27 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 4.6 hrs on record
Posted: Jul 27, 2019 @ 10:10am
Updated: Jul 27, 2019 @ 10:10am
Product received for free

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Talisman: Origins takes the story behind the Talisman board game through single-player campaigns using quests and challenges. The game is rather confusing to a beginner player of the board game, that's for sure. I had very little experience with the board game, and so I worked my way through the tutorial before embarking on the adventures available.

There are two tutorials, a basic one and an advanced one. If you are new to the board game, I think that you should make your way through the first tutorial, start but not finish the second (advanced) tutorial, before heading into the main adventures. The first tutorial lasted about 1/2 hour or so, the advanced tutorial took me about 2.5 hours. Sure, you will learn plenty more by playing through the tutorial, but most of that learning is from playing, and not really being handed the information. At the end of the day, the adventure mode is perhaps a bit more involved and fun.

The other beef I have with the tutorial is that you can die with a few poor decisions. For the seasoned Talisman player, this is not a big deal, because you will not be making those kinds of simple mistakes. For me, struggling to stay alive during the tutorial is a bit discouraging as a new player to the game. Nevertheless, I persevered and slogged on and somehow managed to make my way through. But I can see how the tutorial might be enough to drive some other players to drink.

Now I am onto the adventure mode, and I have moved past a couple of chapters in the Great Wizard saga, and I have to say, I am having a blast. Most of the learning does happen as you spend more time with the game, whether it be this version in the single-player story modes or if you play the original Talisman board or digital games. Be prepared to sink a lot of hours, and I mean, a lot of hours, because this could easily be the next game that totally sucks you in for days, months, on end.

I think that the complexity of the rules and all of the different things that could happen is really great to see in this game, even without human opponents or AI opponents to sit across the board from you, there are still plenty of AI NPCs that have unique playing nature and strategies that they will give you plenty of exciting gameplay.

The best part of this game is the quests that you are given in each chapter as the main goal for story progression. It really adds substance to that single-player board game element. On top of that, after you clear the main quest, you will unlock several new challenges for that chapter so that there's plenty of replay value to try to go after those challenges. (I only wish that the challenges were displayed as optional objectives from the beginning, because in my first two chapters in the Great Wizard story, I have done multiple of the side challenges, but did not get acknowledgement for them because they were not yet unlocked.)

It is important to note that no matter how much you buff up your character in the story quests, when you progress to a new chapter, everything resets. So if you have what it takes to complete a quest, there is no reason to dilly-dally, because getting more stat boosts will mean nothing when it comes to the next chapter.

Initially I felt that the game was controlling me, because I felt that nothing was up to me, the RNG in the dice rolls really determined everything that was going on. That was until I learned the board spaces, learned some new cards, objects, followers and their special abilities that allowed me to feel more empowered to play the game in a way I felt comfortable with. Sure there are unexpected occurrences, such as when a card came along that made me lose all of my followers. It was a gut-wrenching experience that I had to remind myself that everything was going to be okay, that the heartache would eventually pass.

It is really nice that you can just quit the game any time and anywhere, the game will automatically save. When you start back on the same chapter, you will have the option of starting where you left off or starting that chapter anew.

Controls
Mouse only, please keep in mind that you can use the scroll-wheel on the mouse to zoom into the board. You don't have to stare at the spaces from a much higher vantage point and not know what the art looks like.

Graphics
It's a board game with cards, it's nothing fancy, but the artwork is definitely nice.

Music
Tension-filled music is how I would describe the soundtrack. It is not intrusive and you can mute it to listen to your own music should you wish.

Audience
I do like that they are making such a good effort in generating a good single-player experience out of what is a primarily multiplayer board game. Targeted audience are the single-player board game enthusiasts and also fans of the original game.

Pricing
There are definitely enough hours of content in the base game to warrant $6.99 USD base price. We will have to wait to see how many DLCs will eventually be available. Currently there is only one.

Conclusion
Talisman: Origins is a very much worthy single-player adaptation of the board game, in my opinion. Albeit you will know from reading above that I have little experience with the board game, I am having a blast with this version. The quests certainly make the single-player version of board game much more enjoyable.

The long, perhaps too long, advanced tutorial was a bit of a struggle for me as a new player, and I feel that others might have a similar experience. So please do look past it because the adventure mode and the quests are definitely worth it in the end.

I hope that the game doesn't have DLCs longer than a lot of people's Steam libraries, as Talisman: Digital Edition has. But for the base game and its asking price of $6.99, I think it's totally worth it. There are several different adventures available and enough quests and challenges to justify the price. Just know that the game will be showing you the available DLCs in-game so that you might be tempted even more, especially if you enjoy the base game. The DLCs in this game seem to be more epic adventures and more stories to unfold. Currently there is one available.

Anyway, at the end of all of my ramblings, I think you can tell, I am having a blast with this game, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys board games but who perhaps doesn't always have enough time or friends to sit down for a full game.

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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4 Comments
YQMaoski Jul 27, 2019 @ 11:38am 
Talisman: Digital Edition is a MP board game. This is the same game made into single-player campaigns with quests, and things to do. The Digital Edition you can still playing single-player but against AI opponents, with goal of getting rid of your opponents. This is only single-player. There is a Prequel that was done before that was single-player, and I think this is a better version of that. This has the most updated rules and such, and it's nice to have a single-player game out of all of it, as a lot of people don't have time for lengthy MP games, but this you can just play and stop whenever you wish. And thanks for reading!
delenn13 Jul 27, 2019 @ 11:29am 
So is this a "newer" version of this https://store.steampowered.com/app/247000/Talisman_Digital_Edition/ ? Awesome review, by the way, like always. I always try to read your reviews and Yoshi's too.:summer2019cockatiel:
YQMaoski Jul 27, 2019 @ 10:57am 
Thank you so much!
boyflea Jul 27, 2019 @ 10:32am 
Really great review: your RNG comments absolutely nail this game. It is initially a baffling game and seems completely chaotic, but you do learn how to play the odds and progress through the game... really good stuff! cheers!