I realised the other day that lots of the games I like (boardgames, computer games, and tabletop) are (in one way or another) focused on tension, excitement and conflict - the picture of Warhammer Fantasy Battles above being a good example. Nothing wrong with that! Many a memorable moment has been had under those circumstances...
...acts of daring do, skin-of-the-teeth escapes, high-tension searches through warrens and dark tunnels, victory (and calamity!) against overwhelming odds, and more.
However, sometimes, don't we all want a more relaxing game experience?
...or a hot cup of tea?
|Credit: Shreya13jain, CC BY-SA 4.0, |
via Wikimedia Commons
Welcome to Galzyr
What you have then, is an overland adventure for one to four players across the countryside, towns, and cities of a beautifully-realised fantasy world. Almost best of all, this world is inhabited by anthropomorphic animals of every type, whose daily lives you will explore as a wandering animal yourself.
|Keridai's player board.|
Keridai's player board shows us he has 10 gold, which is adjusted via a wheel, three slots (bottom) for equipment, and 4 skills on his skill wheel (at right). These are indicated by these lovely solid semi-circular 'skill marks' which you slot into the board.
- Knowledge (green x2)
- Communication (light blue x1)
- Perception (dark blue x1)
A land of appventure...
- A huge amount of content that just couldn't fit into a 'storybook'. Over 600,000 words?
- The convenience of searching for any of the numbered scenes by just entering the number. NOT flipping backwards and forwards through a giant spiral-bound tome is a big plus IMHO.
- An immersive soundtrack (really thematic!) built in...
- ...and, once downloaded you don't need to be connected to the internet. You can add the web app to your homescreen. You don't need to install if from an app store.
|Cards: Seasons, quests (public side), |
and the library.
The cards are stored in two sturdy boxes with numbered dividers, called 'The Library'. This makes it only a matter of moments to find the correct card. You'll also have cards before you on the table to be interacted with. These include public quests that form a 'notice board', an event deck that manages scenes you encounter as you travel, and of course equipment. Your character's status can also be impacted by your adventures, as 'status' cards may force you to be weakened for several days.
|A piece of common equipment. Note the blue 'tag' words|
and verbs (in brown) that can influence your skill checks.
Speaking of being weakened for several days, each game session plays out over the course of a week or more, depending on how many players you have. For solo, it is eight. At the end of each round you move the calendar one day forward in the app and on the board. This concept of advancing time is nicely interwoven into the game by having certain cards with timed effects. This can include the aforementioned statuses, but also companions (NPCs) who will show up in your adventures for a few days and then leave.
|The Lands of Galzyr in summer.|
|Keridai visits Arhin. (Not a spoiler - cities and towns are |
placed on the board at the start of the game.) Notice the locations
with scene numbers.
There is a lot more that could be said, including about the excellent component quality, the simple save system allowing you to carry the world forward seamlessly from game to game, or the beautiful and evocative soundtrack. As you can tell, far too much to include in my initial impressions here.