Talisman, The Magical Quest Game – Review

I was a Dungeons and Dragons nerd growing up. I read all of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy Books, and I played Heroes of Might and Magic on the computer. World of Warcraft has been calling me for years, but I’ve been afraid that if I start playing, I won’t ever stop.

I’ve been trying to pass on some of my love of fantasy to our kids. But I hate that they’re on electronics all day long. I wanted us to spend more time as a family, and one way to do that is to play a board game. So I did some research, and I chose Talisman, The Magical Quest Game, as a present for our 15yo’s birthday yesterday.

The art is stunning. There are a lot of cards included in the base game, so there’s plenty of variety for your first two or three tries at the game. This a great gateway game to introduce kids to fantasy games.

But…Talisman is light on strategy and heavy on luck. It’s like Monopoly in a way – you’re going around in circles trying to become powerful enough to take on tougher enemies and capture the crown. It’s really tough to earn gold in the beginning, and you need to get lucky, land on the right space, and draw the right cards to build up your character. We haven’t managed to get through an entire game yet, but I would imagine it takes 4 to 6 hours. Not a lot of families have that kind of time to burn (nor want to sit for that long).

There are lots of instructions and details, but none of them are difficult to figure out. I think the box says ages 14 and up, but an 8yo with good reading skills and attention span could play this game.

I think I like the game more than anyone else in my family, but I could game happily for hours. The good thing about a long game is that it’s social – you’re spending time together, and you don’t particularly have to pay close attention to what the other players are doing. Plenty of time for potty and snack breaks. 🙂

If you’re looking for a game that requires skill and strategy, keep looking.

If you want a family-friendly game with amazing visuals that people of all ages can play, then Talisman is a good choice.

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