We've been on a bit of a miniatures kick as of late. One of our newest acquisitions? Dark Souls: The Board Game. This here is another large box of loot. What I like about this game is that everything fits back into the box nice and neat. The miniatures are packaged in plastic that keeps them pretty immobile and then they slide back into the boxes easily for simple, neat storage. I hate it when you get a game and punch out all the pieces and then suddenly they don't fit because the designer only thought so far as to ship it out, not how you were going to store it. Even the cards have a nice little tray so they don't fly all over and have to be sorted every time you open the box. The instructions are detailed, and the artwork is on par with what I recall of the video game.
The miniatures in this game are quite grotesquely lovely. The detail is impressive, and the size of the bosses is imposing. The smaller figures are also nicely detailed with only a few models suffering from the "Limp Weapon Effect" sue to the use of a softer plastic. Bright side, they aren't super fragile figures that will snap if you look at them wrong. Down side, some of the archers aren't ever going to shoot in a straight line (great news if only the dice rolls reflected this). My other complaint is that the heroes are a horrendous shade of brown. Like, bring forth the potty humor, brown. I don't know what kind of a discount these games get for using grey and brown but... please stop with the brown. Not all of us are going to paint these guys. They may be getting at least a base coat though.
The tiles are rather simple with colored circles to indicate spaces. Cards determine what enemy you will face, how many will spawn and which circles they pop up on which makes replayability insane on this game. Even if there aren't many tiles to swap about, you never really run out of new scenarios.
The character cards are nice and compact. Everything you need to know is on your board. You health, stamina, gear, stats... all in one easy to peruse space. The use of cubes to keep track of stats and health/stamina is ingenious and after the debacle that was the sliders in Betrayal at House on the Hill, we weren't sad to see them gone and these adorable little wooden fellas in their stead.
I love that games are creating their own dice often. The ease of use of color coded die is fantastic. The symbols are easy to read and coincide with the colors right on your weapons and gear. My sword does two black die therefore when I attack I roll two black die. Easy peasy.
And there ends the easy peasy part of this game.
When you open the box, you are greeted with a nice big glossy piece of black paper with the words "You died" on it. They do not lie. You will likely die. A lot. If you get got by one of the lesser rooms, there are minor consequences (minor only in that it isn't as bad as if you die in the boss's room). If one player dies, you all lose. If you die enough, you lose period. No reset. No minor consequences. You just lose. Too bad, so sad. If you lose at the boss room, you have to redo the ENTIRE dungeon to get back to them. The first time a friend goes down, you very quickly realize that you will not win this game if everyone doesn't cooperate, strategize and keep tabs on where everyone stands on health etc.
If you don't want a game that makes you think, this isn't your game. If you want to screw around and try to be a big damn hero, you'll very likely get everyone killed. If you want a game that takes focus and some serious teamwork, then this game is very much for you! We've enjoyed it so far... haven't successfully made it through an entire dungeon yet, but we will.