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Shadows of Kilforth v1

Shadows of Kilforth

We must protect the elders! Find my flute!

Embark on your quest with the Shadows of Kilforth rules summary and reference!

Tristan Hall and his company Hall of Nothing Productions made the excellent Alien-ish game Lifeform, and after sending me that game, followed it up with a copy of Shadows of Kilforth, a card-based fantasy adventure game and the standalone sequel to Gloom of Kilforth. The Kilforth games (as a completely irrelevant aside, the fantasy world I invented when I first began to play Dungeons & Dragons at the age of 12 was called Midforth!) have been described as being a bit like Arkham Horror, in that you visit locations, engage in combat, and roll ability-based dice tests, eventually to face a Big Bad—but instead of a static board the world is made up of a random grid of 25 cards, so the layout varies greatly every game. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but it gets good reviews, apparently is a fun adventure game experience that creates emergent stories, and is especially suited for solo play.

There’s only one point on which I don’t see eye-to-eye with Tristan, and that’s the artwork. He is extremely proud of the quality of the art he commissions, and a lot of people lavish praise on it; but personally I find some of the art here feels generic and occasionally tacky, with a significant emphasis on oiled-up beefcake men and big-breasted cheesecake women, almost all of the same age and ethnicity, who look like they’ve stepped off the cover of a cheap romance novel. Perhaps I have a different definition of the word ‘fantasy’ in this context, but it does get in the way of my immersion in the theme. But I must emphasise that I seem to very much be in the minority with this opinion, so I leave you to judge for yourself!

The game itself includes a summary and reference sheet, but here’s my version. Enjoy your adventures in Kilforth!


  • Eric Woning says:

    I was not a believer because I found the things you needed to collect to progress in a Saga quite arbitrary.
    I asked the BGG community to change my mind (which they did – see xxxx) and I have to say it’s my favourite game to play solo.
    Artwork – to each their own. I think it’s quite nice. It’s hard to fault the quality itself – the content is what I think is slightly under attack.
    And I’m afraid I do not agree with the view that it is of the same race.
    Whereas Gloom of Kilforth is entirely based on Western myths / fairytales etc and had an all-white cast, Shadows is based on Eastern myths etc.
    So it’s actually quite oriental based (combined with western).
    I agree that there could be, let’s call it more colour variance, still – but it’s way better than most in that respect.

    • Sure, there are lots of Japanese characters for the Japanese-themed part of this expansion (which misses the mark for me personally because it seems to be straight-up medieval Japanese rather than eastern-themed fantasy), but apart from those, almost every character is white and in their twenties. I just checked again and I could find 1 black person and about 10 people older than their twenties out of the many, many character images, and virtually all of them looked like fashion models. So I agree with your point that more variance is needed, though I don’t agree with you that it’s better than most in that respect. Also I do have to fault the quality, because although it’s very competent, I can also see very obvious signs of Photoshopping of photographs – especially faces – in some of the illustrations. Anyway, I’m glad it’s a good solo game and I will try it out myself as soon as I have time.

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