Category: BLOG POSTS

When a reboot of the reach 1981 board game Dark Tower( no relation to the books or movie) was announced in 2018, the big question was how developer Restoration Games would handle the iconic electronic pillar that sat at the center of its activity timber. Well, that big question has a big answer.

Ahead of Return to Dark Tower’s Kickstarter launch on January 14, designer Rob Daviau( who joined us previously for a look at Betrayal Legacy and has partnered with Gloomhaven inventor Isaac Childres for this) came by to give us a look inside this spiritual successor’s box. That includes its massive, one-foot tall plastic tower with Bluetooth, spinning cavities, sunlights, and grim racket accomplishes galore.

Watch the video above to see me and Daviau show it off, and predict on to hear my anticipates after representing Return to Dark Tower myself :P TAGEND [widget course= "global/ clause/ imagegallery" parameters= "albumSlug= early-look-at-photos-and-components-of-return-to-dark-tower& captions= true"]

Starting with the basics, Return to Dark Tower is a cooperative board game for 1-4 actors. You and your friends have to fight beings, grab loot, and terminated quests to eventually entice out and rout a potent antagonist hidden in the tower tower at the centres of the map.

And, boy, does that tower tower. This thing is truly enormous, almost entirely blocking the opposite half of the delineate antonym from your opinions- actually a net positive, as it spurred me and my allies to talk more and foreclosed anyone participate from effectively quarterbacking the whole experience.

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This big hunk of plastic is, of course, important to actually playing the game, but it’s also just a existence in itself. A showpiece meant to wow and terrify as it endlessly threatens the success of your mission. Likewise, it’s went Bluetooth, so that’s neat.

You’ll move your protagonist minis around Return to Dark Tower’s lovely circular council while finagling component cards, plastic skulls, and other physical patches, but many other aspects of the game are handled by a portable app. Quest tracking, turn bars, and combat to specify a few cases, but the digital and physical backs are matched in such a way that never makes the other feel superfluous.

[ignvideo url= "https :// videos/ 2018/08/ 06/ return-to-dark-tower-teaser-trailer"]

And, perhaps most important of all, the castle itself feels as important as it should. Daviau told me they wanted to make sure actors couldn’t just leave it in the box, and the suite of showy activities it can perform is full of both flavor and element. Its built-in Bluetooth connects to your telephone, essentially acting as a gamemaster for your escapade when paired.

A player dissolves their turn by sink a minuscule plastic skull into the top of the castle. A sensor identifies the skull, signals to the app that a turn is over, and initiations all sorts of dastardly happenings depending on the combination of crusades, ogres, and central villain you are using for that hearing. The internal assemblies of the pillar alteration and turn, sigils perform and light up to impose penalties on whoever they are facing, and occasionally you’ll need to open trap doors on its dread exterior.

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That last bit is often the scariest. When a skull is dropped into the tower it is most often roll out of one of its countless openings at random. The musician it rolls toward then has to place that skull on one of the buildings in their part of the map, which offsets amassing the benefits of that structure more expensive. That’s rough on its own, but it’s even more terrifying when a skull doesn’t appear at all, instead gathering in some uncharted cranny or behind a doorway more to be opened within the tower itself.

As the game goes on and more openings are unlocked, it is not simply represents getting skulls or sigils more likely, it also increases the curious that you’ll stumble upon a latent cache of fate waiting to roll out. At one point during our playthrough, the pillar taught us to open a doorway and four skulls clattered onto a single player’s kingdom, propelling all their plans into chaos. It’s delightfully devilish and constructs interacting with this evil monolith wonderfully tense.


Return to Dark Tower is split into six “months, ” each of which begins by giving you two adventures: one that will help you complete your overall journey of luring out and demolishing your adversary more easily when finished, and another that will instead empower your opponents if you don’t terminated it.

Since you only have that month to complete them( each month is generally between seven and nine turns long ), the puzzle here is in figuring out how best to divide enterprises and term between each player- and to determine what will likely have to fall under the umbrella of “acceptable losses.” This makes each month a little mini-game inside of your final crusade, full of tough selects and tiny wins of their own.

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Many of those selects involve the ogres that consequently replenish the planned, and specifically whether you’re going to fight them or invest your time abroad while quietly praying they don’t find you cowering in the region ... which they will. See, killing an foe is as easy as utilizing the action act on them( apart from some special large-hearted goods ), but is preparing to make massive losses alongside your win if you aren’t properly cooked.

Combat is handled entirely through Return to Dark Tower’s app, which we were consuming a example form of. Instead of flattening dice or opposing combat capability against one another, you instead outline a begin number of digital placards from that monster’s deck while working “advantages” you amass through items and person cleverness to perform those placards less awful.


For example, countless adversary placards start you to lose a resource called fighters, and you could use an advantage on one that does you lose four warrior tokens to reduce it to two, and then another to make it zero. Go even further and you’ll actually start going reserves back as a compensation, but don’t have enough to sacrifice and you’ll gather debuffs called frauds that will lose you video games formerly you reach three.

If you don’t have numerous advantages to waste you’ll still is the possibility of earn the fight, simply not mitigate the damage you take as a result, and having exclusively a few advantages coerces you to pick which poisons you most want to neutralize. Some advantages are exclusively effective against particular enemy sorts extremely, like ogres or the undead, encouraging musicians to specialize and prepare the right tool for the right job.

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It’s a unique and strategically interesting organization, if one that felt really a little curious thematically in practice. Most opponents- whether it’s a wolf or an demon- can be killed in a single combat, and it seems odd that you amass warrior not to improve your combat power but instead to have them be taken away to avoid real impairment. Don’t are wrong, it’s a system I experienced working and contriving around, but one that’s likely in need of a finished app with actual placard graphics and more clear flavor to really click for me.

That said, it’s one of the few parts of Return to Dark Tower that didn’t so far. The slight discrepancies between each character are significant enough to give each player a distinct capacity without originating everyone learn a whole new ruleset, its consideration of this agenda item and gems offer significant effects that my group was constantly get energized about, and the prospect of replayability as you( and the app) barter between begins of seeks, antagonists, and more is highly appealing for a chest as big as this.


Return to Dark Tower is launching a Kickstarter on Tuesday, January 14 at 9am ET. It’s by no means a cheap or small-minded sport, and there’s still lots of questions left unanswered after my one( virtually triumphant) prototype playthrough, but the unique spectacle and interesting question it offered previously left home wanting to have another go right away.

If you’re looking for more huge board game, you can watch our spoiler-free unboxing of Betrayal Legacy with Daviau, or check out our listing of the best cooperative board games. We’ve likewise rounded up some of the best delusion board game around, and if you’re brand-new to the hobby, here’s our selects for the best board games for beginners.

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Tom Marks is IGN's Deputy Reviews Editor and occupant tart make. You can follow him on Twitter.

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