Gloomhaven Review

Gloomhaven Review

Summary:

Players: 1-4

Ages: 12+

Game play: 60 – 120 mins

Gloomhaven is a multi award winning thematic strategy game from Cephalofair Games.

A very deep game that is intended to be played over several sessions, Gloomhaven requires players to co-operate by necessity in order to progress successfully through its fantasy world.

Each player takes on the role of a wandering mercenary with their own special set of skills and their own motives. As the players move through this world they 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.

Extremely diverse and customisable characters combined with a huge range of missions make for great replay value. People love the random elements of this game along with the asymmetry of characters, both adding to variety and providing further depth in possible scenarios.

Overall, Gloomhaven is an excellent dungeon crawling adventure game, and for many gamers, this represents the best game that has ever been created.

Pros:

  • Very deep and complex story
  • Addictive story lines
  • Large magnitude of possible scenarios
  • Beautiful miniatures and artwork

Cons:

  • Huge amount of pieces and long setup time
  • Can be overwhelmingly complex
  • Expensive

What users say about Gloomhaven:

Users love the many possible missions and scenarios available in this game, providing exceptional replay value. They also enjoy that this is a semi-cooperative game, with players needing to collaborate in order to achieve their individual objectives, adding a unique dynamic.

The asymmetrical players adds further depth to the game, with players enjoying the variety this adds to gameplay. The game mechanics are also popular, particularly the combat mechanics.

People praise the components of the game, especially the beautiful miniature figurines. They do also, however, note that the magnitude of components contributes to along setup and takedown. Other players felt overwhelmed with the sheer size and depth of the game.

Overall, this game is one of the most popular on the market in it’s genre. Users find the gameplay mechanics, deep and addictive storylines, and excellent replayability combine to make an outstanding, well balanced strategy game.

What experts say about Gloomhaven:

The overall opinion amongst experts is overwhelmingly positive. They praise the depth and uniqueness of the story and its ability to drag players deep into the world. They also enjoy the fact that the gameplay itself isn’t overly complicated and there’s little that happens that doesn’t tangibly add to the enjoyment of the game.

Reviewers loved the fact that characters are diverse and break the mould of the usual fighters and healers, dwarves and elves. They also enjoy the way characters become retired but still have the potential to reappear later in the game.

The huge number of missions mean you could play unique games of Gloomhaven for years, with subtle legacy elements built in meaning some events happen once and never again.

Criticisms include the fact it can take a while for players to level up to higher abilities, which is when the fun really starts, as well as the fact that unless you are very dedicated to investing time in the game, it takes a long while to make your way through the various missions.

Expert reviews:

https://www.tabletopgaming.co.uk/board-games/reviews/gloomhaven-review

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