Those of you who dabble in board games might be familiar with the name, “Talisman.” It’s a game that puts the player into the role of a character that must fight monsters and complete quests in a fantasy-like setting. I’ll admit that I haven’t had a chance to play it, mainly due to its price tag. Fortunately, this gives me a chance to review “Talisman Prologue”, the video game adaptation, without bias. Before we get started, I’d like to thank Don Whiteford from Nomad Games Limited for sending me a free review copy.
It’s worth noting that “Talisman Prologue” is the first product of many, this particular game being a single player only experience for the PC. I’m told however that there are plans in the works to include multiplayer in future products and to expand their product line to tablets and smartphones. “Talisman Prologue” is designed as an introduction to the board game, giving the player a feel of how the characters and gameplay mechanics work. When I asked whether or not these new products (that included multiplayer) came with a price tag, I was told (and I’m paraphrasing) that it was likely but the pricing would be structured fairly.
The main menu is the primary hub that allows you to choose between different characters, view their individual statistics, and adjust game options. The game’s options menu is fairly basic, allowing you to adjust sound levels, window size, and language. On the same menu, you can reset the tutorial, view the game’s rules, and see the credits. I would have liked to have seen an option to toggle fullscreen, but the window size options cover enough to suit my needs.
As I mentioned above, single player is your only option. However, you’ll have your choice between ten different characters that have varying strengths and attributes. Each character has a set of quests that you’ll be tasked with completing and doing so unlocks more content…namely, more quests and characters. You’ll start off with the barbarian and the ability to embark on the first quest, though I found it to be a necessary step, especially since I was new to the Talisman series.
Having never played the board game, I can’t compare and contrast the rules between the two versions. I can tell you however that in “Talisman Prologue”, your main objective is to complete the given quest in the fewest turns possible. When you do manage to complete the quest, you’ll be “graded” based on how many turns you used and you’ll be rewarded with one, two, or three tokens. The better you do, the more tokens you receive. This bothers me a bit, mainly because you can have a bad run of the dice and receive a low score no matter how strategic you play. I would like to see a modifier subtracting turns off the turn total at the end of the quest, based on say, how many lives you have left. At least then, you can be rewarded for smart play…this is assuming that the dice haven’t decided to ruin your day completely.
Playing the game and completing quests were surprisingly easy. I was expecting a lot of rules and mechanics to remember but it turned out to be a fun and thrilling experience. Your character starts out with his or her base stats and will be endeavouring to increase them as the game goes on, mainly so that they can become powerful enough to finish their quest. You also have a limited number of lives and should you run out, your quest results in a failure.
At the beginning of a turn, you’ll roll a dice and move to a space in either direction. Once there, you’ll follow the instructions on that space. Some spaces allow you to draw encounter cards while others might task you with rolling the die for a random result. I found that encounter cards were crucial to becoming more powerful as they sometimes contained equippable items that increase your base stats. Weapons, for example, added strength to my warrior. The armor piece aided me for when I lost in battle, just to name another example. You do have a limited carrying capacity, so you’ll be forced to choose between them as time goes on.
While some encounter cards include items, you’ll also draw upon followers that aid you in your quest in various ways. You are able to have as many as you want, so the more the merrier. You’ll need them to face some of the harder monsters that lie in wait. The board itself has three main levels of difficulty, the outside ring being the easiest of the three. As you venture further in, you’ll land on spaces that are much less forgiving.
It’s hard not to recommend “Talisman Prologue”, even if it doesn’t have multiplayer. The game does what it sets out to do well, introduce you to the mechanics and ideas behind the tabletop game. This game is actually making me take a second look at the tabletop game, though that sixty dollar price tag is still a bit much (in my opinion). This game is fun, easy to play, and has a lot of replay value. Having ten different characters to try out keeps me coming back for more, though I wouldn’t have minded having access to them all from the get go. Games like this often make it or break it based on its price tag, and I believe that $9.99 is a fair price to pay all things considered. For a few bucks more, you’ll be able to purchase a desktop theme and soundtrack along with the main game. I’m excited to see what new content the developers plan to roll out in the future.
Final Verdict: 7/10
You can learn more about this game by visiting the official site, here:
In addition to buying it from the official website, you can find it on Desura here:
You can help bring the game to Steam by voting for it on its Greenlight page here:
You can view play sessions here: