I’ve mentioned it on here before, but my all-time favorite board game is called Talisman. Talisman is an epic quest game for 2-6 players where you play one of several types of characters, on a quest to retrieve the fabled Crown of Command and rule the land. With three regions to navigate, numerous places to explore, many monsters to fight, etc., I find each game lasts about one hour per person playing. I was introduced to the game when I was in eighth grade; sometime in college I lost my set, but my friends Jeff and Malinda got me a new set a few years back, and I’ve been playing since.
I’ve also mentioned that there was a video game version of Talisman in the works, but it ended up being cancelled due to issues with the game’s quality. That disappointed me, because I would have liked to be able to play the game against AI players when I didn’t have actual people to play against.
Fortunately, another company called Nomad Games got the chance to take another shot. :-)
Their first release was a game called Talisman Prologue, a single-player game in which players can follow different quests to learn how to play their character better, culminating in a solo quest to reach the Crown of Command. The game serves as a fun introduction to the world of Talisman, and not only includes characters from the original game, but from some of the expansions including The Blood Moon.
They’ve since followed it up with Talisman: Digital Edition, which is the full board game for multiple players. The game plays with four characters at all times, though if you have fewer than four human players the game substitutes AI opponents. The PC version of the game is tied to Steam, and you can invite your Steam friends to play (provided they have the game, of course).
The game itself plays just like the original board game, and even gives options for house rules. The biggest worry I have with video game adaptation of board games are cheating AIs; the iOS version of Monopoly and PC version of Risk are known to be bad about that. Fortunately, Talisman: Digital Edition’s AI is very balanced and I saw no evidence of unfair dice rolls. The game also allows you to set how long a player has to enter in commands, so as not to let the game get bogged down by one person being away from his keyboard. In addition, games can be left off and resumed at later times.
Since its release, the expansions The Reaper and The Frostmarch have been released, allowing for additional characters, encounters, and endings. There are also extra characters available as standalone DLC, which as near as I can tell are exclusive to the video game. Another exclusive feature of the videogame is the concept of runestones, which are “cards” you can earn that will alter your play experience in future games. For example, a possibility during the game is that your character is turned into a toad for three turns, thus losing all of his/her/its items, followers, and gold. The last runestone I acquired reduces the time spent as a toad to two turns.
All in all, I really have enjoyed Talisman Prologue and Talisman: Digital Edition. Both are available for PC (via Steam) and iPad (not iPhone). It’s a fairly inexpensive way to get to play Talisman, and is very well implemented to boot. I highly recommend giving them a try. :-)