18 July 2019
Sweet Childres of Mine
Isaac Childres’ Gloomhaven – the best board game of all time, if the BoardGameGeek rankings are anything to go by – has arrived on PC. If you’re expecting a one-for-one version of the legacy RPG-slash-Eurogame epic, though, you’re in for a surprise.
The digital version of Gloomhaven is described as a ‘roguelike tactical RPG’, taking inspiration from the original board game rather than directly recreating its card-driven combat and dungeon-crawling.
Childres himself worked with developer Flaming Fowl Studios on the app, approving the studio’s different spin on his acclaimed cardboard creation.
Players control two to four characters as they fight their way through a variety of environments; only a handful of classes, enemies and bosses are in the Early Access version of the game at the moment, but the developers have said they’re working towards a full roster of more than a dozen playable heroes and nearly 50 different foes for the full release, with new content due to be added over the coming weeks and months.
The Early Access version of Gloomhaven currently available on Steam showcases the app’s adventure mode, a way of seeing the game’s turn-based combat and exploration in procedurally-generated skirmishes with roguelike mechanics – meaning you start afresh when you die.
The complete game is set to include the entire campaign from the board game with nearly 100 scenarios, which can also be tackled in multiplayer co-op – for now, you can only play single-player. The game includes multiple difficulty levels, with the board game’s ‘expert’ settings an option alongside more beginner-friendly challenges.
Asmodee Digital, which is working on the game with Flaming Fowl, was upfront about the Early Access version of Gloomhaven still being an in-development project, acknowledging that bugs will be present, the amount of content will be limited and learning the game for the first time won’t be as easy as it will be in the final release. It added that those who’ve already played Gloomhaven on the tabletop should be able to jump across to its digital counterpart, though.
Gloomhaven can be had for £20 on Steam Early Access now – Asmodee said that the price during Early Access won’t go up, but will increase for the game’s full launch next year, so you can save a few quid now if you’re set on experiencing the game on your PC.
Two major updates are set to land later this year, adding two extra classes, a new environment and extra enemies to the adventure mode – you’ll have to hold off until 2020 to play with friends in the full campaign.