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iOS Game Review – Talisman Prologue

2013 May 20
by Michael Schroeder

You’d think with a game like Talisman, that playing the game solo wouldn’t work. Well, Thumbstar Games and Nomad Games make it work great. Keep reading to see why.

Talisman Prologue

Talisman Prologue

Developer: Thumbstar Games/Nomad Games

Number of players: 1

Play Modes: solo

Requirements:Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Regular Price: $4.99/universal

What’s the game about?

From the developer…

The superb fantasy adventure board game that is ‘Talisman’ makes it into the domain of the video game. The first release is called Talisman Prologue – a version based on the full-rule set that is designed to let solo players quickly explore the nature of each character and the board itself in a series of challenging quests.

Talisman Prologue is essentially the classic board game of Talisman, solo.  “How on earth does that work?” You may ask. Talisman Prologue takes individual quests or mini goals, and breaks them up for you to achieve. For instance, you begin the game with the warrior class and with the warrior, you have a task of say obtain a weapon. Then once this happens the goal changes to obtain another weapon. And on the way of doing this you have to play the luck of the dice roll and hope you land on the spots you want to land on and still battle monsters. So the developers of the game managed to make a solo version of Talisman work, with solo play with these mini quests. Also, the game doesn’t end just by completing quests, the game keeps track of turns. You want to better yourself, by completing quests in less amount of turns.

Playing the game:

When the game starts you choose a character and a quest. Some quests won’t be unlocked until you’ve earned them.

Talisman - Choose your character

Talisman – Choose your character

You are then presented with the Talisman game board and your player, stats and dice at the top of the screen. The game guides you through a tutorial which is very helpful. Most of the time you will be tapping on the dice to hopefully land where you want and then resolving actions and fighting monsters in the respective location. You’re doing this all on the way to level up to be able to make your way into the center of the board, and win the game.

Talisman Prologue in action

Talisman Prologue in action

The developers handled the port to single player in digital format gracefully. The game is pretty straight forward, it’s a roll and move, fight monsters/ level up, light RPG. And that’s just fine for me. I typically don’t get involved into extremely complex RPG’s. The UI isn’t confusing and the battles aren’t drawn out and I don’t find myself getting bored. This, coming from mostly a euro gamer.

The battles and movement seems to be at the heart of any RPG like this. And you’ll need to battle monsters and buy equipment and weapons to be strong enough to battle even tougher monsters in the middle of the board. For a quick reminder of how battles work in Talisman: you compare your base strength + any extra weapons, items, and add that to your dice roll, which will give you your total strength in battle. The same goes for the monster, but the monsters don’t have modifiers. It’s not to simple though, I often thought I’d win battles where I didn’t. I think the developers made the AI a bit on the tough side. I’ve rolled a lot of bad rolls!

Breakdown

Graphics:

The graphics are quite nice. The board seems to be taken more or less from newest edition of the board game, with active sections of the board and UI that highlight and animate. It’s easy enough to see on an iPhone and even better playing on a tablet, and I don’t even have retina on my tablet.

Sounds:

The music is nicely composed adventure fare. With some nice sounds to boot. I specifically like the dice rattling in a cup noise when you tap the dice.

Game Play/User Experience:

The game play and UI is mostly intuitive. The game is easy to pick up and the tutorials work well. The battles aren’t long and drawn out and I enjoy how the game is broken up into quests.

My opinion on the game:

I’ do enjoy Talisman Prologue. The developers did a good job of porting a multiplayer board game into single player format. And best part is, you don’t need to be connected to the web to play it! A refreshing change! I find the quality and work put into Talisman Prologue warrants the $4.99 USD price. So if you are into Talisman and want to play it solo or just like tabletop RPG/adventures in general, I’d recommend picking this game up.

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