Toy Story: Obstacles & Adventures is a game designed and developed by The Op, published by USAopoly (The Op). It is for 2-5 players. In this game, players take on the role of their favorite Toys from the Toy Story movie franchise as they try to overcome a series of Hazards. Players will face various Dangers but can also gain new friends, items and traits to help them. If they’re not careful though, they may end up shelved or even misplaced along the way. In the end, if they’re able to overcome all the Hazards before the Moving Van reaches the House, then they’ll be declared the winners and all of Andy’s toys will be transferred safely to his new home.
Before we begin, let me note that this review will be as spoiler free as possible while still explaining the rules and describing the contents of the game to the best of my ability. For this review I will only be covering the setup and instructions for Adventure 1. I will give what information that I can about the additional adventures, with as few spoilers as possible, in the components, rulebook and gameplay sections below.
To begin, the board is placed in the middle of the play area. The Insight and Imagination pieces are placed into separate supply pools. Each player choose their favorite character from the 4 available ones and takes the corresponding player board and health tracker. If playing with 5 players, you’ll need to add the Jesse player board and health tracker from the Adventure 2 box. At this point, you’ll open up the Adventure 1 box. Inside you’ll find all the pieces needed to play with up to 4 players. Remember if you’re playing with 5, you’ll need to open the Adventure 2 box. Place the Adventure Track on it’s space at the top left corner of the board, being sure to place it on the corresponding player count side. The token is placed on the start space. The Danger cards are shuffled together and placed face down on their appropriate space. The same is done with the Hazard cards, except that the Escape from Sid card is set aside first before shuffling. Once the cards are shuffled, the set aside card is placed on the bottom of the deck before placing them on their space. The top card is revealed and placed in the Active Hazard space below the deck. The starting decks are separated by each Toy’s name from the Adventure cards. The remaining Adventure cards without a Toy’s name on it are shuffled together to form the deck which is placed on it’s appropriate space on the board. The top 6 cards of the deck are revealed and placed on the 6 open spaces below the deck. If any of the revealed cards have the same name, they are stacked on top of the other card with the same name, so that there are always 6 unique Adventure cards available. Players will now receive their corresponding Turn Order and “You are a Toy” card’s above their player boards. Each player takes their starting deck and shuffles their 10 cards, placing the deck face down beside their player boards. They will then draw their top 5 cards to form their starting hand. The first player is chosen and play now begins.
The game is played with players taking turns that each consist of 4 steps. The first step is to reveal and resolve Dangers. To do this, the player will look at the Adventure track for how many Danger cards to reveal. One at a time, the player will reveal the Danger cards and resolve the Dangers before placing them in the discard pile.
The next step is to resolve Hazard effects. To do this, the player will check the current face up Hazard cards to see if any Dangers or other Hazards cause the card to be triggered. If it is, then the card is resolved before moving to the next Hazard.
The third step is to play Adventure cards and take actions. For this step, the player is allowed to take a number of actions in any order that they choose. They can play cards to gain resources and generate effects. When a card is played, they should be set to the side to indicate this. Any Insight or Imagination tokens that are gained are placed on the player’s character board. Insight tokens may then be assigned to a Hazard. Once the number of Insight tokens equals the Insight value of the Hazard, it is overcome. The player immediately gains the reward listed on the Hazard card and then the card is then placed in the discard pile. The Insight tokens placed on the Hazard are returned to the supply. Imagination tokens are used to acquire new Adventure cards from the 6 face up cards on the board by paying the card’s cost. The player is allowed to purchase as many cards as they wish, as long as they have enough Imagination to purchase them with. Once a card is paid for, it is placed in the player’s discard pile unless otherwise noted.
The final step is to end your turn. Once the player has finished playing cards, taking actions and using Insight and Imagination tokens, they will then complete 6 small steps. First they will check to see if the token moved to the end of the Adventure track. If it did, then the game ends, more on this in just a bit. The player then checks to see if they assigned enough Insight tokens to overcome a Hazard. If so, then the empty slot is replaced with the next one from the Hazard stack. Next the player will refill any open slots below the Adventure deck with Adventure cards. The player will then place all the cards that they played on their turn, along with any cards remaining in their hand to their discard pile. The player will then discard any remaining Insight or Imagination tokens that were not used. The player then draws a new hand of five cards. If they don’t have enough cards in their deck to refill their hand, then they will shuffle their discard pile to create a new deck. Once this last step is completed, play passes to the next player in turn order.
The game continues with players taking turns until the end of the game. The game can end in one of two different ways. If the Toys overcome all of the Hazards, then the game ends and the players win. The players are then able to move on to the next game. The game can also end if the Moving Van token reaches the end of the Adventure track. If the players are not able to overcome all of the Hazards in time, then the players lose. The players will need to reset the game and try again.
It should be noted that some Dangers and Hazards will move the token along the Adventure track. As the token moves far enough, players may have to start drawing additional Danger cards. Another thing of note is that sometimes Dangers and Hazards will cause a player’s Toy to lose health, some Adventure cards will even allow players to gain health. Either way, the player’s health tracker is moved along the player board. If a player’s Toy loses all their health, then the Toy is shelved. When this happens they can’t lose any more health during the turn. They must then discard any Insight or Imagination tokens the they have saved on their player board. They must also discard half the cards in their hand, rounded down. The token is advanced one space on the Adventure track. If the active player is the one who’s Toy is shelved, then they are still able to play cards and take actions with whatever they have remaining. At the end of the active player’s turn, the Toy is then repaired and it’s health is reset back to 10.
