When I found out a month ago that fellow Warringtonians, Nomad Games had made classic Games Workshop board game Talisman into a computer game I nearly fell off my chair. This was my absolute favourite childhood game, we spent whole weekends sat around the dining room table playing this over and over again. In fact, it puts me in mind of one time that we were playing it and I literally did fall off my seat, for no apparent reason. I still don’t know what happened to this day but everyone laughed heartily for what felt like hours.
Anyway, enough of this chair falling offery. Naturally I got in touch with Nomad Games straight away and begged for a review copy to indulge my nostalgia. And they agreed! I downloaded it and was immediately greeted with an old friend – the warrior fighting a fire breathing dragon and the old logo, made all digital and shiny. I was excited.
They tell us that: ‘In the Talisman board game, your primary goal is to reach the Crown of Command
at the centre of the board and then kill off all of the other players.
Everything you do along the way is designed to help or hinder your progress,
but the goal always remains the same.
In Talisman Prologue, we’ve created a questing system using the same rules as the board game,
but with one major difference – it’s ALWAYS your go!
Your goals will change from quest to quest, creating a great fantasy story along the way.’
I was right to be excited. This isn’t just an adaptation of a classic board game, turned into a platform game experience, it is the board game faithfully recreated, but in Talisman Prologue reincarnated with a quest focus so that it is single player. For those of you wanting the full Talisman experience, Talisman DE Multiplayer game is under development as we speak, so not long to wait now happily!
So the game play is simple. You pick a character (at first only the Warrior training quest is available – you unlock more characters and quests as you complete more quests) and make your way around the board, picking up adventure cards to encounter enemies, gather followers, collect objects or have other experiences. The quests encourage you to learn about the finer points of your characters abilities, e.g. the warrior having two dice to roll in combat, so you can select the higher result, or the trolls ability to regenerate a life instead of moving when you roll a 6.
Everything is really simple to use and understand, the dice figure flashing when it’s time for you to roll, or the deck of cards flashing when you need to pick a card and face a new encounter. It’s just like playing the original board game, except you don’t need a giant dining table to play it on and your additional strength modifer cards are remembered by your clever computer and not knocked on the floor or stolen by your brother when you go to the toilet.
I’ve been playing it for a few weeks now and I can confirm that the gameplay is smooth, it’s very true to the original game (the first time I got the Cursed By A Hag card it made me snort with the delicious nostalgia of it all, now I’m desperate to find the Mule card so I can carry more objects). It’s pretty addictive and stays fresh and interesting as you unlock more quests and characters as you go on. The only thing I find a little annoying is that each time you start a new quest, you have to start from scratch with your basic strength and craft and no objects or followers – part of the fun of the original game was building up your character throughout the game – but I suppose that this will be more of a feature of the multiplayer game when that is released. It’s been fun to learn about the different characters and their particular abilities, which make the game more rich and varied, making each quest experience very different. Your score for each quest is determined by how many turns it takes you to complete the objective, scoring you out of three, so you can also go back to any level you have completed and retake it to try and beat your score. While there is a lot of ‘luck of the draw’ in the cards you pick, there are also the same elements of strategy from the original game that make this a lot of fun and really engaging.
I absolutely recommend this game. You can buy it for PC, iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The PC version is currently a very reasonable £5.99 for the standard edition or £7.99 for the premium. The mobile game is available through the App Store for £2.99. I am more than happy to give Talisman Prologue 10 out of 10 Extreme Points and a big thumbs up. I’ve been addicted for a few weeks now, and with 50 quests currently available I will still be kept happy for many more pleasant gaming hours. If you want to try before you buy, why not have a go at the demo?