Parents' Guide to

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Expansion brings new fun, but still feels light on content.

Game Windows , Mac 2022
Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion packshot

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When fans couldn't get enough of the board game Gloomhaven, it was only a matter of time for an expansion to come along and let those fans extend the legacy of their adventure. Now the digital version of Gloomhaven has followed suit with the release of Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. Unlike the physical expansion to the board game, which was a standalone release, this digital expansion requires players to already own the base Gloomhaven video game. Taking its cue from the "If it ain't broke" school of thought, the expansion leaves the gameplay of the main game untouched. Instead, it simply adds a few new missions tied to a new story campaign, some new enemies and bosses, a handful of new items, and most important, four new classes, to the original Gloomhaven toybox. While it's hard to complain about having more content, when compared to the sheer volume of content already in the base game, the expansion feels a bit anemic by comparison.

Jaws of the Lion may only add four new classes to the game's bulky roster, but they are available in Guildmaster mode right from the start. For players that haven't unlocked the multitude of other classes in the base game yet, this can feel more substantial. Plus, each of the four classes has its unique specialties and uses that stand out from the rest and can be worked into missions using new and innovative tactics. The Demolitionist, for example, can ground pound and affect sizeable chunks of the battlefield, clearing obstacles or knocking foes into walls for extra damage. Chain these moves with teammates' abilities, and it opens up some spectacular combo opportunities. The plot of the new storyline, accessible in the Campaign after finishing the base game's second scenario, isn't all that compelling, but it does give both new players and returning adventurers something extra to sink their teeth into. Overall, Jaws of the Lion is exactly what it claims to be and nothing more. It expands on the things that make Gloomhaven such a blast to play, but plays it safe by not taking any chances or mixing things up.

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