Old school tabletop role playing games too overwhelming? Adventure Party: Cats and Caverns gives a similar experience without all the setup that is usually needed. It is a genre all of its own, a storytelling role playing game.

Adventure Party is a unique story-driven role-playing party game with one player acting as the storyteller. The storyteller uses the Wii U GamePad to control the world and interact with the other players. This is done like a tabletop, pen and paper, RPG allowing all players to focus on role playing.

The other players are the Adventurers and when they interact with the world they need to interact with the storyteller. The storyteller takes on the role of a villager, shop keep, enemy, or anyone else the adventurers interact with. This allows the storyteller to tailor the story and comedy of the situation to fit their friends.

This creates unique and hilarious situations as the storyteller guides their friends through the story on an epic quest to save the world! The Adventurers will need to remain together and make decisions as a group in order to succeed.

Gameplay is asymmetric but cooperative and discourages situations in which one player is against the others. Even in battles the objective of the storyteller is to make the experience of the others challenging and fun.

The story leads players through four different environments: town, river valley, plains and mountains. It even allows players to explore inside houses and caverns (as the game's name would imply).

Each environment challenges the Adventurers in different ways. Some environments are riddled with ancient blocks of unknown origin while others are covered in ice! The Adventures must plan their path else they might become separated.

While the players are exploring, the storyteller's focus is on making their experience enjoyable and challenging. The Wii U GamePad gives the storyteller a touch based interface for allowing players to enter buildings, controlling items in the world, granting treasure, moving townspeople, and initiating battles.

Battles take the players to an arena in which the storyteller controls the monsters. The storyteller is aware of all the elements of the battle. Information on attack damage and the ability to kill monsters is available. The storyteller picks the actions of the monsters and then reads the events of the turn based battle to the players.

Adventure Party: Cats and Caverns focuses on gameplay not graphics or music. Adventure Party: Cats and Caverns contains four missions with a total of 10-15 hours of gameplay.

It supports up to five players. Four players use Wii Remotes to navigate the world while the fifth uses the Wii U GamePad.

Tips and Tricks While Playing!

If you are about to play Adventure Party: Cats and Caverns and want to get the most out of your experience, here are several tips to consider.

  • Think of it like a board game. Normally, when playing a video game, all the action is on the screen. In this game, players are supposed to interact with each other to solve puzzles and advance through the game.

  • Read the Storyboard. Before the party begins, the person who will be the storyteller should use "Storyboard" mode on the title screen to read through the mission. Storyboard mode allows a single player to read the story and browse the world.

  • Don't compete. The storyteller is supposed to help the other players not hurt them. As an example, if the other players enjoy battles, make the battle longer and more involved. If the others don't like battles, skip some of the ambushes and choose easier settings.

  • Play with 3-5 people. The more the merrier right? This game was designed for larger parties. This allows the players to occupy themselves and discuss their mission while the storyteller works.

  • Speed up battles. Try turning off auto battle mode. On the GamePad when playing, tap the gear icon. Then tap off. To close the menu tap the gear icon again.

  • I want more control. If you are used to classic table top RPGs, this game will be simple by comparison. That is by design. The goal is to allow casual gamers an opportunity to glimpse what role playing is all about. As an experienced gamer the challenge lies in being creative within the rules of Adventure Party: Cats and Caverns.

  • Can I edit the map? The game has a 10-15 hour story which cannot be changed. However, the game offers certain freedoms to the storyteller which can be used to make the game as fun as possible for the other players. The storyteller, can skip battles, lock doors, move some NPCs, change what NPCs say, and decide upon rewards. Depending upon the game's success, a story creator and editor may come in the future.

*GamePad graphic provided by Tokyoship on wikimedia.org.