The exceedingly popular and exceedingly heavy board game Gloomhaven is getting a video game adaptation in early 2019. The word "adaptation" is key here, as the video game will not be a direct translation of the tabletop version. Presumably, it will also be a lot lighter than 20 pounds.
Announced at Gen Con 2018, publisher Asmodee Digital and developer Flaming Fowl Studios describe the game as a "rogue-like dungeon-crawling adaptation of the famous board game" and IGN notes that they are working directly with Gloomhaven creator Isaac Childres to make it happen. The game will initially launch on Steam Early Access, and a URL for the game is already live. A teaser video and official description are available below.
"In this rogue-like dungeon-crawling adaptation of the famous board game, you will journey through terrifying randomly generated dungeons, fight against increasingly horrific and powerful foes…or die trying.
Our game designers are channelling Gloomhaven’s quintessential spirit day after day: deep tactical mechanics, battle preparations… and also dying.
In Gloomhaven, you play as a team of mercenaries on their own personal quests to go conquer a world of darkness and trials. Choose your group members wisely, because in the turmoil of battle you can only rely on your wits, skills and spells to fight your way through the putrid dungeons and forgotten ruins.
If you survive your perilous journeys, you might have the opportunity to expand your team, improve your spells or maybe fill your coin purse. You’ll need these things to overcome the hordes of malicious beasts, demons and whatever else may find itself in your path towards victory and domination of all. No decision should ever be made lightly, so choose with caution!"
Asmodee plans to use the Steam Early Access period to get feedback on what players want to see brought over from the physical game. At this point, we know that it will feature turn-based combat. It will also be a single player experience, but a multiplayer option is certainly on the table for the future.
If you are unfamiliar with Gloomhaven, know that it's currently the #1 rated board game of all-time according to BoardGameGeek's rankings - a title that has only changed hands six times previously. Do a search around the Internet for reviews and you'll find that the rank is likely well deserved.
If you can't find a good DM for Dungeons & Dragons or don't want to invest the prep time, Gloomhaven is a great alternative. The games are very different mechanically, but there is definitely a crossover appeal here. Ideally, you'll be able to play both because, as many have pointed out, they scratch a different itch. The official description reads:
"Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special set of skills and their own reasons for travelling to this dark corner of the world. Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make. This is a legacy game with a persistent and changing world that is ideally played over many game sessions. After a scenario, players will make decisions on what to do, which will determine how the story continues, kind of like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. Playing through a scenario is a cooperative affair where players will fight against automated monsters using an innovative card system to determine the order of play and what a player does on their turn."
• For 1-4 Players
• 60-120 minute playing time
• Co-operative play Euro-inspired tactical combat
• Every turn a player will play two cards out of their hand. Each card has a number in the center, and the number on the first card played will determine their initiative order. Each card also has a top and bottom power, and when it is a player’s turn in the initiative order, they determine whether to use the top power of one card and the bottom power of the other, or vice-versa
If you want to try out Gloomhaven, it can be backordered on Amazon right now for $136.48. You should probably reserve one sooner rather than later because the game has been notoriously difficult to find, and it often comes with heavy markups.
If you do pick up Gloomhaven, you might want to keep an eye out for the removable sticker set. The pack contains "a replacement for every map, achievement, and enhancement sticker in the core game, and also includes replacement seals for character boxes, secret envelopes, and the town records book."
An expansion called Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles is also on the way, and can be pre-ordered here. It includes 20 new scenarios that take place after the original Gloomhaven campaign.
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