Gloomhaven: Box Cover Front
Gloomhaven - I ripped a card, and I liked it! - Credit: navmachine
Gloomhaven - The footprint is worth it!!! - Credit: navmachine
Gloomhaven - The bad news is they divided three times already. The good is that Cragheart had a little cataclysm left in his hand. - Credit: Hipopotam
Gloomhaven - Setup for solo play with three characters. - Credit: Hipopotam
  1. Gloomhaven: Box Cover Front
  2. Gloomhaven - I ripped a card, and I liked it! - Credit: navmachine
  3. Gloomhaven - The footprint is worth it!!! - Credit: navmachine
  4. Gloomhaven - The bad news is they divided three times already. The good is that Cragheart had a little cataclysm left in his hand. - Credit: Hipopotam
  5. Gloomhaven - Setup for solo play with three characters. - Credit: Hipopotam

Gloomhaven Review

"Gloomhaven immerses players in a rich and dynamic world, offering endless replayability and exceptional gameplay mechanics. It's a must-have for board game enthusiasts seeking a truly captivating and immersive experience."
  • Gameplay Mechanics
  • Component Quality
  • Replayability
  • Immersion
4.8/5Overall Score

Quick Summary

Gloomhaven is a highly acclaimed board game that offers an immersive and captivating gameplay experience. With its engaging gameplay mechanics, top-notch component quality, endless replayability, and thematic storytelling, it keeps players engaged for hours on end. The game's rich world and exploration, along with character progression, further enhance the immersion factor. If you're a tabletop gaming enthusiast seeking an in-depth and engrossing adventure, look no further than Gloomhaven. This game stands out as a pinnacle of game design, offering a truly unforgettable gaming experience.

  • Number of Players: 1-4 players
  • Playing Time: 90-150 minutes
  • Recommended Player Age: 14 years and above
  • Complexity Level: Medium - High
  • Scenario Count: 95 scenarios
  • Character Classes: 17 unique classes to choose from
  • Endless replayability
  • Immersive storytelling
  • High-quality components
  • Strategic gameplay mechanics
  • Long setup time
  • Large box size
  • Steep learning curve
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Welcome to this review of the highly acclaimed board game, Gloomhaven. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the captivating world of Gloomhaven and explore its gameplay mechanics, component quality, replayability, and immersive qualities. Join us as we break down what makes this game a standout among game enthusiasts and why it has garnered such glowing reviews from players worldwide.

How It Plays

Setting Up

Before diving into the gameplay, setting up Gloomhaven can seem overwhelming due to the numerous components involved. Players must organize the various cards, tokens, and character sheets. However, fear not, as the game comes with a detailed rulebook that guides you through the setup process step by step.


Gloomhaven is played over a series of interconnected scenarios that form a campaign. Each scenario presents a unique objective, map layout, and enemies to face. Players take on the role of adventurers, each with their own set of abilities, and together form a party exploring the dark and dangerous world of Gloomhaven.

During gameplay, players perform actions and abilities by choosing two cards from their hand, effectively balancing short-term impact with long-term strategy. Players must plan their moves carefully, knowing that each card played is temporarily lost and unavailable for the rest of the scenario.

Winning the game

Gloomhaven is a cooperative game where players work together towards a common goal, sharing the victories and defeats. The game presents players with challenges and obstacles that must be overcome in order to progress through the campaign successfully. The primary objective is to achieve the specific goal outlined in each scenario. When players achieve this goal, they emerge as the victors and can move forward in the campaign, uncovering new secrets and unlocking new possibilities.

Gloomhaven is an action-packed, dungeon-crawling board game that offers a captivating and immersive gameplay experience. The game is designed with intricate gameplay mechanics that keep players engaged and constantly challenged.

Engaging Gameplay Mechanics

Multiple Character Classes

One of the standout features of Gloomhaven is the variety of character classes available to play. Each class comes with its own unique abilities, playstyle, and roles within the party. Whether you prefer playing as a brute force warrior or a cunning spellcaster, there is a character class that suits your preferred playstyle. This variety allows for diverse and exciting gameplay strategies, as players can experiment with different combinations of classes to create a well-balanced team.

Strategic Card-Based Combat

The combat in Gloomhaven is resolved through a clever card-based mechanism. Each player controls a public hand of cards that represent their actions and abilities. Players must carefully manage their hand and choose which cards to play each turn, as once a card is played, it is temporarily lost until the end of the scenario. This decision-making process adds a strategic element to the gameplay, as players must weigh the potential benefits of a powerful action against the cost of losing a valuable card.

Evolving Campaign and Story

Gloomhaven features a rich and immersive campaign that evolves as players progress through various scenarios. Each scenario presents unique challenges, goals, and narrative elements that contribute to an overarching storyline. The choices made by players during each scenario have lasting consequences, influencing future scenarios and shaping the direction of the campaign. This dynamic campaign system makes each playthrough feel unique and offers a sense of progression and discovery that keeps players invested in the game.

With its engaging gameplay mechanics and captivating campaign, Gloomhaven offers a truly immersive gaming experience. However, the gameplay experience is further enhanced by its high-quality components. But before we dive into that, let’s take a moment to appreciate the attention to detail that went into creating the components of this game.

Gloomhaven - I ripped a card, and I liked it! - Credit: navmachine

Premium Component Quality

The component quality in Gloomhaven is nothing short of exceptional, with every detail meticulously designed and executed. From the moment you open the box, you are greeted with high-quality components that enhance the gameplay experience.

Stunning Artwork and Illustrations

One of the first things that will catch your eye is the stunning artwork and illustrations featured throughout the game. The beautifully crafted cards, tokens, and game boards are adorned with intricate and immersive artwork that brings the world of Gloomhaven to life. Each component is full of rich detail and showcases the level of care and attention that has been put into the game’s visual design.

