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Descent: Legends of the Dark - Review Part 3

Descent: Legends of the Dark - Review Part 3

Descent: Legends of the Dark - Review Part 3

The Fate of Terrinoth is upon us… Released last Friday, August 6th, from Fantasy Flight Games was the hotly anticipated Descent: Legends of the Dark. In this fully cooperative game, 1-4 players take on the challenge of adventuring through the harsh and unforgiving land of Terrinoth. This game is only Act 1 in a 3 Act Saga. There will be two more boxes released in the future. In this article, we’ll be diving into the free App needed to play the game.

The App

First and foremost, this App is required to play this game. The App is an excellent part of the game. The App is available to download from the iOS App Store, Google Play, Steam, and Amazon.

Creating your Party

If you’ve been diving into the rest of our articles, you’ll know that Descent: Legends of the Dark is a campaign game with 14 main quests that lasts about 50 hours of gameplay. To accomplish this, Fantasy Flight Games created this App that both allows the story to unfold as you play and keeps track of how the heroes interact with the game and how the enemies appear. All of this gives it a very video game feel in a board game.

When you first boot up the app in Descent: Legends of the Dark, you will be asked to create a new campaign and name your group. We decided to name ours “Detectives of Descent”. Then the opening scene happens. The narrator tells the players what is at stake in this quest. The game then shifts to a screen where you find out who these heroes are.

If you’ve ever played video games, this should be familiar to you. The characters appear as their dialogue is printed at the bottom of the screen. It

When you first boot up the App in Descent: Legends of the Dark, you will be asked to create a new campaign and name your group. We decided to call ours “Detectives of Descent.” Then the opening scene happens. The narrator tells the players what is at stake in this quest. The game then shifts to a screen where you find out who these heroes are.

If you’ve ever played video games, this should be familiar to you. The characters appear on the top half of the screen. Meanwhile, the App prints their dialogue at the bottom of the screen. It reminds me a lot of the older video game RPGs when characters would talk to one another. That’s cool!

Map Layout

After the initial story the game switches to the main usage of the app, the modular board and terrain placement.

The app will show you which of the 18 double-sided map tiles to lay down in your play area and what tokens to place along with what terrain. As mentioned in our

After the initial story, the game switches to the primary usage of the App, the modular board, and terrain placement.

The App will show you which of the 18 double-sided map tiles to lay down in your play area and what tokens to place along with what terrain. As mentioned in our previous articles, the board is three-dimensional. The App will show you how to set that up. The modular board tiles are labeled, and the game comes with two types of columns used to hold up the board.

One nice thing about the app, is it only shows you the area of the game that the characters can see or have already visited. The rest of the board is revealed as you play!

The app will have you place “sight” tokens on the board. Once a character steps into a space with that token, all you need to do is click on the corresponding token in the app and it will reveal new sections of the board. One note, when laying down new tiles, take a look carefully at the app as the full map outline (including places yet to be revealed) is

One nice thing about the App is that it only shows you the game area that the characters can see or have already visited. The App reveals the rest of the board as you play!

The App will have you place “sight” tokens on the board. Once a character steps into a space with that token, all you need to do is click on the corresponding token in the App, and it will reveal new sections of the board. One note, when laying down new tiles, look carefully at the App as the entire map outline (including places yet to be revealed) is shown faintly. This outline is essential because it will help you figure out which direction the players will lay out the board.

Interacting with Terrain

When it comes to the map, the App also allows you to interact with the terrain. For each element, you can click on them in the App to find out more about what they are.

To interact, click on the hero’s portrait and drag to a token or terrain. This action tells the App which hero is interacting with it, and it provides several choices of what you can do. You’ll most like perform a “Test” (which we’ll get into in our Gameplay article), and you’ll get stuff!

Most of the stuff you get is raw materials or recipes. Sometimes you get quest-specific items like keys or potions for the group. You’ll use Raw materials and recipes after the quest finishes, and your party is back in Frostgate.

Dealing with Enemies

The App will also tell you where to place an enemy when they arrive on the board in a quest. It will only show you where to set the enemy initially. It will not show you where the enemy moves or who they are explicitly attacking.

When the heroes attack an enemy, The App switches to a screen right out of the classic turn-based RPG video games. The hero is on the left, with the enemy on the right of the screen. After rolling dice, you enter the number of successes into the App and see the outcome of the attack. It’s all very intuitive, and I love the subtle animation of both the enemy and hero during the attack.

After all the heroes take their turn, the enemies have a chance to move and attack. The App keeps this pretty simple. Each enemy on the board appears in the App in turn. The App shows the name of the hero they are targeting and how much damage they do. The screen also tells you how they move and how far away they can be from the hero to attack.

The App doesn’t tell you precisely what space on the board the enemy moves to, and it doesn’t track where specific heroes are. The enemy moves are always relative to the heroes’ actions. This mechanic is to prevent you from playing the game entirely in the App without purchasing the game!

Terrinoth and Frostgate Campaign Overview

Between quests of Descent: Legends of the Dark, the party goes back to the town of Frostgate and can craft, shop, and equip new weapons and armor! We’ve played other games where you use an app. In between adventures, your weapons and armor get upgraded. Descent is the first game where we’ve had to take the raw leather and work it into an ax pommel that we can then attach to our weapon to upgrade the weapon in the App. There are certainly more ways to customize your characters this way, and we love that!

The campaign screen also manages the overall quests. On the Terrinoth map, you can see what quests are available to you. You do not need to do all the quests in a predefined order. At times you might have two choices, and it’s up to your group the order you do them in.

Other times, based on decisions you make during the game, you may either unlock a new quest or bypass a quest. This scenario structure keeps everyone’s campaign unique and increases the replayability of the game. I am looking forward to seeing how backward compatible this game will be once they release “Act 2” and “Act 3”. Other App-based Fantasy Flight Games incorporate new terrain back into the original games to change how the story plays out. I’d love to see that here!

Overall App Impressions

Overall, the App is pretty comprehensive. It also includes a full rules reference and a line of sight tool, which allows you to select any square on the map. It will tell you what squares are within line of sight, which is needed when attacking enemies.

What I particularly like about the App is that when you start a quest, you get narration. When you achieve specific quest goals (for instance, enter a boss fight), the App will switch to a narrated scene building the game’s immersion.

Also, each of the heroes has a few catchphrases they say when things happen in the game. A different voice actor voices each hero, so it feels like the game comes alive with the App! Overall, the App’s sound is excellent, too, as the music plays during the game and can adjust its intensity based on what is happening.

I have always enjoyed the App driven games from Fantasy Flight Games. Still, this one has to be my favorite, and we are only two quests into the game. We can’t wait to see what other tricks the game has in store!

If you are as much of a fan of a great app-based game as we are, then we want to encourage you to take a look at Descent: Legends of the Dark! We will be doing one more article this week focusing on the Game Play itself. If you haven’t read part two of our review of the Miniatures, check it out here.

If you like the look of this game and you want to pick up your own copy. We have it for sale in our store. Get your copy today!