Gloomhaven is one of those board games where you’ll have to play as a team and work towards a specific objective. If you’re already fed up with these highly competitive games that everyone else is used to, then this could be a nice breath of fresh air for you and your friends. The board game takes the form of a dungeon crawl, where you get immersed into a different world and get on a quest to discover the many hidden secrets it’s got in store and the many different scenarios that can play out. Sounds interesting? Good. Get to the end of this Gloomhaven review, and by then, you’ll have known enough to establish whether it belongs on your list of the best board games to play.
Why We Like It – Gloomhaven
There aren’t that many board games that you can adequately compare Gloomhaven to. The game requires a team effort to win, and every time you sit down for a round, you’re bound to encounter a new adventure thanks to the game’s 50+ scenarios.
ProsGreat deal of attention to detailMore than 100 hours of gameplayRequires a collaborative effort to win
ConsMight be complex for young players
Unlike Catan The Board Game, Gloomhaven is actually a legacy game because of the many different levels and scenarios that it has to explore. The game can be played collaboratively between 2-4 players, and they will first have to choose between 6 characters (classes), with another 11 only being unlocked when certain levels of the game are achieved. Each character gets a retirement card, which shows what they need to accomplish before they are retired and another new character is chosen. Gameplay is mainly guided by a book that the board game comes with, and also the larger the group that’s playing the game at one time, the higher the difficulty level of the game.
This game is huge – much bigger than Plan Games Azul Board Game. Its cardboard box weighs almost 22 pounds, and it is filled to the top with components. Inside it you’ll find packages containing the 11 character classes, a large map of Gloomhaven, as well as a bunch of map tiles that you’ll use for constructing the various scenarios of the game. Also included are a collection of cards for various items, and obstacle tokens for a lot of other smaller game components. All of this might make you feel like you’ll never be able to get it set up properly, but once you play the game a few times, things get a lot easier.
Gloomhaven has two main levels that players have to go through, which makes it a bit more complicated than board games like Ticket to Ride. The first level involves roaming around the city of Gloomhaven where you can then shop for new items, increase your character’s abilities, donate cash to the temple or just retire your current characters and get new characters. Once every player is satisfied with what they have then the adventure can begin. As they enter into a scenario (crash into a dungeon with a specific objective), each player picks up a deck of cards, but can only play two cards during their turn. The cards have a top and bottom half, where the top action includes attacking-moves, and the bottom action includes a defensive or supportive measure. The completion of a scenario’s objective registers as a win.
Playing Gloomhaven is bound to be an addictive game especially if you enjoy winning as a team, and with the many scenarios that the game has to it, you won’t get bored any time soon. Check it out on Amazon, and before you purchase it, have a look at what previous buyers had to say on the customer review section.