Gloomhaven – Computer adaptation review of the world’s best rated board

Many years ago, the board game Gloomhaven appeared on Kickstarter. With 5,000 supporters, she didn’t make much of a fuss, but as the first pieces reached the first players and rumors of her qualities and monstrous range began to spread, her only author, Isaac Childres, decided to run a second campaign with his Cephalofair Games studio. And it has already made history as one of the most successful thanks to 40,000 backers.

Gloomhaven has conquered the world, steadfastly occupying the top spot in the prestigious rankings BoardGameGeeku, has undergone many language mutations, including the Czech one, another game Gloomhaven: Lion’s Maw has been released, which significantly lowers its megalomaniacal scale, but retains a very solid foundation, and fans are already anxiously awaiting the regular continuation of Frosthaven.

In the meantime, another studio called Flaming Fowl (the authors of the Fable Fortune digital card) has managed to complete the development of a computer adaptation of Gloomhaven, which is the subject of this review. And while this studio’s first game is a miracle, their Gloomhaven is without a doubt one of the best digital record adaptations ever made. Maybe the best ever.

Gloomhaven did not go down in history with its elaborate story, but with a brilliant combat system. The story is there, connecting the individual dungeons and giving the whole experience a skeleton and meaning, but as a result he plays the second violin. The juicy, but at the same time very stiff meat is ruthless visits to the local dungeons, which are full of various monsters from dusty skeletons to demon summoners to elementals and other creatures that you would not like to meet.

You’ll really brainstorm with each turn, as the more complex combat system you look for. You can have up to four heroes under your thumb, each with their own deck of cards. But he doesn’t take it from him, he has all the cards at his disposal.

You must select two of these cards for each character before moving on to the next stage, where you will find out in which order the moves according to the initiative will take place and what your opponents are planning. Each hero must evaluate his two cards, but only the upper half of one and the lower half of the other.

Combining a selection of two cards out of ten, choosing the ideal combination of top and bottom effects, tracking the initiative these cards give you, and ensuring the meaning and interconnected actions of all your heroes – this makes Gloomhaven one of the most challenging and tactical strategies on the market.

The game does not forgive anything. One reckless card play, poor exposure to opponents, and lives are declining at a rate that you really won’t enjoy. To make matters worse, you have to keep in mind that some of the effects of your cards are so powerful that they eliminate the entire card from play until the end of the fight.

At the same time, you will make a difficult decision on your own as soon as the set of cards runs out (after playing, they are aimed at the discard pile). Then you have to choose whether to rest on this turn, so you won’t do anything, just burn one of the discarded cards by the end of the dungeon to return the rest to your hand, or you won’t waste time resting and burn the discard card randomly instead. .

Gloomhaven contains 17 heroes, who are completely different in one. Everyone has their own set of cards, which is based on a completely different approach to combat. Some are a straight tank, others prefer to stay away and treat poor colleagues. Another sets traps around the rooms and another summons the various beings who accompany him on the way to the caves, protect him and kill him for him.

With these heroes you can plunge into many different modes. The computer version does not lack a full-fledged original board campaign, during which you improve your cards, take care of the title city of Gloomhaven, from which you set out on various quests and try to get your heroes to retire.

Everyone has a goal from the beginning that you won’t even know how to achieve. But once you figure it out, and when you do, you’ll have to say goodbye to the hero. Then a new hero from the mentioned palette will be unlocked, and you will constantly learn something even during the gigantic campaign approaching almost a hundred scenarios.


For the purpose of digital adaptation, the developers have also created their own campaign called Guildmaster, in which you do not lose your heroes, you have more of them at once and you go into the generated dungeons with them, while this variant does not lack a story, although it also does not receive any literary prize.

Then there is the sandbox variant, where you can play the game with any hero, find out, for example, who suits you the most, and then play other modes with him. They also thought of a community that could create their own scenarios, characters, and anything that came to mind through modifications.

Like the board, you can play Digital Gloomhaven in cooperation of up to four players, which also works great here. However, for me, digital Gloomhaven is primarily a single-player game. Playing for two heroes is just right, because combining six cards of three heroes, let alone eight cards of four heroes, is in this demanding system that does not forgive mistakes beyond fun.


However, with two heroes and a faithful copy of the original, this is the best Gloomhaven on the market. The computer will do the worst of the whole board for you in a flash – a really time-consuming preparation of each scenario and an unnecessarily complicated control of enemy moves.

What will take 3-4 hours on the table together, you have it done in 30-60 minutes. Plus, you’ll get a much better atmosphere. The game is great sounding, the animations are a pleasure to look at, the 3D graphic styling looks great and in general it’s great to see your favorite board characters come to life and perform all the spells you could have imagined until then.

Gloomhaven is an even better game in digital form than on the table, where it belongs to the absolute top. It looks great, plays great, doesn’t take you that much time or money, and offers a lot more content than a board. So if you were worried about the monstrosity of the nine-kilo box and the time investment, but it still draws you to Gloomhaven, here’s a very simple solution.

But even if you are hearing about Gloomhaven for the first time, you should seriously consider purchasing it. You don’t lose anything without the knowledge of the board, because it is present in all its beauty, and you get a deeply elaborate turn-based dungeon crawler with a sophisticated combat system that will punish you if you don’t think about it.

Count on learning that Gloomhaven without knowing its 40-page rules, using the local tutorial, a description of the basic mechanisms, and easy Guildmaster learning, is a challenge in itself. However, after overcoming it, a game will open that will last you for hundreds of hours.

Source: Games by

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