Durable and Well-Crafted Pieces

The game pieces themselves are robust and built to withstand countless hours of gameplay. The thick cardboard tokens and player boards are resistant to wear and tear, ensuring that they will hold up even after repeated use. The durable cards have a nice weight and feel to them, with a smooth finish that enhances shuffling and handling.

Organized Storage Solutions

Gloomhaven comes with a thoughtfully designed insert that provides a convenient storage solution for all the game components. The insert features various compartments and trays, keeping everything neatly organized and easily accessible. The attention to detail in the storage design is commendable, ensuring that setup and cleanup are quick and hassle-free.

The impeccable component quality of Gloomhaven adds an extra layer of immersion and enjoyment to the gameplay experience. But it doesn’t stop there—the game also offers impressive replayability, keeping players coming back for more. But before we delve into the details of replayability, let’s take a moment to appreciate the immersive nature of the game.

Gloomhaven - The footprint is worth it!!! - Credit: navmachine

Endless Replayability

In addition to its engrossing gameplay mechanics and top-notch component quality, Gloomhaven offers an impressive level of replayability that keeps players coming back for more. Each playthrough of the game presents unique challenges and opportunities, ensuring that no two sessions are alike.

Procedurally Generated Scenarios

Gloomhaven incorporates a clever scenario system that offers an abundance of replayability. The game features a deck of scenario cards that dictate the objectives, layouts, and enemies encountered during each session. With a vast number of scenarios to choose from, and the possibility of encountering new and different ones each time, players can enjoy limitless exploration and discovery in the world of Gloomhaven.

Unlockable Content and Secrets

As players progress through the campaign, they have the chance to unlock new classes, characters, items, and abilities. This gives players a sense of progression and incentivizes multiple playthroughs to experience different combinations and strategies. Furthermore, Gloomhaven is filled with hidden secrets and surprises that players can uncover, adding an extra layer of excitement and intrigue to each session.

Player Agency and Choices

Gloomhaven offers a dynamic gameplay experience where player choices and actions have meaningful consequences. The decisions made by players during each scenario can greatly impact the story, the outcome of future scenarios, and the development of their characters. The branching paths and open-ended nature of the game allow for varying playstyles and approaches, ensuring that each playthrough feels fresh and offers a new level of challenge.

The replayability factor of Gloomhaven is undeniably one of its greatest strengths, providing endless hours of entertainment and exploration. Now, let’s plunge into the next section and delve into the immersive qualities that make this game truly stand out.

Gloomhaven - The bad news is they divided three times already. The good is that Cragheart had a little cataclysm left in his hand. - Credit: Hipopotam

Immersive Gameplay Experience

When it comes to immersing players in its rich and engaging world, Gloomhaven excels on all fronts. The game offers a truly immersive gameplay experience that effortlessly transports players into a world of adventure, mystery, and peril.

Thematic Storytelling

One of the key aspects that greatly enhances immersion in Gloomhaven is its thematic storytelling. The game presents players with an intricate and immersive narrative that unfolds as they progress through the campaign. Each scenario is tied to the overarching story, with carefully crafted events, dialogues, and encounters that provide a sense of realism and depth to the game world. As players make decisions and face consequences, they feel emotionally invested in the outcomes, further heightening the immersive experience.

Dynamic World and Exploration

Gloomhaven presents a vast and ever-evolving world that begs to be explored. Each scenario reveals new locations, enemies, and challenges, allowing players to immerse themselves in the rich lore of the game. The exploration aspect is further enhanced by the discovery of hidden treasures, secret rooms, and uncharted paths, sparking a sense of anticipation and wonder. The dynamic nature of the game world ensures that players are constantly engaged and rewarded for their curiosity and sense of adventure.

Character Progression and Development

As players embark on their journey in Gloomhaven, they have the opportunity to see their characters grow and evolve. The leveling system, unlockable abilities, and item upgrades provide a sense of progression and empowerment, making each decision and action feel significant. This character development adds a layer of investment and immersion, as players become attached to their chosen character and strive to make them stronger and more versatile.

The combination of thematic storytelling, dynamic world exploration, and character progression culminate in an immersive gameplay experience that captures the attention and imagination of players from start to finish. The attention to detail in every aspect of the game fosters deep immersion, allowing players to truly get lost in the world of Gloomhaven.

It is no surprise that Gloomhaven has received widespread acclaim and is highly recommended for any board game enthusiast. The thoughtful gameplay mechanics, premium component quality, endless replayability, and immersive qualities make it a standout and a must-have for tabletop gamers looking for a deeply engaging and captivating experience.

Overall, I highly recommend Gloomhaven for its exceptional gameplay mechanics, top-notch component quality, impressive replayability, and immersive qualities. So gather your party, embark on an unforgettable adventure, and prepare to be immersed in the world of Gloomhaven like never before!

Gloomhaven - Setup for solo play with three characters. - Credit: Hipopotam


In conclusion, Gloomhaven is a masterpiece that delivers an exceptional gaming experience in every aspect. Its engaging gameplay mechanics, premium component quality, and endless replayability make it a standout among board games. The immersive qualities, from immersive storytelling to dynamic exploration, further enhance the game’s appeal. Gloomhaven is not a game for the faint of heart, but for those willing to embark on an epic and challenging adventure, it rewards with countless hours of enjoyment. With its meticulous attention to detail and captivating gameplay, it is no wonder that Gloomhaven has garnered such acclaim. This concludes our review of this extraordinary gem in the realm of board games.

4.8/5Overall Score
Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.