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Recommendations: dungeon-crawley, story-driven, maybe co-op, questing games

A request from a colleague whose partner doesn’t like abstract, cube-pushing games :smile:

Any suggestions?

EDIT: Not Gloomhaven

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Gloomhaven? Bit of an investment though.


Too expensive, I think.

Have to second Gloomhaven. Never thought I wanted to play a dungeon crawl game after a few rounds of Hero Quest back in the day…

We just saw Sanctum at SPIEL. It’s a Czech Games Edition (not Vlaada though) Diablo style equipment hunting to down the final boss… “thing”. (edit: semi-coop I think)

We just got started on Clank! Legacy which is the story mode for Clank! A deckbuilding adventure which is essentially a deck builder with a dungeon and also has an SF flavored variant: Clank! in Space. Not cooperative. The legacy is a bit expensive but the basic deckbuilder isn’t that bad.

Have you looked at Legends of Andor? That’s a fantasy campaign driven game. I played a few rounds a while ago and found it enjoyable, there are expansions for later and apparently it gets more and more complicated. (edit: coop)

Zombicide 2 is getting a campaign… it’s only just on kickstarter now though and it won’t come much cheaper than Gloomhaven. (edit: coop)


I have a tendency to recommend Legacy of Dragonholt when people are looking for story driven, less abstract games, but it’s also much closer to an RPG than it is a classic sort of boardgame. Sort of like a fantasy Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective kind of thing but with minor RPG elements. And it’s co-op all the way. Sherlock might be good too, minus the dungeon crawliness.

If a little more mechanics are warranted it’s hard to go wrong with the Arkham Horror card game, though be sure to crank down the difficulty to focus on the story side, if thats needed. It can be a challenging grind otherwise.


I’m not sure if it’s really classified as “story-driven” but I had a fun time with Too Many Bones when I played it at SHUX. It is expensive, though.

There’s also eventually the new, cheaper, shorter Gloomhaven: [Subtitle] coming out, maybe next year. So they might want to at least keep an eye on that one, I know I am.

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During SHUX, I heard that Nikki Valens was playtesting something that sounded like the next iteration of the Legacy of Dragonholt concept.


I am in a similar situation; I think my partner would enjoy a good campaign in a rules-lite design. Gloomhaven, based on it’s reputation and boardgame media coverage, would be a good thing to try but I would struggle to find justification to have bought it if it wasn’t an instant success. So, maybe I’ll wait for their next, smaller edition that go that route.

I thought maybe Too Many Bones would be a good thing to seek out after watching SUSD’s video on it; but I’ve read in a couple of places (one account may have been here on the forums?) about the rules grit really spoiling the experience for a somebody who enjoys gaming exclusively on the lighter-end of the spectrum. I think this may also be too big of a risk for me.

I recently ordered Firefly Adventures: Brigands & Browncoats (on sale at my preferred OGS) to give as a gift to my partner. She absolutely adores Firefly (the show) so that’ll get her attention for certain. It seems fairly well-regarded on BGG. But I won’t know until after Christmas how well it turns out.


I agree with @pillbox regarding Too Many Bones; I love the game, but it is dense. Especially given how asymmetric each Gearloc is.

The advantage as a full co-op, is that you can help eachother, but it’s a fine line between ‘helping’ and ‘telling’.


Heroes of Terrinoth for a card based co-op? I’ll admit that I’ve not played it, but I love the Warhammer version that the game mechanics are copied from.

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I actually really enjoyed playing Descent with the app. The game is quite old now so you can pick up the core-set cheap ish or second hand, and the app gives you a small campaign for free. Can’t comment on how much of a money sink it might be after that - my suspicion is that if you played it enough it would be equally expensive to anything else


Last night while looking for games I stumbled across Vast which looks quite dungeon crawly to me but I have no idea how much story it has… I think I saw it mentioned somewhere in the Last Played thread so maybe someone else can chime in and let you know much this game fits your requirements.

Possibly Mage Knight? Not dungeon crawling but still an exploration type game which I was looking at buying before deciding Gloomhaven was going to be our “big” game.

Note: I have played neither of these games but from BGG descriptions they may fit…

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I can vouch for Descent with the app. It’s great fun and you don’t need an Overlord player. We didn’t complete the campaign but still, I would go back to it in a heartbeat if I could. Think I might suggest it!


Vast is ostensibly a dungeon crawler, but it’s a deeply asymmetric, highly competitive game that derives its stories purely from the action that unfolds on the board. It’s a weird, mean little game I’d almost liken to chess before I’d look to traditional adventure games. That said, it’s incredible, so if it looks like it might fit the bill I’m happy to talk about it any time. Been a huge fan since the original.


While they’re not my cup of tea, the Dungeon’s and Dragon’s Adventure Series have a good reputation, if you want a light option.

I’m not sure about the story, as I’ve never played them, but they might be worth a look.

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I’ve played both of these. The story is some text introducing the scenario and some special rules and specific enemies and terrain that can be randomly generated during the scenario. All characters start from scratch each scenario and have to repurchase their better skills/stats instead of carrying progress from scenario to scenario.

I don’t think there is really anything other than RPGs, to be honest.

Really need to know what they are interested in mechanically. Simple dice-chucking with some text to read? Maybe Mice and Mystics? Something with some difficult decisions but the only story is how you interpret in-game actions? Maybe Mage Knight?