve out a spot in your collection.

3.5 StarsHits:
• Small package, big(ish) game
• Clan, Honor, and Quest cards mix up the gameplay
• Easy to play

• Games can feel longer than they are
• Limited replay value

Get Your Copy

Disclosure: An employee for NorthStar Games also writes for Board Game Quest. He had no influence over the opinions expressed in this review.

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