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Gloomhaven launches into early access with some major bits missing

It's not all gloom (or Doom)

Co-op dungeon crawling board game Gloomhaven has made the hop to PC today, though it'll be a while yet until it's really comparable to its giant-boxed physical counterpart. Today's early access version lacks multiplayer or the campaign from the tabletop edition, and instead repackages the game into a solo roguelike experience. Developers Flaming Fowl say that all the missing bits are still coming, but won't all be there until next year. Still, I can't deny that this is a very pretty adaptation, and likely far easier to set up and play. Below, a rather dramatic debut trailer.

The current version includes four playable characters, nine enemy types and three bosses, although they're shooting for a full 17 characters and 47 baddies by launch. While the full game will have a 95-scenario campaign mode, the Adventure Mode will be the heart of the game for now, a solo adaptation of Gloomhaven with procedurally generated scenarios. This new mode does look interesting, and may provide existing fans of the board game with some fresh tactical challenges (and a way to enjoy it without roping in a table-full of friends) but I feel it's an odd place to start.

Cover image for YouTube video

While a bit bare-bones at present, Flaming Fowl have a lot planned for the game before its full launch in 2020. The first update this autumn will add the Tinkerer class and aim to respond to early audience feedback. Coming in winter is a new environment with its own enemies and bosses and the Mindthief class. Through 2020 they're going to be bulking that out further with more maps, bosses and characters, but it won't be until the final release sometime next year that they'll be adding multiplayer and the official campaign from the board game to the digital version.

Gloomhaven is available now in early access, but won't be complete until a ways into 2020. Still, if the solo roguelike mode entices you, it's £19.49/€24.99/24.99 on Steam, published by Asmodee Digital. The price will eventually go up as the game approaches launch and is, admittedly, a tad cheaper than the £160 boxed edition.

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Dominic Tarason