I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Board Game system. It was Castle Ravenloft, after all, that really ignited my love for hobby boardgaming. At PAX West, BKOM Studios was showing off their digital adaptation of the system called Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation, and so we made time to go take a look at the game to see how faithful it is to its analog inspiration and if the system would translate well into a video game. While I haven’t played the Tomb of Annihilation (yet), so I can’t say exactly how faithful to that particular game it is, I can say that it does a great job of giving the same feel as other games in the system.
The biggest departure from the board games in Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation is that it’s singleplayer only (at least for now). Technically you could gather some friends around the computer, and have each person make the decisions for each different character, but you won’t be playing online with your friends. The system lends itself well to solo play (true also for the tabletop version) due to the turn-based, open information structure, so even if you do end up playing by yourself, you will still get the full gameplay experience.
The game will feature over 40 quests, which is significantly more than the board games, and it uses the same procedural tile-placement exploration system, so even if you play the same mission multiple times it will be different, at least insofar as the layout and the placement of enemies. That procedural exploration system keeps things interesting, especially in missions that you fail, because you can’t simply memorize the dungeon layout. Instead, you’ll have to stay on your toes as you explore everything afresh. In addition to questing, players will be able to gather supplies to craft rare and powerful weapons and armors in order to power up their four heroes.
If you are interested in Tales From Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation, whether you are new to the system or a veteran board gamer, keep an eye out for the game to hit Steam later this Fall. From what we saw, the game does a great job of translating the tabletop experience into a videogame, while changing some things to ensure that it plays well as a single player game. There’s a reason that more board games keep being made in this system, and the translation to digital is looking solid so far.
What do you think of Tales From Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation? Have you played the D&D Adventure Board Games? Do you like digital board games? Let us know in the comments below.