|a game by||Flaming Fowl Studios|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 2 votes|
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|See also:||RPGs, Strategy, Board Games, Co-op Games, Games Like For the King|
In 2017, Cephalofair Games released one of the most ambitious board games ever: Gloomhaven. This dungeon crawler game came in a box that weighed a little over 20 lb, containing more than 1,500 cards to represent its 95 scenarios. Now, Flaming Fowl Studios has developed a video game version of Gloomhaven that hopes to capture the original’s scope.
For fans of pen and paper games, Gloomhaven is an RPG like no other. Mixing the best elements of tactical-RPGs and dungeon-crawling games, this might be the closest a video game has ever been to capture the sheer freedom of a board game campaign.
Take it slow
Unlike other RPGs, Gloomhaven takes pride in its methodical approach to the genre. This isn’t a Diablo Clone: a game that’s based on speed and skill and where only players with quick reflexes win in the end. This is a game where preparation is key, and learning when to play the right cards could be the difference between victory or defeat.
Just like the tabletop game, cards are the main tool players will use to navigate the world of Gloomhaven. Cards do everything in this game, from combat to movement, even looting. Administering your cards will become second nature as you play more rounds of Gloomhaven, although the slow nature of the game might turn some players off.
Assemble your party
Sure, Gloomhaven might technically be considered an RPG, but that doesn’t mean that it is similar to The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. You’ll get no enjoyment out of playing this game solo, and the multiplayer aspect of it is heavily enforced, if not downright mandatory.
One of the most entertaining parts of playing a tabletop game is reuniting a group of friends to play with you and accompany you on your campaigns. That element of camaraderie is left intact in the digital version of Gloomhaven. This might be the best adaptation of a tabletop version to a digital medium, as the game feels exactly like its cardboard counterpart.
The sheer amount of content in Gloomhaven is astounding: its large number of cards allows almost endless possibilities to customize your campaigns, meaning that it will be a long while before you start seeing cards repeating.
New players need not feel overwhelmed by Gloomhaven’s tabletop mechanics: the game’s tutorial is very detailed and provides a lot of assistance for newcomers to the genre. This is also helped by the fact that the game looks more like a traditional dungeon crawler than its board game counterpart.
If you’ve enjoyed games like Divinity: Original Sin II before, then you’ll find the UI and general aesthetics of Gloomhaven to your liking. Characters are very well rendered, and the dungeons look gloomy and fun to explore.
There’s also a good amount of enemy variety, all of them properly designed to look like classic tabletop monsters. Style-wise, the game looks like a Diablo game: the dark colors and gloomy palette give the game a certain edge that will appeal to fans of darker fantasy games.
The characters are a bit of a mixed bag: some of them look good, while others could be considered to be a little overdesigned. Luckily, they all fit well into the game’s overall aesthetic.
Porting a tabletop game to a digital form isn’t an easy task; luckily, Flaming Fowl Studios seem to be on the right track with Gloomhaven. This is a game for fans of this kind of board game, and those looking for a more traditional RPG experience might be disappointed by some of the game’s design choices.
- Great to play in multiplayer
- Entertaining gameplay
- Tons of content to explore
- Some connectivity issues in online multiplayer
- Gameplay can be tedious if you’re not familiar with the genre
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP