It's still one of the best dungeon crawlers ever made, but now it's on PC.
As packaged content, this adaptation of Jaws of the Lion is a surprisingly effective remodel of the cardboard product. Despite abandoning the material’s original purpose of providing a more streamlined introduction to Gloomhaven’s systems, the design team produced an entertaining and effective side campaign that will extend the life of Gloomhaven and bring fresh perspectives to this storied game.
Speaking of which: The dungeons themselves are splendid. Their visuals aren't particularly striking, but they do create an oppressive atmosphere. This mood pairs wonderfully with an enhanced focus on exploration. New rooms and enemies are slowly revealed as you encounter them, unlike the board game, which requires you to uncomfortably ignore unexplored areas on the dungeon setup map. This is a fundamental shift in how we interact with the environment and it injects a heightened sense of tension. It doesn't hurt that these dungeons, with their atmosphere and excellent design, are all the more enjoyable because the digital version removes so much of the busy work of the tabletop game. It's so much easier to be enveloped by it all.
An excellent digital version of a very good boardgame. Good for both veterans of the tabletop version (due to new content like the Guildmaster campaign) and newbies willing to try a peculiar fantasy experience (and manage a lot of cards).
Review in Italian | Read full review
Short of somehow also being a massive box full of toys, secret envelopes, and bears to rummage around in with a group of mates, I couldn't ask for more from this loving and skillful adaptation.
All in all Gloomhaven is still the game people either know and love, or the game that will welcome those looking for a dungeon crawler with open arms. Why then choose the digital version? Well there are many reasons to choose the digital version but I suppose some of the main reasons include ease of access and ease of use, and lest we forget an intuitively easy to use interface Gloomhaven the digital version is welcoming and makes getting together with friends or playing it alone easier. These reasons alone are the biggest reason to dip your toes into the Gloomhaven pool and go for a swim. Gloomhaven's staying power is unprecedented and the digital version further cements that and ultimately paves the way for future games.
Gloomhaven's jump from board game to PC keeps the game as strategic and satisfying as it ever was, all while streamlining the experience and opening it up to new avenues of play. The genuine effort of the creators shows through to a game that is worthy for fans and newcomers alike to struggle against the hordes of doom that threaten your very cards.
Gloomhaven is clearly not a title to put in everyone's hands. Complex, and difficult, the game will require a real investment to enjoy it perfectly. Nevertheless, when we give it a chance, we find ourselves in front of a generous, fine and rather exhilarating RPG.
Review in French | Read full review
That aside, Asmodee continues to demonstrate why it is the best digital board game developer going around. Gloomhaven itself is a little insular compared to the likes of Game of Thrones, Arkham Horror, Ticket to Ride, Pathfinder and Lord of the Rings, so I suspect it will appeal to a narrower band of players than some of Asmodee's other adaptations, but the faithful quality of that adaptation and the stellar production values make it an easy sell to existing Gloomhaven fans, and the ideal way to those that were intimidated by the size (and cost) of the box when they've seen it in their local game store to give it a go in the first place.
As true as those things may be, my last word on Gloomhaven is that it was an utterly difficult bastard. Despite that, the bloomin’ thing kept pulling me in anyway, and I loved every blasted second of it. All of which is why I’m giving Gloomhaven the Thumb Culture Golden Award, one bastard to another.
Gloomhaven proved to be a very unique experience. At times difficult and frustrating. Yet built to be inviting through its accessibility and forgiving through its design, those interested in crawling through its immense amount of content are sure to enjoy what it brings to the table.
The core gameplay is fun, but the digital version brings all the problems from the board game with no solutions. The single-player mode misses out on the social aspect that makes the board game worth playing, without making up for it in mechanics or story.
Now that the Flaming Fowl Studios has laid the groundwork, I am eagerly looking forward to see what other Gloomhaven content gets added in the near future.
Gloomhaven is a solid version of the classic tabletop experience that offers turn-based combat, unique classes and abilities, and detailed quests.
Gloomhaven offers hours of mental challenges with a sophisticated battle system.