16 December 2015
Dare you enter the world of Descent?
Fantasy Flight Games | Adventure | £64.99 | 2-5 players | 120 minutes | www.fantasyflightgames.com
One of the appealing things about role-playing games is that sense of a grand adventure as you and some pals head off into mysterious environments ready to slay all manner of beasties. However, the problem is that role-playing is a potentially time-consuming process with lots of things to keep track of across a campaign that can potentially take weeks.
Step up Descent: Journeys in the Dark, which takes all the great stuff about role-playing – character customisation, epic adventures and looting galore – but then breaks it into a far more accessible package. Rather than taking weeks, a full campaign in the second edition of Descent can be over in five or six play sessions ensuring that restless attention deficit players don’t wander off and start playing something else… ooh, shiny…
Something else that’s interesting in Descent is that the dungeon master has plenty of incentive to try and win, rather than just providing a dungeon for people to hack and slash their way through. Just like the heroes the Overlord can level up their monsters and has their own missions too. As such there’s a definite incentive to not only play the heroes but play the Overlord too and potentially even go back to previously played missions to experience the game from either side of the good versus evil divide.
Take, for example, the very first mission in which the heroes need to defeat a giant ettin, while the overlord has to get his goblins off the pitch. It makes for some tense encounters, particularly when one side is nearing their goal. Combat, meanwhile, is also straight forward thanks to some colour coded dice with symbols rather than numbers – again it’s that idea of boiling down an RPG into a simpler form.
Finally, Descent looks and feels like a wonderful package. Fantasy Flight has gone to create a product that oozes quality – the miniatures, in particular, are a delight and certainly help the game’s visual appeal.
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