So you want to know about Gloomhaven eh? Well, if you got to that city it’s yer funeral, but I’ll tell yous what I know. A few years back, this fella by the name of Isaac Childres designed a board game. Gloomhaven he called it. Bloody fun that thing was. In any case, it got real popular, and suddenly the folks over at Flaming Fowl Studios have an idea. “Hey,” they says, “what if we made that Gloomhaven into a video game?”
Blam! That was it!
Now here we are! The game mixes tactical-RPG gameplay with dungeon crawling and it’s bloody marvellous. What? You don’t believe me? Well, all right then I’ll explain a little more. But remember, when all of yer free time is pulled in by this gem, that you asked for this. Don’t come bawling to me when you don’t got enough hours in yer day no more.
There’s Doom, and Gloom, and Things Go Boom! In Gloomhaven!
I ‘specially don’t want to hear about all yer awesome experiences with Gloomhaven in that comment section down below. No sir, keep yer problems to yerself. In fact, if you have to bother someone, why not yer bloomin’ friends. Share the misery around.
Right then, where to start? Ah, I know. This here is Gloomhaven.
Pretty right? Wrong! This bloomin’ place is rotten to the core. An’ it’ll rot you too if yer not careful about it. Still, it’s never dull in Gloomhaven, an’ there are plenty of stores here. You could call it a hub if you cared about stupid names like that. But if yous is interested in becoming a guild master, then you’ll be coming back again and again. After all, there ain’t no place like Gloomhaven to find a job that needs doin’.
Quests pop up here like crows around corpses, which is good news for a guild master. Why? Because, where there are quests, there are mercenaries: tough blighters like the Mindthief here who make their livings through quests. You don’t want to end up on a mercenary’s bad side, ‘specially as a guildmaster.
Yer best chance to make a name for yerself as a guildmaster in Gloomhaven is to collect together a few of these mercenaries and start working through quests. Fortunately, mercenaries are a greedy bunch, so it won’t take much for you to get them going. An’ once yer burning yer way through them quests, you’ll see how quickly things can improve for a guildmaster like yous.
Course, you’d have to keep succeeding in quests to keep things on the up and up. After all, things can go south fast for an adventurer, and their guild for that matter.
Pushing through the bad times is key to finding yer stride as a guildmaster, so don’t let something so daft as a defeat or two keep you from tryin’ again.
Plus, if yer looking for a way to keep yer head above the water, then you could even call in a friend. Good thing for yous that it’s easy for yer friends to join you in Gloomhaven. All you need to do is start hosting yer own game. Then yer friends can join you, and some real fun begins.
Jaws of the Lion
Even better, those mad birds down at Flaming Fowl weren’t content to count their deviled eggs. Instead, the mad blighters thought they’d go ahead and bring out even more bloody content for Gloomhaven. The truly incredible Jaws of the Lion DLC brings a bloomin’ treasure trove to the game.
Startin’ with a bleedin’ stack of new scenarios, this blasted expansion brings a lot more versatility to Gloomhaven drawin’ out its longevity and even keeping familiar scenes just a little more interesting. And that’s before yer even looking at the real exciting bits, like new mercenaries and even a brand spanking new adventure.
Graphics & Audio
When it comes to looks, Gloomhaven is a bloody delight. Not only is it blasted gorgeous, but it’s smooth as a skinned rattling too. Each level, enemy, mercenary, and scenario bring their own bleedin’ aesthetic to the mix and they all come together like magic.
That ain’t even it. The sound design in Gloomhaven is every bit as flawless, from the clamour of a bloody good fight to the haunting wail of a mercenary becoming exhausted. There ain’t even one part of the sound design that let me down, not one bloody bit.
There aren’t many games I could play forever, and damned if this isn’t close to being one. The bloody satisfying gameplay mixes with the natural variety in mechanics and narrative to mean this blighted game will be a lot of fun for a long time.
Although, that does assume that yer alright with playing through the same essential gameplay loop repeatedly. If the bloomin’ brilliant story won’t hold your attention more than once, then yer gonna have a limited experience with Gloomhaven.
That being said, those blighters who love a good story and want to explore every option will find that Gloomhaven has more than enough content to keep them bloody busy for hours unimaginable.
Well then, whaddya think my last words about Gloomhaven are gonna be, eh?
That it’s a brilliant combination of tactical-RPG gameplay elements and enthralling fantasy-style storytelling?
That it’s a gorgeous adventure into a wonderful adventure into a stunning dark-fantasy setting from which you may never want to return?
Well, if you thought so, then you’re wrong. Dead wrong.
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.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.