18 Nov Legacy of Dragonholt: A Solo Experience
For the longest time, I used gaming primarily as a way to get together with friends and family as a way to enjoy a shared experience. I would spend time cultivating the right group of games to bring to any particular occasion and would bring a game to the table at a moment’s notice. While what game we play has always mattered, I was more concerned with finding a fit to make the shared experience the best one possible based on who was sitting around the table.
As you may know, getting others around the table has been difficult lately and while I had played solo games in the past, it was rarely my choice of entertainment when alone. As it has continually been difficult to play games with others, the idea of solo gaming became very appealing. I just had an urge welling up in the depths of my soul to play games. I needed (and still need to an extent) more opportunities to explore the hobby I so love.
Fortune would have it that in my most dire of need, my brother was unloading parts of his collection. He had made the decision to move halfway across the United States and wanted to reduce his overall board game count to make it more manageable to move. In this culling process, I received quite a few goodies, one of which was Legacy of Dragonholt.
Renowned for its solo play, Legacy of Dragonholt is a choose-your-own adventure-style board game. When going through the contents of the box, I had no idea what to expect. There’s a small deck of cards, some tokens (that, from what I can tell, are only used in multiplayer games), a rulebook, a letter, a character creation book, and storybooks, lots of storybooks.
At first, I was a little taken back. It didn’t look like there was much of a game here at all, and honestly, after doing the character creation and finishing the first campaign, there isn’t much game here. But there is a story. Man, is there a story. Essentially, you draft up a character with specific skills and traits (creating the small backstory was so fun!). The skills you select will determine how you can respond to the story as time passes. Each decision affects how the story plays out and throughout the campaign, your character grows and learns new skills. Ultimately the decisions you make and the skills you choose affect your character’s ability to get through the campaign.
Had I known this is all the game was, I probably would have never been interested in playing it. While I really like a quality theme and for that theme to be integrated within the mechanics, the idea of reading a story throughout the process of playing a game has never really appealed to me. That said, I am so glad I pulled this one out. The story was so engaging and having made the character to go through the story with, I felt more invested. In my first play, I was occupied and engaged for 3 hours (you can break the steps up to much more if you don’t have this kind of time). Normally, I prefer games to last between the 90-120 minute mark if I’m with people and solo play to be 45-60 minutes. For whatever reason though, this game worked for me. It falls outside of every category I am looking for and yet, was a compelling and engaging experience that I will be returning to soon.
Thanks for reading and keep on gaming,
The Neoprene PlayMatt