Tuesday, November 09, 2021
Frosthaven is a Kickstarter board game, which is famous for being the highest funded game, and third-highest funded Kickstarter project ever, at nearly $13 million. While promised for March 2021, it now looks as if it will be about 1 year late. But as that is approaching, and the people behind it are sending out more information, Frosthaven is trending up in the discussions of the board game community. I haven't backed the Frosthaven Kickstarter, nor have I otherwise pre-ordered it. I don't plan to buy the board game, although I might be interested in the digital version. So, what's wrong with me, or the game?
Frosthaven is the sequel to Gloomhaven, which to this day is the best rated board game on BoardGameGeek. Frosthaven has new characters, a new campaign including new gameplay elements to build up an outpost, new monsters, new items, and so on. However, fundamentally, Frosthaven is just "more Gloomhaven", to the point that you could use your favorite Gloomhaven characters in Frosthaven. Besides some minor rules tweaks, the gameplay in a scenario is exactly the same. Frosthaven is the exact opposite of Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, which is a smaller and more accessible version of Gloomhaven. Frosthaven is a bigger, and less accessible version of Gloomhaven, which comes in a box that makes you check whether your table can actually support that much weight.
For most people, this is just too much. Frosthaven is probably a perfectly good game, but do I need another 138 scenarios of the same gameplay? For most people interested in the brand, the 25 scenarios in Jaws of the Lion are probably enough. Even the 95 scenarios in the original Gloomhaven are a bit much, and the Forgotten Circles expansion has another 20 scenarios. How many scenarios do you need before the game goes from "being one of the board games I like" to a complete lifestyle?
My recommendation remains to try Jaws of the Lion if you are looking for a board game for several players, and to play Gloomhaven digital if you are a solo player (I'm currently playing that). Play these to the end, and then ask yourself whether you really want more of the same. More isn't always better, if the original is already more than enough.
Labels: Board Games