Here at Toy-TMA, we’re all about learning. We’re also all about fun. And we’re definitely all about mixing the two together. But sometimes it can be a challenge combining a game that people enjoy playing with a means to learn something since kids view education like rats view poison. I have a solution, or rather my father does: True Quest.
The First To Break The Scoop
What is True Quest? Well, you haven’t heard of it yet because it doesn’t exactly exist in this time period (people in the future are all about True Questing, yo). I, however, have played this game and find myself qualified to teach its gospel to the masses both because I have a direct connection to the game and also because I assume I know everything (probably because I do).
True Quest is a card game my dad invented for between 2-10 players or one kid who talks to himself and his parents are okay with it. The basic principle around True Quest is to learn about history in the form of making your friends look like fools by beating their stupid faces into the ground…with history!
History is Written By the Victors
Dang, you need some rules to understand this one, right? I forget that this isn’t like Scrabble or Monopoly where everyone has a pretty good handle on the rules already. So in True Quest you have the players sit down and decide it’s time to play True Quest (or surprise them with history to their FACES). For games involving 4-6 players you’ll want two decks, and 7-10 players will want three decks. At that point the game gets nuts, but so much fun (that one special kid with eight decks and no one else around has the most fun).
Each deck contains 50 Quester cards (these are characters from history), 10 Quest cards (major accomplishments from history), and 10 Change History cards (major events from history). Let’s say that an example of a Quester is Abraham Lincoln, a Quest is to build the Great Pyramids, and a Change History card is the Black Plague (a dangerous card that sends all Questers back to the history book, so kind of like a Blue-Eyes White Dragon).
At the start of the game each player is randomly dealt five cards. Someone decides to go first (by the diplomatic means of screaming “Me first!”), and draws a card. A player can only have five cards in his hand at the end of a turn, so he either has to play a card or discard one before his turn is over. So this hypothetical first player draws the “Build the Great Pyramids” Quest card and decides to play it. This is his quest. The card states that it is worth 40 points if completed and requires a leader with at least a rating of 8 Brains to complete. During this player’s next turn he looks through his deck and sees that Abraham Lincoln only has a Brains rating of 6, so he can’t lead this group. However, he also has a Plato card with a Brains rating of 9 and plays that as his team’s leader, meaning that he will be building the Great Pyramids with Plato.
In order to complete a Quest, you’ll have to assemble your team correctly by taking note of the requirements. For the Great Pyramids Quest you’ll need a total of 30 points Brains and 40 points Age (hey, those pyramids took forever to build, alright). So you stack up Plato as the leader, a good choice since his Extra Skill is adding 1 point Brains to anyone with an Age rating of 5 or more (kind of like a Mewtwo card), and then add on Abe Lincoln, Elvis Presley, George Washington Carver, and Moses. After you have enough people to complete a Quest, you get the points on the card and the Quest and the Questers go back to the History Book (the discard pile). A standard game ends once someone collects 100 total points, though variations allow for you to play to the end of just one Quest, forcing drastic defensive skills, or 200+ points if you want a longer game.
But aha! Someone has a Change History card! Some thoughtless monster in the form of one of your friends plays the Dark Ages Fall on Europe card, which reduces every Quester’s Brains rating by 2 points (same thing happens in Magic the Gathering all the time). Suddenly you don’t have enough Brains to complete your Quest and have to keep adding more Questers. All of this adds to a ripping good time (“Ripping Good Time” Copyright True Quest).
The goal with the game is to have decks built with different cards, so that there is a collecting aspect to the game as well. Someone may have a rare card with a Quester who has an amazing Extra Skill, or you can just take the blank cards in the deck and make whatever you want, even yourself. Just think, you could be helping Benjamin Franklin end the Civil War.
One of my favorite variations of the game plays out like War, the classic card game, where two players each have a deck of Quester cards facedown, call out an attribute (Age, Brains, Charisma, and Daring), and whoever draws a Quester with the higher rating wins, so Mother Teresa beats Emily Dickinson with Age while Joan of Arc stomps Marie Curie in Daring.
As I said before, True Quest hasn’t been made yet. It’s still in concept form with prototype cards. But it doesn’t have to stay this way for long. Does this sound like a game you’d enjoy? Does it seem like a game you’d want your kids playing? Send a comment and let your voice be heard, or if you’re interested in helping create the game, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk business and by “we” I mean “you and my dad.”