Check out my d4 DICE review
Player count: 1 – 4 players
Play time: 60 – 150 minutes
Designers: Sami Laakso & Seppo Kuukasjärvi
Publisher: Snowdale Design
You are ready, ready to start your adventure. The lands are rich with characters, quests and adventure. You set out to acquire prestige by completing quests using your might, survival, knowledge, communication, perception and thievery skills. Gain items to help you, pick up a friendly companion and upgrade your skills. Be careful though as your actions have consequences and the world will evolve and change based on what you do.
Lands of Galzyr is set in Daimyra, the same world as Dale of Merchants and Dawn of Peacemakers. The game state changes from game to game and the subsequent games carry on from where your previous game left off. It is not a legacy game as such and you can play consecutive games with different groups of people. You can play solo, cooperatively and competitively.
The game is played over a number of round and each round is divided up in to an adventure phase and a calendar phase. In the adventure phase you can travel up to two spaces on the main board. During your movement you can trade and pick up quests. After you have travelled you must resolve a scene. The scene is selected from the Book of Adventures and they may evolve skill checks, questions or choices to be made or answered by the player. Skill checks are performed by rolling a set number of die which can be modified based on specific skill die from skills that you may have on your skill wheel. These skill checks will come in various difficulties and involve rolling a set number of skill symbols. Various items and cards will allow you to mitigate the die roll. The outcome of the skill checks will be entered into the Book of Adventures and the outcome will depend on how well you did.
After all players have taken a turn it is the Calendar phase. In this phase the day token is moved forward one space and the next day is advanced in the Book of Adventures. Any timer tokens on the new day space resolve their specific timed events or effects. A new round begins.
The game ends when, in the competitive mode when one adventure reaches their respective goal and, in the solo/cooperative mode after a specific number of rounds. There are specific instructions on how to “save” the game and pack things back in the box ready for the next game.
The above description and explanation is only touching the surface of what is going on in the game but hopefully this gives you a good enough idea of what is going on.
It is no secret that I thoroughly enjoy the Dale of Merchants series. I love the mechanisms and the gameplay but I also love the world of Daimyra and the animal folk that abound it. So to say I was interested in Lands of Galzyr is somewhat of an understatement. An open world adventure game, skill checks, items, companions, a persistent ever changing game world has all the trappings for something exciting.
And I can say that I was not disappointed. Lands of Galzyr is a fantastic game. There is a lot that I like about this game. First off the open world and ever changing game state is very well implemented. The things you do in the game effect the state of the world out on the board. Your decisions and choices have an impact on the physical game state. It is very easy to implement but has a big impact on the game. I like the legacy style aspects of the game and a big bonus is that you can add and remove different players throughout the game. It is not a campaign that requires the same players to come together and play. One of the biggest problems, with campaign/legacy games is trying to get a dedicated group of players that will meet and play regularly. Lands of Galzyr does not have this issue and that means it is more likely to hit my table. Brilliant design choice that I really must highlight.
Skill checks, love them or hate them, in Lands of Galzyr you will be doing a lot of them. Every character that you can play is set up to be better at one particular thing than the other. Take Keridai, the Northern Banded Newt, he is a scholar so his particular skill set is more suited to knowledge and book based skills. Mor, the Frilled Lizard, is a boaster and his skill set is more suited to communication, persuasion and conversation style skills checks. When performing a particular skill check for a skill that you have you can add in that particular skill die making you more likely to succeed in the check. Items, status effects and companions may also have and impact on your results. So careful planning and mitigation means that you usually stand a good chance of being successful. Of course, you can still get unlucky you are rolling dice at the end of the end.
The story and adventure aspect of the game is well done. The use of the app for the Book of Adventures was easy to navigate and offered a clean graphical interface. The story telling was very well done and I found myself very engaged and engrossed with my character and the adventures that they were undertaking. I played through the game a number of times and saw multiple quests, events, branching paths, items and companions. Even the quests that I did see again had different outcomes depending on my results. There was a lot of content in the prototype copy that I had and I am sure there will be even more for the finished product.
I also found the game very accessible. The rules are relatively straightforward and easy to grasp so I can see this having a wide appeal to large audience. The world that has been created is inviting and exciting to delve in to. The animal folk all have character and personalities that develop as the game progresses. I found doing things because that is what my character would do rather as it made for an interesting story.
Overall, I had a wonderful time in The Lands of Galzyr, going on adventures, completing quests, meeting new people and generally travelling around the world and exploring. If anything that I have talked about here piques your interest I strongly suggest you check this one out.
Please note: Lands of Galzyr was provided as review copy from Snowdale Design.