Wizard’s Quest: Treasure Hunt on the Fantastic Island of Marnon (1979)

No idea why I own two copies of Wizard’s Quest: Treasure Hunt on the Fantastic Island of Marnon (1979, Avalon Hill), but I do. They have different cover art (which is not awesome enough to have motivated me to hunt for them, but neat enough that I can’t decide which to let go of now that I have both) but I have no idea which came first. One features a concept painting for Falkenstein Castle by Christian Jank (1883) and one a knock-off imitation of the same painting. The dragon is the same for both boxes, but originates from the knock-off. I dunno, man, it’s weird. Didn’t Avalon Hill get in trouble at some point for lifting a Frazetta painting? Something similar is afoot here, I think.

The game itself is a pretty simple conquest game, complicated by presence of rampaging orcs, a dragon that eats troops and a wizard who promotes peace and prosperity in the region he visits. Players are hunting for three personal treasures that, when found, will let them claim the throne of the island kingdom (and win the game). It’s a pretty straightforward game made slightly complex by the random movement of the wizard and the dragon. Neat, but not really a classic. I do suspect that easy to play games like this with fantasy themes both capitalized on and contributed to the rise in popularity of fantasy in general, which in turn created a climate that helped propel D&D’s success.  

Weird that the game is called Wizard’s Quest but no one plays a wizard, right?

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