Three of Our Favorite Narrative Adventure Board Games

Covers of Unlikely Heroes, Legacy of Dragonholt, and Gloomhaven

Epic narratives where you are the hero. Countless encounters, be it diplomatic or combat. Exploring strange lands and dangerous dungeons. These are the marks of narrative adventure board games. Here’s three of our favorites that we think anyone looking for adventure and a good story should play.

Legacy of Dragonholt by Nikki Valens & Fantasy Flight Games

Do you know the pain of being a forever-GM, cursed to never play in the grand adventures you take your friends on? Then Legacy of Dragonholt might be for you. A game for 1-6 players, Legacy of Dragonholt has you create a character, complete with backstory and personality, setting out on a grand quest to uncover a devious plot.

What we love about this game is how it plays like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, with enough elements from tabletop rpgs to flesh out the player characters, and allow the story to truly be your own. When playing with several people, you take turns deciding on what your hero will do, giving everyone a chance to impact the story and play their character. Although the full campaign might take weeks or months to finish, each chapter takes between 60-120 minutes, making it great for playing a chapter or two per game night.


Box for Legacy of Dragonholt

 

Gloomhaven by Isaac Childres & Cephalofair Games

Story is good, but you know what else is good? Dungeon-delving and monster-slaying! And for that, Gloomhaven is a great fit. With a full-blown campaign, centering on the city of Gloomhaven, 1-4 players can seek glory and fame in the dungeons and ruins of the surrounding land.

But although Gloomhaven has a grand adventure, which could take months to play through, what we really like about it is the focus on tactical dungeon-crawling. Each mission features a dungeon that you must complete to progress in the story. These dungeons are filled with monsters that are controlled by a deck of cards, allowing every player to be a hero in the story. With many options to consider, combat is deeply strategic, so a mission could well take 2 hours to complete depending on how good you and your friends are at strategizing. And that’s what we like about Gloomhaven: A robust, narrative strategy game, perfect for a longer game night.


Gloomhaven Box

Unlikely Heroes by Luudos Studio

Of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without our very own narrative adventure game! We love a good story with fun characters and exciting things to discover, and Unlikely Heroes is just that. Putting 1-4 players in the shoes of characters who often create the problems they are tasked with solving, Unlikely Heroes lets you explore strange lands and experience weird and funny adventures solo or with your friends.

What really sets this game apart for us, is the tongue-in-cheek humor that permeates every quest and encounter. The stories are light-hearted and engaging, and every encounter gives players both interesting challenges and a fun story to follow. On top of that, we enjoy the exploration aspect of the game, following clues and encountering odd folks and dangers on the way to complete one of the three main quests. With playtime at around 60-90 minutes per quest, Unlikely Heroes makes for a great game night filled with laughter.


Unlikely Heroes Cowboys box

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