another example of game that was "made" as a product to be sold based on theme, rather than "designed" as a game to be played... sort of like if i tried to make a car without reading or being taught how an engine works. I could make it pretty, but i could not make it functional.
Roll-and-move. Then flip over a card, and roll the dice it tells you to, to see what happens. ad infinitum.
the rulebook is horrendously laid out (non-alphabetical glossary anyone?). the print on the abilities of the adventure descriptor cards (the "of illusion", "of doom" ones) is too small, to the point where 5 people didn't notice it until multiple turns into the game (and I'm rarely one to complain about small print).
The game is very pretty. It is not very much of a game, though, and randomness is not theme.
cards multiplied by dice = random, and normally that's bad enough. this game takes it a step further by injecting MULTIPLE further random-inducing mechanics, on top of the core imbalances in the cards and the system to begin with.
I like 7 Wonders. This is not 7 Wonders, and does not evidence the sort of interesting decisions I prefer, and that a draft often has the potential to showcase very well. Very flat card abilities which provide virtually no incentive to deviate from the obvious decisions. Ditto with the monster combat. Also, several of the other distribution rules (gold/monsters) felt very awkward in their respective contexts.
No meaningful decisions. No meaningful player interaction. Move, flip over a random card, roll the dice you've been randomly assigned, and reap the random rewards or punishments. Every turn. Ad nauseum.
To add insult to injury, they've got great art resources with which to make this game (the comic book) and the graphic design is bland- but not the "function over form" kind, just the bad kind. Need to find a particular follower token? Gotta read the tiny font on the half-inch tokens, you're certainly not doing it by the picture. Need to go somewhere? Time to read words on the board, because who needs clearly identifying art?
Want to move your pawn? Remember to hold it by the chipboard cross-bar, because it doesn't stay in if you pick it up by the top. This card goes into your character's inventory. It is not an object, and the title doesn't really match what you do with it, but that's OK, I guess?
If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll be player-eliminated by the runaway leader flipping over a random event 15 minutes into the 2 hour game. If you're not, you'll be the runaway leader, having to decide if he wants to play another half an hour by himself to see if he actually won, after all the other players have been eliminated.
Shining example of a horrible game rushed out to try and make money off a license. Randomness is not theme.