Disclaimer: This is a paid preview, words are my own. Some images have been provided by the publisher as this preview was created using a prototype version of the game.
Forgotten Depths is a 1 – 3 player co-operative dungeon crawler game from Void Knight where you will explore the dungeon through tile laying and face a variety of encounters from treasure chests to monsters!
“Combining unique tile laying and hand management mechanics to deliver a quick-playing but substantial experience of exploration and encounters.” -Void Knight Games
Players each choose one of three characters – Wizard, Fighter or Rogue. Each character comes with it’s own unique abilities and equipment cards to progress your character as you ‘level up’ through the game by going deeper into the dungeon and gaining XP through encounters.
Forgotten Depths is played over three levels known as Ecologies, each has their own challenges, rewards and baddies to explore. First you will make your way through the Ruins, finding the stairs down to the Caverns which in turn lead even further below to discover long forgotten Subterranean Architecture. Each level can be played as a single game as there are record sheets to help you have your progression and character development.
While the game is primarily designed to be played over three levels the game can be played over and over as the map is never the same twice thanks to the tile laying exploration! And that tile laying could be your undoing because if you are unable to lay a tile, you have reached a dead end and your expedition has failed! You will need to ensure you face some of the encounters and monsters along the way as these things will block routes, leaving you with fewer and fewer options for laying tiles. There is a balance to be found between letting sleeping monsters lie and keeping your options open, with multiple routes available at all times.
The encounters range from fighting monsters and looting treasure chests, to locked doors and special features. The most interesting and sought after encounters are the Legendary Locations. These can be discovered by placing a series of special tiles in the correct formation. Once you choose to encounter a Legendary Location you will resolve a series of cards, which tell a bit more of the story and allow you to gain that coveted XP!
Combat is a fairly big part of the game, you will struggle to traverse the ecologies without encountering a few monsters and between each level you will have to face a ‘mini boss’ Stair Guardian, and finally face the Big Bad should you make it through all three levels of the dungeon!
Combat is played through the use of Action Cards, each character has a unique deck of Action Cards which can be improved as you level up through the game. Monsters also have their own Action Cards and depending on the difficulty of the monster, you will draw from the Light, Medium or Heavy deck for the monster’s attacks. Monsters can be individual, pairs or groups, so you will need to keep fighting until there are none left standing. Depending on the number of baddies you will play either one and two Action Cards.
You will play your cards to the table, being careful not to go too high, wasting your best cards, nor too low, weakening your defences. Once you have chosen your cards, you will draw cards from the monsters deck to face each card. The pairs of cards are then compared and will either result in a monster attack, a player attack, or a block (draw). Character abilities and equipment can also be used to counteract or rearrange cards to your advantage.
You can lose the game by meeting a dead end or by meeting your own end! But the only way to win is to make it through all three levels and defeat the final forgotten fiend in the deepest depths of the dungeon!
Forgotten Depths is now live on Kickstarter, due to fulfil August 2021. If you’re a fan of exploration games be sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign here!