Return to Dark Tower, arguably the most ambitious product ever produced by Restoration Games, is a board game that is diverse in terms of performance. It was also funded on Kickstarter in February 2020, less than a month after the COVID-19 epidemic devastated our planet forever. Despite its importance, it now has a huge chunk of black plastic that is every bit as modern and singular as the original.
In a memorable televised campaign, Dark Tower featured a distinctive circular board with rich beeps. Every time it was introduced to the table, it''s appearance was accompanied by frightening and frightening surprises.
The end result of this new release is that it is framed as a sequel rather than a reimagining. In the opening pages of the manual, the tower''s structure is described as lying in ruin for an age while great evil stirred within its depths. The challenge presented today is in the structures returning as evil looms from its every orifice to terrorize the land.
Players choose the role of keen heroes such as the Relic Hunter or Brutal Warlord. There are four options in the box, each with a unique ability and play style. Return to Dark Tower is now a fully cooperative design, with a secondary competitive mode being offered that mimics the original format. The asymmetry of characters creates a powerful connection to the discussion and allows protagonists to expand their niche.
Many of this workshop is spent traversing the kingdom and cleansing the land from tiny skulls ejected from the tower. You must balance this cleanup with visiting locations to gain resources such as fiery spirit to assist your growth or nameless warriors to join your retinue. Characters progress, unlocking new abilities and items, which helps to enrich the fantasy RPG identity. Ultimately you meet the demands of the scenario and confront a boss who emerges from the central citadel.
The visual presentation and the mechanics are fantastic. First, the motif is dark and elegant, evoked by a flamboyant nature, yet never crosses the line into grim. Its world feels fantastical, yet it is more crisp and evocative than the original.
The transition to a cooperative format is evidently modern. With hit releases such as Pandemic and Gloomhaven leading the way, this board game has exploded in popularity. It''s a great choice for moving the Dark Tower family into this fantastic shared experience. Instead of the competitive advantage of scooping up keys found in its forebear, the animus is concentrated on the object.
The first impression of my encounter with the monolithic tower was unreported, although the purpose was neglected. The large mechanical piece has moving components as well as electronic sensors, which information is fed via Bluetooth to a free app you must download on your phone. My tower was unaffordable and locked up the first time. It appears to have only affected a small minority of users. Restoration Games was extremely quick to send out a replacement.
I was shocked when the tower was first implemented correctly. It''s a showstopper in every sense of the word, dominating with its table presence, and simply by having a so large silhouette. I am thrilled that the tower is strikingly large, obscuring your vision to the opposite side of the board, and causing you to crane your neck to catch glimpses of the shadowed surface at the kingdom. This is great because it''s impressive, with themes of suffocation and dominance combined with an
The tower is located in a strange zone of being simultaneously a complicated slice of digital wizardry and an unintelligent automaton. It''s an illusion of sorts, capable to hypnotize a willing participant, but only one that does not close its moment-to-moment activity.
The magic primarily occurs between player actions. At the end of each turn, players drop a plastic skull into the top of the tower, which might trigger an event. This is an elegant technique to randomize feedback and avoid cluttering the table with additional card decks. It also creates a moment of wreaking tension.
During play, the tower is whirring and lighting up, keeping everyone on edge as new monsters become spawned and skulls are ejected to flee the land. Occasionally, a glyph will stare you in the face, crashing upon the forsaken game board below. It''s just a large chunk of plastic, but in my games some players became aware of it.
If you really look at what the tower is doing, you may discover that it might provide additional features. A cynic might classify the citadel as a glorified dice tower, only randomizing what falls in and provides some nasty effects. Im very sympathetic to this criticism, however the tower''s performance is certainly breathtaking and provides a fantastic backdrop to the ongoing battle. It''s a fantastic theatrical prop that is if you can immerse yourself in the story.
The required companion app does much more than just drive the eponymous Dark Tower. It is the primary tool for combat, managing resource attrition, and character influence. There are also dungeons that occasionally appear on the map, and you will use the app to explore them, using a micro-level narrative to define the story. These are also non-excessive, which keeps the characters more enjoyable.
A powerful feature of this game is that it has a host of scenarios and foes of varying strength. You may also manually select which options you desire to encounter, or have the application determine a suitable combination. This process may range from escorting caravans to uncovering treasure to exploring a series of mysterious dungeons.
Return to Dark Tower is remarkable because it is so effective in its harnessing of technology as well as its use of modern design principles. It''s a simple and streamlined game that I can play with my 8-year-old daughter, but it is also strategically dynamic enough to stand up to a group of adults enjoying the hobby. The only downside is its price.
Return to Dark Tower, a Kickstarter, was started back in 2020 for a total of $125. It has now increased to a cool $190. That is a huge price point for a board game, which is difficult to swallow. It gives the game a collection purpose and limits its large appeal.
Possibly because of that cost, some might be depressed that this approach did not commit wholly to a more lengthy and complicated strategic design instead of the accessible current approach. However, it is quite astounding how well it settles into a perfect position of appealing to newcomers as well as adults who enjoyed the previous entry in their youth. In this way, it is an extraordinary adventure.
Return to Dark Tower is now reaching out to Kickstarter supporters. Backerkit will begin a second printing soon. Vox Media has affiliate links. These may also earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. Here''s a sample of Polygons'' ethics policy.