Fallen. Watchtower Games, 2014. $50. Designed by Tom W. Green and Stephen C. Smith. 30 Story cards, 3 Heroes (each with 1 hero card, 10 signature power cards, 9 skill cards), 3 Dungeon Lords (each with 1 lord card, 10 signature power cards, 11 final battle cards), 28 creature cards, 40 core power cards, 24 equipment/treasure cards, 12 omen cards, 16 critical injury cards, 22 custom dice, and 80+ tokens and a rulebook. 2 players. Ages 14+. 90 minutes.

This story-driven, fantasy card and dice game pits a single hero versus a dungeon lord and his creatures in three rounds of adventure followed by an epic showdown.

The hero player chooses one of three heroes, each of which come with a specialized skill deck that allows you to develop using experience gained during play. All characters have a specialized deck of 10 Power cards that they mix with half the generic Power deck to create a unique deck for this game. The other player chooses one of three dungeon lords and sorts his creatures into their three levels and places four to start.

The mechanics are really straightforward and the rulebook is one of the best I’ve ever read being well organized, detailed, and clearly written.

Gameplay revolves around the dungeon lord randomly pulling a story card (there are 30 in the game) and then reading a series of fantasy situations and choices. The hero’s choice then determines which type of challenge will be done.

Challenges are then resolved by both players creating and rolling dice pools modified by various cards, including equipment, power, skills, creatures, treasures, omens, and fortune tokens. The winner gains experience that can be used to upgrade hero skills or creature levels, and both sides may gain additional benefits.

Once three story cards have been resolved (each takes about 30 minutes), then the upgraded hero and dungeon lord face off in a final battle. The challenges here are based on the lord’s unique deck of Final Battle cards, where the first to win three challenges is proclaimed victor of the game.

If you’re not a fan of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure games, then this may not appeal. There are only 3 heroes and 3 dungeon lords, and although all of them are unique that is a limited cast to choose from even with so much replay ability from the various card decks.

If you enjoy story-driven games that also deliver a quick playing, card/dice, head to head gaming experience, then, like me, you may find the game so enjoyable that you’ll be wanting more. Luckily expansions are on the way. Highly recommended.

This review was written based on a privately purchased retail copy. No previous relationship with the game publisher nor compensation was involved.
c2015 by Richard A. Edwards

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