Descent: Journeys In The Dark

A Descent game in progress on our living room table

A Descent game in progress on our living room table

Over the holidays I’ve been playing Descent: Journeys In The Dark. We have managed four games thus far, so consider this a first impressions kind of thing.

In this game of dungeon-delving adventure, one to five players descend into a monster-ridden dungeon to carry out a mission, kill the inhabitants and take their stuff. One player plays the dungeon’s Overlord, controlling all of the traps, events and monsters the players need to overcome. It’s a very different thing to play one of the heroes than playing as the Overlord.

Descent really scratches that basic Dungeons & Dragons itch I have. Sometimes you need to kill monsters and take their treasure, approaching each room like a chessboard, discussing tactics with your partners in crime, trying not to think too hard about the plausibility off such dungeons.

It’s good fun. While it has a lot of components and the setup can take a while (it’s a Fantasy Flight game, after all), it’s actually very quick to play. A single game can still take a good while (ours have lasted 3-6 hours), but it moves fast.

One thing I’m wondering about is the difficulty of the game. Maybe we just suck or maybe you shouldn’t try playing with just two or three heroes, but thus far we haven’t been able to pass the first dungeon.

It also feels like there should be more substantial content and rules for campaign play. I know that comes in an expansion, but what’s there in the basic rules is just flimsy.

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