Let me take you back to a glorious time, one filled with magic and the wide-eyed wonder of youthful ignorance. The date was August 19, 2021 and my review of The Goonies: Never Say Die had just been published right here on Board Game Quest. I liked the game quite a bit, but more importantly the reviews of my review were outstanding. People from all corners of the internet were clamoring for more and I told them, humbly, “You’ll get more when there is more to be gotten.”
Well here we are: six months later and finally, everyone can get more gotten by me. (Or something like that. Editor, please fix that so I still sound brain-strong or whatever that word is.)
The Goonies: Under the Goondocks – A Never Say Die Expansion adds new characters, villains, and adventures to the mix. Is the expansion a necessary addition to the base game? Will this review be as well-received as the one I wrote for the base game? You’re just a few short paragraphs away from finding out the answer to both questions.
The Goonies: Under the Goondocks – A Never Say Die Expansion doesn’t change the gameplay from the base set, but rather includes additional heroes to choose from and introduces new villains as well as a few game concepts over the course of its three adventures. Without going into too much detail: the villains can now poison the heroes and one of the boss-level baddies can mutate and change forms. The first adventure in this set also has a fun searching objective that was different than anything found in the base game. (I’ll also point out that while I’m tempted to keep referring to this expansion by its outrageously long official title, I’ll shorten it from this point forward to save our website some ink.)
The most obvious thing Under the Goondocks adds is the ability to play as the three teenage characters who were absent from the base game. Andy, Stef, and Brand can be used both in this set as well as the Never Say Die adventures and, like the characters from the base set, feature thematic skill levels and abilities. To supplement these characters, all of the other Goonies now have their own assist cards, which does change the setup options across every adventure in both the base game and this expansion. Other than that, the game plays identically in terms of turn flow and mechanisms.
One of the complaints that was leveled against Never Say Die was that neither of the two female heroines were included and this expansion rectifies that. Since this expansion was announced almost simultaneously to the release of the base game, it does make some sense why the teenagers were separated, but it’s still nice to see all of the major characters from the film finally represented.
Game Experience with the Expansion:
The three adventures included in Under the Goondocks are fun, with two of them in particular offering some inventive new concepts and villain types. While it’s nice to increase the number of characters across the two sets, none of this system’s adventures—base game or expansion—are really designed to be played more than once whether you’re acting as the Goondocks Master (that’s the bad guy) or the Goonies themselves. Technically the new characters could be inserted into one of the adventures from the base game, but it wouldn’t change the methods by which victory would be achieved.
Similarly, any of the original Goonies could be used in the expansion adventures (except the first one, which does force players to choose from a specific set of characters), but it seems obvious that since there are three new characters to try out, players will use only them for the duration of the expansion’s adventures. This effectively makes the expansion pointless to replay using the base set’s characters.
Like I’ve said here and in my original review of the base game, The Goonies: Never Say Die system—Dungeons and Dragons for beginners, basically—is a lot of fun. This set of three new adventures probably makes sense to buy for those who were big fans of the base set and are considering introducing a whole new group of players to the game as the GM. Still, I don’t think it’s a necessary purchase since it doesn’t really change any of the things players are able to do during the game. Aside from a few added concepts, there aren’t any new mechanisms in The Goonies: Under the Goondocks and none of the things included here change the adventures from the base game enough to make replaying them with the new characters worthwhile.
• Includes remainder of the film’s main characters
• New villain types are interesting
• More adventures to play
• This expansion has a fabulously long official name
• Doesn’t add a lot of replay value to the base game
• Maybe include a few more adventures?
• Seriously: The name of this expansion is ridiculous