This is SUCH a CUTE and fun game! Every piece to this game just screams with theme and quality. Everything from the cards to the tokens fits together in a wonderful way. First there’s the board. The images on it look like something taken from Woody’s world with a rope going around the outside of the board. One more note about the board, it is well designed with spaces for each card type and even includes areas to place the Insight tokens for each Hazard. Next there are the player boards, each of these has an amazing comic book style character portrait with lots of bright colors. To help keep track of each player’s health, there are health tracker tokens that can be slid back and forth on the player board as players gain and lose health. These cardboard tokens are brightly colored as well and do a good job. Another set of cardboard components are the Insight and Imagination tokens. The Insight pieces look like the Pixar lamp while the Imagination pieces look like a rubber ball with a star on it. These are really sturdy tokens that look really nice. Mild spoiler…Each Adventure comes with an Adventure track and metal token that looks great and really plays off the theme of each Adventure. Then there are the cards. These look great and really play off the theme quite well. There are Hazards, Dangers, Adventure cards and each turn order and You are a Toy cards. The artwork from each of these looks to be taken from the various movies. After the amazing job on the player boards, I almost wish that same artwork had been carried over into the cards as well. Even so, it still looks great and it works. As each new Hazard came out, my wife and kids would get excited and start discussing what the scene was and how they remembered it. Those were great moments as I just sat back and enjoyed their excitement. Of course as the game goes and you start completing adventures, then new adventure boxes will be opened. Each of these provides new cards and components that will enhance and sometimes change up the game. I will note one particular set of components that are shown on the back of the box, so this would be another mild spoiler. Those would be the dice. Yes, the game comes with dice. These are screen printed, not engraved but still look good. As mentioned, each new Adventure comes in a handy little tuck box that contains all the new materials. Thankfully as new cards become available, the game has a set of dividers to keep everything in order inside the nice custom insert. Needless to say, if you like Toy Story and enjoyed the movies, then you’ll love the way this game looks and feels. It has a very thematic approach to it that I think is great. The quality is amazing and fans of the series will enjoy this for sure.
9 out of 10
The rulebook for this game is very special and bears a lot of striking similarities to the one from Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. The book is designed so that the more you play, the more content you unlock to add to the book. The main rulebook is designed basically for just the first adventure. Everything from setting up the game to how the basic components of the first Adventure box work is explained in great detail. Every page of the book is full of great pictures and examples of all of this information. It’s really easy to read over and even easier to understand. The front and back cover of the book are a bit thicker than the other pages. This is due to the fact that the back cover has individual slots in it for each of the new rules sheets that are each Adventure box. These rule sheets are multi-folded sheets that contain all the information that you need to setup and play with the additional content of the newly opened box. Once you’ve read through the rules of the new sheet, you can then place it inside the handy little pocket in the back cover. Let me say, I loved this idea when it was done in the Harry Potter game and I still love the idea. It’s just a great way of keeping new information and rules secret until it’s needed to play the game. It’s a truly unique and fun design that I really like. One last thing about the rulebook, on the last actual sheet of the book, there is a nice chart for players to chronicle their journey through the game. It includes columns for the Adventure number, player’s names, toy played as, win/loss record and any special notes. This sure beats the old fashioned way of just writing all that on the inside of the box lid. I was never into that but have never condemned anyone for doing it themself. In any event, the rules for the game are great.
9 out of 10
If you’ve ever played Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, then the mechanics of this game might seem very familiar. The reason being that this game is modeled after that one, using a lot of the same mechanics and gameplay styles of that one with a few changes. A lot o the changes are merely cosmetic. For instance instead of Locations and Villains, this game has Dangers and Hazards. Instead of Attack and Influence tokens, this game has Insight and Imagination tokens. For me it wasn’t hard to get right into playing this one as I was already quite familiar with the Harry Potter version. For new players it does a great job at introducing the deck building mechanic without too much pressure. One thing that I’ve enjoyed about both games is the mounting tension that comes as you play more and more. The deeper you go into the game, the harder the Dangers and Hazards become. Needless to say, teamwork is vital to winning the game, especially the further you go into it. The first few games players can be a little more self sufficient and do what they want almost. However those later adventures will really test those bonds of teamwork. Sometimes it will come down to sacrificing yourself or your desires to do what’s best for the team. This is great at introducing that concept both in the game and in life. That was one thing that I really found was great about this one. It shows my kids how to work together to overcome obstacles, not only in the game but in life itself. This game provides life lessons wrapped up in a cute and adorable bow that my family didn’t even realize they were learning. Good job Usaopoly! Needless to say, fans of the Toy Story franchise will love this game. My wife and kids absolutely have adored playing it. Deck building fans will also find a lot to love with their favorite mechanic being highlighted in a wonderful way. This is a family friendly game that I’m sure will find a lot of life on my table. For that reason, this is one that I highly recommend. It’s such a wonderful game that me and my family love.
9 out of 10
Toy Story: Obstacles & Adventures is a cooperative deck building game that is set in the wonderful Pixar world of Toy Story. The game isn’t extremely long, but play times do vary. For the first couple of games, play time can be as short as 30 minutes, while later games can last almost an hour and a half. The components of the game look great and really emphasize the amazing Toy Story theme. Everything from the cards to the boards and tokens feel fully integrated. I do wish that the same artwork had been carried over from the player boards to the cards, but the movie pics are probably more of what people expect. The rulebook is great and it easily walks new players through how to play the game very nicely. As new adventures are opened, the book even provides places for the new rules sheets to be kept. I also like the chronicle in the back for players to place all their information after each play. The game itself is wonderful. It’s so easy to teach and it promotes teamwork without shoving it down your throat. This is one that both young and old players can enjoy as it’s a great family friendly game. Fans of the Toy Story franchise will love this game, as will deck building players. This is a game that I highly recommend. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go…Andy’s coming!
9 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out USAopoly, the Op at their site.