Descent: Legends of the Dark is the perfect blend of video games and tabletop adventure

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Adult life is tough, and Descent: Legends of the Dark knows it. To be precise, he’s aware that getting a group of board games together on a regular basis can be like keeping cats. With that in mind, Descent can be played – and truly enjoyed – by one person.

Of course, Descent: Legends of the Dark can accommodate four adventurers in total. But bringing together so many willing victims is not essential to having a good time.

Applications against evil

Set in the land of Terrinoth (a fantasy world that has been taking shape since the mid-2000s) and sort of a sequel to Descent: Journeys in the Dark, this cooperative dungeon robot charges up its future heroes by holding back a tide of hellspawn who are clearly bad news because of their sharp character. However, it is not this traditional good versus evil plot that will attract you. Instead, this achievement can be put to the feet of the game’s sleek and almost smart enough companion app to make you coffee. .

Descent: Legends of Darkness

Descent’s miniatures and landscapes are a must-have for any table (Image credit: Avenir)

A lot of best board games feature mechanisms powered by your smartphone or tablet, but few of them are as involved as this. With dialogue options that accompany a full soundtrack and AI-controlled enemy attacks, Descent: Legends of the Dark often feels more like playing a video game than a tabletop experience. Combined with the tactile nature of the miniatures and sets (a generous amount of which is included in the box), it’s a unique experience that you really can’t find anywhere else.

Because the app dictates what will happen next rather than forcing you to follow written directions, it maintains a sense of distance and mystery that comes from not knowing what is happening on the next turn. Of course, this will not replace a good Dungeon Master running the adventures of the best tabletop RPGs. But it always injects an element of the unknown that keeps you going.

And before I say it, no – you can’t just download the app and play that way. Beyond initial placement, Descent’s AI does not track enemy position, maps, or dice rolls. You have to do this manually and enter the results, so there’s no way to get into Legends of the Dark without having the physical game in your hands (sorry).

Descent: Legends of Darkness

Descent: The Legends of the Dark app is like a virtual Dungeon Master (Image credit: Fantasy Flight)

The fact that Descent’s app sorts the numbers for you is a worthy blessing to its spellcasters as well; it manages the generation of enemies, tracks injuries and tells you exactly which terrain to place. This allows you to focus on the actual game instead of dusting off your math skills or checking rule books every five minutes. You can even browse the rules in the app by pressing and holding a term you need clarification on.

Beautiful beast

In addition to giving you more time to familiarize yourself with the characters under your control, the app helps you define who they are through conversation. You don’t have much to choose from, but it’s enough to give your party a personality beyond what you would read on the back of an accompanying card or bumph. While the story they venture through the cheese sins (and gives you a lot to digest, to the point where I feel like I’ve wandered halfway through the narrative), it’s still enough to attract you.

Much of this is due to an expressive and colorful art style that jumps off the screen. Because it’s matched – if not enhanced – by some truly amazing miniatures that have more detail and personality than I’ve seen in a long time, Descent: Legends of the Dark is a very beautiful beast.

Descent: Legends of Darkness

Colorful art style helps Descent: Legends of the Dark stay in memory (Image credit: Avenir)

Much of this is due to an expressive and colorful art style that jumps off the screen. Because it’s matched – if not enhanced – by some truly amazing miniatures that have more detail and personality than I’ve seen in a long time, Descent: Legends of the Dark is a very beautiful beast.

And “beast” is the right word. While it does not contain the wealth of secret bonus characters and packed with something like Gloomhaven, Descent always has a huge box full of cards, tokens, backgrounds, and models. This is the kind of packaging that scares anyone with limited storage space.

However, this wealth of content is what allows Descent to provide so much depth. His fight is a good example; While victory is always determined by the dice roll, achievements can also generate “Surge” power-up effects and allow you to spend fatigue points which add hits to your total damage.

In a similar vein, the app also reveals and tracks enemy weaknesses as you fight them. Taken in tandem with each enemy’s unique move set (including poisons and multiple attacks if you get too close), the system is pleasantly layered and gives you plenty to master.

Descent: Legends of Darkness

Details showcased for minis in Descent: Legends of the Dark help elevate them beyond the competition (Image credit: Avenir)

It’s a similar story with Fatigue. Unfortunately for your adventurers, accumulating too many of these tokens can prevent them from using certain bonuses. This makes juggling those tokens a priority. When combined with each character’s unique strengths, there is a lot to master during your campaign.

The only downside is the price. As with so many RPG board games, Descent: Legends of the Dark will set you back a pretty dime. Indeed, it weighs $ 175 / £ 140. It’s steep by anyone’s calculations, and I’m still not quite sure it’s worth it.

Overall, should you buy Descent: Legends of the Dark?

Price aside, there’s no denying that this is a great game once you open it up (based on initial impressions, at least – I’ll keep adding to this page when I see it). will go further into the countryside). Everything from Descent’s thumbnails to its app work wonderfully together, and it’s absolutely something I can see people get lost in throughout the story.

Additionally, the app gives it a unique selling point in a market that is quickly becoming crowded thanks to upcoming RPG goliaths like Frost Haven and the HeroQuest to restart.

It’s worth considering whether you want a game to go all out in co-op or solo – and if your budget can go that far (if Descent gets a cut during the game). Black Friday Board Game Deals in November, picking it up will be obvious). That’s everything you want a good fantasy role-playing board game to be: captivating, greedy, and with a lot of depth buried under a ton of cool minifigures.


Want more adventure? Check best Dungeons and Dragons books or the best cooperative board games.


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