An open world board game. A concept I never thought I’d hear. When I heard that Lands of Galzyr was one, I immediately wanted to try it. The game’s developer, Snowdale Design, has excelled in the past with its game design with Dale of Merchants, so I expected a lot from Lands of Galzyr. In this review, we’ll see if the game lived up to my initial expectations.
The player chooses one of the game’s four characters to control. On their turn, the player moves two steps and one of the other players reads an event to them based on the space the player ended up on. The event is read from an application made for the game. During the event, you may have to make various dice rolls, the success of which determines the course of the story.
Since it is an open world game, players are allowed to do whatever they want in the game. The game offers a variety of longer quests that players can complete. However, you don’t have to do these, you can just walk around and experience different events. The game ends after the number of rounds determined by the number of players. Each game does not necessarily have a special ending, and various quests may even be left unfinished. The game is intended to be played several times with the same characters, in which case unfinished stories can be continued in the following games.
I haven’t played similar open world board games before, but the game mechanics work really well. The state of the game can be conveniently saved, so it doesn’t matter if you can’t do everything you want during one game. Every player can do what they want with their character and you can’t actually lose in the game, so everyone can act as freely as they want. This is what an open world means in practice.
Because the game mechanics are very different compared to the general board game format, only certain types of players can enjoy the game. The game is by no means fast-paced, but players interested in slow-paced progression and stories can enjoy the game. For example, if you like role-playing games, this game will definitely appeal to you. In addition, the game might work better for certain players the fewer players there are in the game. In the games I played, there have always been four players, and sometimes you have to wait a really long time for your turn. I didn’t like it that much, but my friends said that it was nice that you didn’t have to focus on the game all the time. So as stated, the game works for certain people and with a certain number of players.
There are a lot of different events and quests written into the game. We are talking about hundreds of different events. These are actually located in the application, so they don’t even add a big stack of different cards. At the same time, the game has a lot of replay value. You may not be able to complete even one quest in one game, so you have to come back to the game many times. Also at this point, I have to praise the application where the events are located. The application has been developed really well and is simple to use.
The game is really captivating in terms of art style. The playable characters are personal and different from each other. You really want to follow their stories. Every card in the game is stylish and all the side characters in the game also look nice. My only negative comment related to the style of the game concerns the game board, which to my taste looks relatively restless with all the details. However, this is a personal opinion, because it didn’t bother my game party. I still appreciate all the small details hidden on the board myself.
Like the previously reviewed Dale of Merchants, the game design of Lands of Galzyr is pure gold. In general, the open world has been made to work well and everything from saving the state of the game to developing a great application works well. The game developer clearly loves their job and wants to make their games as good as possible. In general, this can be seen in both fundamental things like quality components. My only criticism has to do with the really loosely written rules. The rules are written in a really indicative way so they don’t spoil anything about the game. This makes starting the first game a bit awkward, and as a rule reader myself, I felt unsure when we started our first game session. In addition, it was difficult to explain the rules to other players. After the first game, the rules are really simple, but the first game is started from a rather shaky foundation.
Lands of Galzyr is a completely unique game developed with love. The game is not suitable for everyone, but if you love stories and, for example, role-playing, the game may suit you. The game’s strengths include its replay value and huge amount of written content. I myself will come back to the game many, many more times.
- The open world board game works surprisingly well
- Lots of replay value
- There are MANY different events and quests written into the game
- Captivating characters and art style
- The game app works really well and is simple to use
- Game design is pure gold
- Quality components
- It takes a certain kind of player to fully enjoy the game
- Depending on the number of players, you may have to wait a long time for your turn – perhaps best suited for a smaller number of players
- The uncertainty of the first game due to the openly written rules
- The game board looks restless