They say that adventure awaits (and quite possibly favors) only the bravest of heroes. So gather your party and band together to capture the necessary treasures to defeat the witchlord who awaits you in, you guessed it, (*booming announcer voice*) THE OBSIDIAN TOWER. (insert thunder crash). Will you succeed, or fall victim to the many dangers that await you? Time to adventure on and see!
What Is It?
The Obsidian Tower is a 2-6 player cooperative adventure game which seems to have a heavy influence from Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert (at least that’s what it reminded me of!). Players work together to collect treasures that will grant them access to the tower itself.
Who Is It For?
I’d highly recommend this one to families as it plays a large number and allows them to work together. It’s not a very difficult game, but there is some strategy, so I’d also suggest it for ages 10 and above. I’d also say that fans of the games I mentioned above would enjoy it because of how reminiscent of those it is.
I have a pre-release version, so it’s not quite final, but so far everything is pretty nice and it gets the job done. The cards are a little thin, but sleeves will help with wearing issues. The tiles are chipboard, I believe, and noted to be smaller than the final version, so I’m excited for a larger version. There are also some simple chits for the treasures, which are fine, but it might be cool to see them as physical pieces/models – maybe a neat stretch goal! The pawns are also nice, just simple wooden pieces. Finally, while the title fonts in the rules isn’t my favorite, it is legible, and the rules overall are laid out very nicely. There was a little confusion on my end, which I got cleared up by the designer, so I just hope to see those specified in the final rules as well to avoid that initial confusion.
- Very Forbidden Island/Desert feel to it
- One of the better co-op games I’ve played, since those are very hit and miss with me – it’s adventurous and hands on!
- Plays quickly and rules are fairly easy to pick up on
- Plays up to 6 so it’s a good one to pull out between the usual larger group games, which can lean more toward the party side, for a change of pace
- Variable player powers
- Borders on cards are different for most things but treasures you need to collect (i.e. the skeleton key) are the same as other things (special actions, dragon …). I think each type of card having its own colored border would be beneficial for those keen on visuals
- The market is kind of weird because you have to draw cards to add to it then buy things on subsequent turns, and there isn’t very much gold in the deck. It’s a more finicky mechanic of the game in my opinion and it feels like it would work better if the market was just available from the start
I actually can’t give it a definitive difficulty because it’s pretty variable. Unlike similar games, where the difficulty ramps up throughout, the level is more randomized in this game because of skirmish cards – it can change for the better or worse throughout. The expansions also seem to add some difficulty, so you can put those in if the game seems too easy at first.
Overall, as a fan of those similar games, I liked this a lot. It has a few unique mechanics and it makes for a fairly interesting game. I also thought it had a fresh theme and really nice art, so I was into the whole thing! As not a huge co-op fan, this works well for me because players can make individual choices and work together while still independently to accomplish their goals. It has great potential and I am super excited to see the finished product!
Designer – Jared Hungerford
Publisher – Soverign Entertainment
*I was provided a prototype copy of this game to do this preview*
*All components shown are subject to change*
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