Often when a publisher is showing me a game—a card game, a party game, even a kids’ game—they’ll lean over and whisper that it’s been known to work well as a drinking game. Jasn Painter, however, decided to skip this pretense and has designed the not-so-subtle game, Drunk Quest. Yep, that’s right. It’s an adventure card game, where you pretty much have to get drunk to win!

Our group of friends often spends Friday night playing games and drinking. For a couple months we jumped from Dominion to Munchkin and I remember one night thinking “I wish there was a drinking game with actual gameplay. Something with some strategy and depth. Not just an excuse to drink.” After doing some research I found a few games that were close, but it seemed like drinking games wanted to remain brainless and real games wanted to remain sober. With neither genre willing to commit to the other I decided to try my hand at marrying the two.

Drunk Quest takes its inspiration from fantasy roleplaying games. The goal of play is to defeat monsters, collect their treasures, and level up. There are monster cards, treasure cards, hero cards, and realm cards. On his turn, each player reveals a monster and has to take a certain number of drinks to defeat it. All the players have an opportunity to use treasure cards or their hero’s special ability to help or hinder. Defeating a monster grants a level and a set number of treasures as specified on the monster card.

How serious is the game behind Drunk Quest? Is there actual strategy? What makes it more than a simple who-can-drink-more contest? Jasn explains:

This is definitely a real game with actual depth. The strategy level is comparable to Munchkin. You’re using the treasure cards in your hand to affect other players and protect yourself. You’re letting other players know that if they try to hurt you during your turn that they will be sorry on theirs. The treasure cards can do so much, not just add or remove drinks from a monster. There are cards that can move a monster, lock a monster in place, replace a monster, add a monster, make the monster worth an additional level or worth 1 less level, add or remove treasure from the monster. The goal from the outset was to make a drinking game that was a real, true game with real true depth and strategy. But also it had to be a game that could be played while drinking…extensively.

Jasn sent me a Drunk Quest prototype and I think he describes it about right. There is a real game there but nothing so sophisticated that you won’t be able to keep up after downing a few drinks. Having said that, I have to acknowledge that I still haven’t had a chance to play the game. I took it to a couple of parties at Gen Con, where despite a positive reception and the bravado of several gamers, no one would follow through and actually play it!

Jasn and his friends, however, did some extensive playtesting:

It’s for sure taken us some time to perfect. During the first couple drafts of the game people were drinking way too much and the games were taking way too long. The number of drinks on each monster was a little higher but our Treasure Cards, which can affect the monsters drink value by both raising or lowering drinks were broken. We had Treasure cards that were “x2” drinks on the monster. We’ve since taken out all cards that were multiplication or division. Not only did it make for some crazy drink values, but also, no one wants to drink and do algebra.

Drunk Quest is currently up as a Kickstarter project. With 9 days to go, the project has already met its funding goal. Just $25, though, will get you a copy of the game, which if the prototype is at all representative, will be a quality product. You can see the art in the accompanying pictures and the size of the cards is quite large (about 3½ x 5½ inches). You’ll need it easy-to-read after defeating a few monsters.

Jasn Painter is a Purple Pawn advertiser.