Well, what a pleasant surprise! 10 years since I’ve been at a table with my friends rolling D20, and it all strikes home again. Tales From Candlekeep isn’t just a D&D mechanic based game. It’s a love letter to the tabletop gameplay.
With no more than two game turns, the game sells itself to a fan. It’s like XCom and D&D had a baby. You have an unusual set of playable characters. Dragonbait, the lizard paladin, is by far my favorite. You unlock more hero slots as the game develops and tries to teach beginners everything that happens at once into the many turns and sub-turns that the D&D gameplay entrenches (and that DOES remind a lot of Magic: The Gathering, as always). And that only will keep many people busy for a while. Every D&D player knows about the insane amount of rules that a game has.
The map divided into sections is even better than the “reach” system from XCom: you can actually control how much trouble you wanna face at the same time. Seeing the D20 roll every time I try to do something, from attacking an enemy to collect dangerous items or disarm traps puts a big smile on my face, every time.
The World map is divided quite straightforwardly: You go from quest to quest, each one telling a little of the story. It doesn’t bother me, to be honest, and I can understand why they used this approach: it would be ridiculously bothersome to enter into an infinite bureaucracy of chatter with every single new panel unlocked. I like the way it is. It’s old-school with a new coat of paint.
About the graphics, they’re not marvelous, but they get the job done. The soundtrack can be muted so you can play anything you like because it’s not bothersome, it’s even adequate, but it isn’t anything memorable.
Is it worth the purchase?
Well, yes! If you ever imagined what happened into the head of those nerds gathered around notebooks, pencils, and dices, this is the perfect example of what you would find! If you were ONE of those nerds, YES AGAIN.