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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gloomhaven is a digital adaptation of the popular strategic fantasy board game, and is available for download on Windows and Mac. Players put together a team of adventurers and work together through a series of turn-based skirmishes against various human and monster foes. Combat features an arsenal of medieval weapons, magical abilities, and special skills. There's little to no blood or graphic violence shown onscreen, with characters falling to the ground and disappearing after being defeated. The game has a steep learning curve and requires a lot of critical thinking, reading skills, and micromanagement, which can be overwhelming to younger or more casual players. While there's no profanity in the dialogue, the online multiplayer could still expose players to offensive language from others.
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What’s It About?
GLOOMHAVEN enters the digital realm with this faithful adaptation of the hit tabletop fantasy board game. There are those compelled by a sense of duty, and those that crave the rush of combat. Some thirst for adventure, while others seek fame and fortune. Whatever the motivation, the world of Gloomhaven offers endless opportunities for those willing to get their hands dirty and face the dangers that lie within. Players will recruit their party of mercenaries from an eclectic group of characters. From the gadget-oriented Tinkerer to and magic wielding Spellweaver to the powerhouse strength of the Brute and the mental domination of the Mindthief, the game features a total of seventeen different classes, each with its own unique skills gameplay mechanics. You'll command your party through the epic odyssey of Gloomhaven's Campaign, or enter the Guildmaster mode for a more streamlined adventure through more than 160 exclusive missions. You can face the challenges alone in solo play or join with up to three friends in online co-op play. Whichever way you choose, you'll need to rely on teamwork, strategy, and a little bit of luck to survive, collecting your loot and evolving your party to prepare for the whatever challenges the next chapter of your adventure holds.
Is It Any Good?
This title began its life as a fantasy board game that combined elements of a strategic tabletop miniature and card game with the grand scope of an epic role-playing campaign. Gloomhaven quickly found an audience of diehard fans and has been a critical hit since its release. Now the game has made the transition to the digital realm, bringing with it a slew of options, enhancements, and other features that somehow manage to improve on an already near perfect gaming experience. Its onscreen presentation has sharp visuals and animation that breathes real life into the world of Gloomhaven. It's not just eye candy though. The video game lets players dive right into the adventure, skipping any sort of setup and breakdown needed in the physical version. It also takes care of the number crunching of things like combat resolution automatically, instantly factoring in the necessary modifiers from both sides of the skirmish and keeping the flow of the game moving along. Plus, thanks to the game's online features, would-be adventures can gather together from anywhere in the world.
The Gloomhaven board game is not a casual affair by any means. The gameplay mechanics can be overwhelming, especially to newcomers to the classic pen and paper role-playing genre. Since the digital version is faithful to its physical counterpart, it can be equally overwhelming. The in-game tutorials try their best to explain the basics of the gameplay, but seem to skip over some important nuances. This is important since the game generally handles resolution on its own, leaving no option to stop and refer to the rulebook for an explanation. Oftentimes, when things don't go as planned, players are left scratching their heads trying to sort out why some card power or ability wasn't able to be used. With practice comes understanding though, and these instances become few and far between. And thanks to the deep Campaign mode, which has players coming back time and time again to continue the legacy of their party members, as well as a Guildmaster mode that features a buffet of more bite-sized quests for on the fly action, there's always a reason for a Gloomhaven game night.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about physical and digital board games. What are some of the advantages that physical games might have over their digital counterparts and vice versa? What sort of influence have these fantasy tabletop games had on video games?
Do you prefer games that are simple to pick up and play or games that require more skill and critical thinking skills? How important is it to have adjustable difficulty in games?
- Platforms: Windows, Mac
- Pricing structure: Paid ($34.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Asmodee Digital
- Release date: October 20, 2021
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Award: Common Sense Media Award
- Last updated: July 5, 2022
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