A board game of adventure and exploration.
This latest app-driven game from Fantasy Flight Games sends players out into the wilds of Middle-earth on a campaign of combat and investigation. Very much in the Mansions of Madness line, it’s a tempting and attractive package, though I do find myself somewhat less interested these days in hand-holding apps and craning my neck sideways to look at an iPad screen when I’d really just prefer to concentrate on the game bits on the table. It’s not something you can really just dip in and out of either, as the campaign is designed to be played from go to whoa.
I enjoyed playing Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth, but I’m kind of glad my friend bought instead of me. He painted the figures, and I get to play it, but there is a feeling of old ideas being reheated here. Is it the recycled artwork from The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, or the recycled mechanics from Mansions of Madness and Runebound? Or is it the fact that it doesn’t really feel like The Lord of the Rings, just a sort of watered-down licenced version? I don’t know.
Regardless, there will probably be a tsunami of expansions as usual. Perhaps the game will grow into something special, but for now I’m happy to play it occasionally without my usual investment of time and money.