Amazing game, love how every decision has a true consequence, weather that be now or later.
The characters are incredible, the abilities, the combos, graphics, everything…
Although Gloomhaven is a turn-based RPG, it is very unique and extremely immersive and challenging.
You start by picking 2 characters of which I have found the Brute and the Mage to be the best combo for me.
Others might like other combos, so just play to find out.
There is a very RPGish map to plan your party’s moves as well as colour codes indicating the difficulty of each route taken to the objectives and destinations along the way.
Once inside your destination, the game becomes a dungeon crawl requiring deep thinking, strategy and tactics.
At first, you might lose many many times, but you will learn and once you learn this very unique and complex battle system the game becomes extremely fun.
Moreover, even when your learning and dying the game becomes extremely addictive.
Now I know most gamers are very intelligent, but this game will require FULL use of your brain cells.
The reason is that each of your two characters have a hand of several cards.
You must manage the use of these cards in a few ways:
1) Before performing an action with a card, you must take notice of the little “burn” icon on the card in the lower right.
That icon means once it’s used it is GONE forever.
2)The order in which you select your 2 cards each turn and the order you use them.
In addition, the cards are split into an upper and lower section, i.e. each card actually equals 2 cards and depending what you pick out fo the 2 selections on each card determines whats available on the 2nd card.
I think I got that right…its easier to watch a video or just play the game to see what I mean.
3) If you do not manage your cards properly you will run out of cards and die.
Thus, try not to use any cards with the burn icon unless its a life or death situation.
I like to save mine for the last room.
It is much better to use one card and skip the 2nd card in order to preserve it as a “discard”.
You can get the discards back a couple of ways, which adds to your thinking.
4) I can not stress card management enough, you cannot play like other games where you can just play a card for the sake of playing it…nope…one mistake can cost you, two will really hurt you so you must THINK and PLAN.
One of the KEY decisions you will have to make is when to take damage and when to lose a card(s) instead.
This increases the intensity of the game, as it is very common at least for me to bring my characters health down to 1, in order to preserve my cards.
Also, the AI is very very good and some types of enemies that are fragile in other games, these same enemies such as archers and skeletal fighters are quite tough in this game, i.e. the archers will shoot you to shreds and the skeletons heal and buff themselves
Here are the Pros and Cons:
-Great graphics and good sound effects.
-Very unique and original.
-Fun once you get the hang of it.
-Immense feeling of accomplishment after each dungeon.
-Very very immersive….time will fly by in the real world!
-The game is in Early Access, so there are a few bugs and missing features such as multiplayer.
-Those who played the board game by the same name have different opinions of how it compares or duplicates that experience.
-Very challenging to learn, but tons of Youtube videos to help you.
In conclusion, if you want a hardcore turn-based RPG that requires you to THINK and consider your tactics, then this game is for you.
If you want forgiveness and a feeling of being special and not having to use your brain then it is not for you.
The game is so good and challenging at this point it will only get better, which is incredible, considering how much of a fun challenge it is now.
The discussion forum and community is very helpful so don’t be afraid to ask them questions.