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It’s bad news for bandits as we play Gloomhaven’s digital edition on PC

Dungeon Brawl.

Ever since its launch in 2017, brooding dungeon-crawler Gloomhaven has enjoyed a place toward the very top of most board game rankings and, with the Kickstarter for snowy sequel Frosthaven closing out just shy of $13m, it seems enthusiasm for Isaac Childres’ hefty brainchild isn’t going away any time soon.

We’ve been meaning to play Gloomhaven on our YouTube channel for a while now. Our own Alex Lolies has been playing for a little while now, and there’s something very appealing about smashing and looting our way through a few linked scenarios while we wait for Frostgrave to drop. Of course, being in the same room and repeatedly touching the same objects is surprisingly difficult at the moment, so we turned to the digital version instead.

All in all, it’s an impressively faithful recreation of the tabletop game, with the sound effects and animated character models adding a dynamic element you can’t really get with plastic miniatures. In the second part of our ongoing playthrough, our Brute and Mind Thief tackle the ominously named Den of Razors - if you missed the first episode, you can find it below.

Gloomhaven feels pleasingly complete and polished for a Steam Early Access Game although at the time of writing it’s single-player only, which isn’t ideal. Anybody familiar with Gloomhaven will know that each player controls a hero, picking two action cards to play on their turn - these cards not only determine what actions the heroes take, but also the order in which those heroes act.

While players can talk in vague terms about what initiative number they’re playing from one to 100 - I’m going late first quarter, say - actions must otherwise be picked in secret. With the three of us playing a single player game, however, everybody can of course see everything. As a result, we’re more playing Gloomhaven by committee than strictly abiding by the rules. Thankfully, summoning plague rats and walloping bandits in the face is still great fun nonetheless. What’s more, there’s no lengthy setup to deal with...


Johnny Chiodini avatar

Johnny Chiodini

Head of Video

Johnny has over a decade of experience working in video for the likes of Eurogamer, GameSpot, ITN and Channel 4. For several years, he’s also served as DM for Outside Xbox’s Dungeons & Dragons series Oxventure. Eventually, he was able to wangle a job at Dicebreaker talking about his greatest passion: tabletop games. Johnny is truly at his happiest rolling dice on a slightly-too-small table (preferably with a healthy supply of ale on hand).