I just finished watching Season 2 of The Witcher on Netflix and, no spoilers, it’s a pretty bonkers and epic finale. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend giving it a shot. It’s gritty, funny but also have some very serious overtones. And Henry Cavill is of course the perfect actor to play the lead role of Geralt.
Anyway, less about shows and more about games. I’ve been looking at board games coming out this year that I’m excited to try out, and believe me, there is a lot of great stuff coming down the pipe in 2022. Adding to the list is a sweet, sweet-looking adaptation of the aforementioned Witcher IP. Set for release in June this year, The Witcher: Old World will bring us plenty of monsters to fight in both a solo or competitive game setting. Released by CD Projekt Red and Go On Board, I’m stoked to give this game a play-through. Let’s look at what to expect.
Solo Or Competitive Play
I don’t know if it’s a random thing but I’m seeing more and more games featuring solo play. Maybe it’s a Covid thing but I like it. Personally, I’m more a group board gamer (save the solo play for video games) but I do like seeing the option available for those who want to test a game out and maybe just can’t get together with friends or whatever.
The meat of the game though, in my opinion, will be in the competitive play. The Witcher: Old World allows up to 5 players to assume the roles of…you guessed it…Witchers! But where Geralt and kin might be roaming the land looking for the odd monster to slay, this game takes place much earlier in the history of the world; closer to the time when monsters were unleashed in the first place. What this means is that there will be lots and lots of terrible creatures roaming the land for you to fight and slay.
A feature of this game that I think looks really cool is how players augment their character’s abilities by building a “deck” of cards. While each Witcher comes from a different school (likely with different core ideals and abilities) the cards chosen will help players create combos through attacks, dodges or magic “signs”.
As the game progresses, players will have the opportunity to obtain new items, money (to buy items) and to level up their skills. By taking part in quests, battling monsters and other Witchers and even playing a type of poker with dice, players will be drawn into what looks to be a rich, vibrant game with lots of storytelling.
Choices, Choices, Choices
Much like the video game and other board games of the same genre, each Witcher will be forced to make decisions during the game that will impact how the story plays out. Sure, some choices will be simple enough; choosing to fight a monster is a no-brainer. However, the game will also ask players to make moral decisions that are may have unexpected consequences. Additionally, each player may be tasked with dueling another Witcher in the name of their school’s honor.
What I think people will like about this game is that there are multiple paths to victory. Monster slaying, defeating Witcher, leveling up skills and quest completion give players a dynamic and strategic element that also looks to promise a good amount of replayability.
The world is vast and the game board is big! Monsters roam the land and, as discussed, you’re job is to defeat as many of the evil, vile creatures before the other Witchers do. To win, players must acquire between 4 to 6 treasures. As mentioned earlier, this is done through combat, skill leveling or quest completion.
I know I’ve said this before, or at least thought this before but miniatures are looking absolutely amazing these days. Thanks to advances in 3D printing, and painstaking art creation, the monster and Witcher models in this game look stunning. More and more I’m seeing people take the time to actually prime and paint the minis found in board games and I can totally see why.
If you’re interested in grabbing The Witcher: Old World, you’ll have to wait for it to hit retail shelves as the Kickstarter pledge campaign has ended. While I don’t know what the exact cost will be, the base game pledge was 70 euro or about $100 CAD. The price point might be a little scary to some but honestly, being able to replay this game and try out different strategies and characters adds to the overall value. I’d even argue that to get the most out of it, you’d want to play a few times to become familiar with the mechanics of it.
Keep your eyes peeled at your local gaming store for this one sometime later this year. Thanks for reading and until next time, bye!
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