What Next? is an adventure game created by the crazy chips at Big Potato Games, who you may know well from their wacky party games. What Next is a Pick-Your-Path game in which players go on adventures together, face challenging choices and deftly tackle dexterity mini-games. In this crazy game, players never know what awaits them. In three adventures, players will face a jungle full of evil koalas, a fleet of raging robots or an old lady with a rocket launcher. How adventurous are you?
What Next? features three adventures of increasing difficulty in which players will cooperatively face various dangers. Players choose an adventure, grab the corresponding box and set off together. These adventures come in small boxes, each containing three stacks of cards that together will form the adventure and the story. The pile of large cards contains the various locations players will visit, the pile of medium-sized cards are the events and mini-games players will face, and the pile of small cards contains the items players can equip themselves with.
In addition to the cards, players get a lot of colourful, high-quality items. They get purple ‘peril’ tokens to stack, blue-green plastic shards to puzzle with, yellow shapes in a bag to search blindly and a puck with board to play shuffle board with. These components form the basis for the various mini-games that players will play. In addition, players receive a dial to indicate whether it is night or day. Players are ready to play! What Next? contains few complex rules, but it does contain variation and surprises.
Players draw the first location, read the story and are faced with a choice. The outcome of the choice often determines which location players go to or which event card must be played. The time of day (is it daylight or night) determines which side of a location card is played. When an event occurs, the relevant event card is taken. On this card is then described which minigame players will play. There are a number of standard minigames, such as completing a shape with shards, blindly searching the bag for the right shape or shooting the puck correctly over the corresponding board, but there are also a lot of other minigames hidden in the event pile that I will try not to reveal (no spoilers!). Together with the rest of the players, you have to make your way through the adventure by making different choices and paths, overcoming all obstacles and getting to the end in one piece.
To get to the end in one piece… That implies that you can lose, and that is certainly the case. Every time you fail a challenge (minigame) or take certain dangerous routes, you might be faced with the ‘peril’ tokens. You have to stack these wooden blocks. If there are no tokens left or the tower collapses, the players have lost. No problem, play the adventure again, make different choices, practise the minigames and you will surely triumph!
What Next? is a beautifully designed, colourful, cheerful and funny adventure game. Unlike most narrative adventure games, players don’t face miniature dungeons armed with action points and dice, because in What Next?, players will encounter over 60 dexterity challenges that make up their adventure. Try to escape a giant koala in a collapsing cave by removing the bottom block from a stack without toppling the rest of the tower, or catch a card to swing a vine. In What Next?, players are faced with fun challenges and dexterity games in surprising ways. This makes What Next? feel like an adventure and a party game at the same time. Are you a fan of skill games full of surprises? Then What Next? is definitely a must!