Almost every good fantasy story has at least one scene in a tavern or inn. Whether it’s a book or a game, the inn lets protagonists meet, plan, scheme, and (most importantly) drink. So what happens when the story never leaves the inn? Crack open SlugFest Games’ The Red Dragon Inn and find out.
As well as being the title of the game, The Red Dragon Inn is the location where a motley crew of player characters meet and drink. Each character has a semi-unique deck of cards, letting the players take or avoid a variety of actions including, as you do at an inn, gambling. Gambling takes place as a sort of mini-game that requires no actual “gambling” and very little skill.
At the end of each turn the player buys a drink for someone, and anyone with a drink card will “drink” it. Just like the “gambling” isn’t actual gambling, the “drinking” isn’t actual drinking, it’s still just cards.
As the game is played, players will gain (and occasionally lose) Alcohol Content, they will lose (and occasionally gain) Fortitude, and if their Alcohol Content exceeds their Fortitude they drunkenly pass out and are out of the game.
The whole game is about having fun. The art is fun, the card titles are fun, the drinks are super fun. The base game handles four players, but it is easily expandible. SlugFest Games has already released multiple single character “Ally” expansions and four player standalone expansions, with a new standalone set (VILLAINS!) in the works. I have been told by others that if you add too many players, it can get slow, with a lot of potential downtime for inactive players, but I can’t speak to it directly and that’s not an uncommon thing.
I had a lot of fun playing this, and would love to try some of the subsequent sets to see how it has grown and expanded.
Originality: 3 / 5
Visual Appeal: 4 / 5
Ease of Play: 4 / 5
Strategic Challenge: 3 / 5
Total expressed as a percentage of the Ultimate Question: 33.3%