Published on May 22nd, 2014 | by JC Richardson0
Fallen Lords Review
Fallen Lords is as close as you can get to a real fantasy board game experience: in fact, all that’s missing is the pizza…
Groundling Games are a group of D&D players who have gone all-out to bring the dice rolling fun of a ‘real’ game onto your tablet, and they’ve done commendably well with their mission. In Fallen Lords you control a group of four characters which you can split between up to four same-room players – you can actually play solo, too, by just rotating your tablet each turn. It’s an interesting mechanic, and works pretty well, but more players equal more fun in my experience.
You’re actually picking up and moving 3d pieces on a set of very nicely drawn floor plans, with encounter cards being regularly dropped into play, and it all adds up to highly organic feel to the game. Combat and exploration revolve around coloured dice, rather than the usual D6, D20, etc. Monsters need to be ‘hit’ with specific colours, and if they don’t come up it counts as a miss. Also, your players are stalked through the dungeon by the titular Fallen Lords (badass demons) and their presence in the game is like an ever-encroaching threat that really adds to the sense of danger.
For the inexperienced, Fallen Lords takes a bit of getting used to, and some of the game’s features (like the Doom Wheel) are a little befuddling on first play. Annoyingly the tutorial is non-interactive, so you might find yourself coming out of the game to re-check the rules a few times through the pause menu. Most people expect a ‘tutorial level’ these days, so perhaps future updates will smooth this over.
Summary: Fallen Lords is clearly a labour of love, with a solid core and a great set of monsters to encounter. The characters are maybe lacking a little personality, so definitely get your pals over to get the full experience.