The Goonies: Never Say Die Review: A Loving Adaptation with Room to Grow

The Goonies may have come to life decades ago on screen, but its legacy is alive and well today. The coming-of-age film has found new life yet again, and Funko Games is taking advantage of its swashbuckling spirit. The company did just that with The Goonies: Never Say Die, and the board game is a delight for die-hard fans of the film.

The game mixes classic dice-based adventures with wild storytelling.  The Goonies: Never Say Die brings nine adventures to play for players as Mikey, Mouth, Data, and Chunk hit the town. With one player overseeing the board as the Goondocks Master, The Goonies is brought to life with miniatures including Sloth. And when the film's credits would roll, the game continues with some very interesting missions.

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If you are a big fan of The Goonies film, this game is an easy buy. Prospero Hall, the game's developer, put a lot of care into making this adventure. The miniatures included with The Goonies: Never Say Die are detailed, and each of the Goonies comes with well-balanced attributes that can totally change an encounter. Even the dice are themed to the film given their gem tones, so Funko Games spared no detail for fans this time around.

As for the game's missions, the nine included are fluid and stay true to the film. The Goonies: Never Say Die begins easily enough as our heroes must clash against the Fratellis and eventually face off with One-Eyed Willie himself. Of course, some of the missions are wilder as sea monsters and deadly traps spring out of nowhere. Each adventure is paced well with none lasting over an hour in our experience.

Of course, no board game is perfect, and The Goonies: Never Say Die is no different. In our experience, we did find that some missions feel mismatched in terms of difficulty. We would like to see difficulty ramp up more linearly, but that isn't always possible once you pass the third adventure. This issue cropped up whenever we had a small party playing, but The Goonies: Never Say Die does allow for house rules like any other game. If you can roll with the punches, the game sorts itself out in the end, and the target audience will hardly mind.

After all, The Goonies: Never Say Die was made for a target audience, and that is fans of the movie. The board game is a love letter to the '80s movie, and players will feel very homage. The game's scope might not appeal to everyone, but gamers who enjoy booby traps and pirate loot will easily fall into this game. So if you're in your own Goonies group, this game needs to join your must-play list.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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