Board Game Review - Arkham Horror: The Dunwich Legacy
It's been a little while since i've posted on here! I've had my plate pretty full and haven't had much chance to sit down and write. Doesn't mean I haven't been keeping up with my gaming quota however. The latest game i've had the opportunity to play with my regular board gaming group is Arkham Horror, specifically the Dunwich Legacy expansion.
We had played the standalone game before, however it didn't quite grasp all of our attention and we got bored quickly. The deck building feature was a bit frustrating as we usually only have a few hours to play and didn't get time to sit and build decks. We ran in to this problem when playing the Lord of the Rings LCG too.. One of the group members is a Lovecraft fan beyond measure though, so we decided to give it another crack when The Dunwich Legacy was released. I'm glad we did because it was much more enjoyable this time around.
First up i'll touch on the story. It was very entertaining and led us on a very interesting journey out of Arkham in to the town of Dunwich while encountering enemies and making choices along the way. All of the choices affect not only the outcome of the game, but also the events that happen throughout the campaign. Giving choices like this does add a fair bit of replay-ability, however this is quickly turned around by the fact that once you know what you are meant to do, it does make the game considerably easier. For example on one mission, the train ride, we failed within the first 10 minutes... I won't give any spoilers on how.. but my advise is READ THE OBJECTIVES.. seriously. We chose to replay the mission as we didn't want to miss out on the challenge. It was considerably easier. I mean, we still failed, but at least it was at the end and not 10 minutes in.
Now about the gameplay.. Two of the other group members were a bit frustrated with the randomness of the card draws and how it affects your success. Honestly, it is a bit of a factor but I didn't seem to have a problem with it. I have played a fair bit of Magic The Gathering in my time, so my deck building and strategies were pretty on point. (Honestly I won't say this to my friends face, but i'm pretty sure we would have failed most of our missions if I wasn't as strategic as I was). I'm just going to say that it comes down to the individual on that one. If you like deck building games and card games like Magic, LOTR LCG, Marvel Legendary etc.. then you will probably like this game. If not then you may struggle with frustration on not drawing useful cards and feeling pretty useless to the group. With the different classes, it does give you a lot more freedom to pick your desired play style and build your deck to it. The cooperative aspect also adds an awesome twist to the game. The classes really force players to work together to overcome every aspect of what the missions throw at you. For example one class excels at combat, whereas another is a support class and another designed for completing mission objectives by collecting clues. If the clue gatherer gets an enemy on them, they are practically screwed.. you really need to rely on that team work to pull you out of trouble.
Final thoughts on the game - we had a fun 2 hours of play for each mission that was generally filled with jokes about the story. There are 7 missions in the expansion, so it does require a considerable amount of time to get through, but it is definitely worth the play if you have a group willing to try it out. I definitely would not advise playing alone.. unless you are a masochist.