TheProfessionalAmature - 1 month ago
***This product was provided at no charge in exchange for my review.***
From box to board pieces, everything was very well designed. I unfortunately didn't have the pleasure of watching the instructional videos as the link wasn't functioning properly upon receiving the product, but the physical instructions were pretty strait forward.
It was a lot of initial information to take-in and learn how to setup/begin, but after a few turns you quickly get the general idea behind the games fluidity.
The game guides you right out of the box on how best to start your adventure. For someone like myself who enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons, this is like a very simplified version of the game to me. You have your "champions" whose primary goal is to slay the monsters, while your side quests of rescuing the villagers will earn you additional "loot" (or special cards) that can be used throughout the game to enhance your experience, ease you in your quest, and give you an advantage during play.
Between running solo or playing with a group, this game can be enjoyed a variety of ways and numerous times. It doesn't feel old, even after playing several times over, as you can customize the difficulty and the gameplay mechanics (variably) depending on how many players there are.
Another enjoyable aspect of the game was that every action has an equal or greater opposite reaction. One wrong move can cost you a life token and move the monsters that much closer to victory. You will be put into situations where you're forced to decide whether you're going to sacrifice your friend or a villager in an effort to push your cause (whether that is gather loot to slay the monster or progress along the riverfront.) Sometimes you're going to have to look your friend in the face, give them a heartfelt apology, and watch as Dracula takes a crunch out of them (and your life points) while you move closer to his coffins.
One of the greatest downsides was not having the instructional video when I started. The game can be very confusing and the instructional booklet can leave you scratching your head wondering what in the world you do now. If you can be patient with it though through every turn you take, you will quickly pick up the gist of what it is explaining and will be able to quickly dive into your next game feeling like a dungeon master.
The other downside is the length of time it takes. Upon initial setup without the video, it took us well over an hour just to figure out what we were doing. After a few turns, things slowly pieced themselves together and we were able to start over fresh without much questioning or confusion of how we finish our turns/the monsters react, etc. You definitely will need about an hour per campaign though, so be sure you're not trying to jump into a quick game that you can start and finish in 15-minutes time.
At the end of the day, this is by far a very amazing board game. The thought that was put into it, the design of the board/pieces/stories, and the satisfaction (or urge to play again) you get from the end of a campaign keep you coming back for more. You don't feel the need to put it away for months at a time because you've worn it out too quickly, and that is what makes this experience such a thrilling win!
5/5 - Would highly recommend to anyone looking for their next adventure in the horror fantasy genre!