For decades, tabletop RPGs paved the way for video game RPGs, constructing the systems, mechanics, and concepts that would inform the gaming genre. Nowadays, the relationship between these two types of RPGs is symbiotic–just as the adventures that players go on using pens, papers, dice, and mini figs have influenced game developers, the ideas explored in video games have inspired game makers and game masters alike, ultimately contributing greatly to TTRPGs’ growing popularity. In that sense, the idea of another type of tabletop game, like a board game, being heavily influenced by video games isn’t particularly novel–several video games have even been adapted into spectacular board games themselves. However, just about everything else in WizKid’s upcoming board game, Dungeons & Dragons: Trials of Tempus, is well-worth taking note of.

Set in the battle realm of Tempus, Trials of Tempus sees players compete in a mysterious, mystical, and high-stakes tournament in which there are multiple ways to emerge victorious. The half-cooperative, half-competitive board game divides players into two adventuring parties, each between 2 to 4 players (for games with only two players, the team recommends playing at least two characters each), and throws at them quests, obstacles, massive monsters, and opportunities to attack other players directly as they attempt to take home the gold–literally, in this case. The nature of the board game–which relies on quick-yet-deep character work, deck building, and random quests rather than a book of scenarios–makes for an experience offering hours of play, and its maps and mini figs all display a high level of polish. While unboxing the game with all its various components and figures was impressive enough, playing it was somehow even moreso. The game is incredibly fun and finds the sweet middle ground between a full Dungeons & Dragons campaign and a game of Munchkin. While the copy I received is subject to change, I loved what I got to see.

In addition to playing Trials of Tempus myself, I got the chance to speak with publisher WizKids and the design team behind the game, Heavy Dragon, about the newly revealed board game. The trio of designers were quick to express how their love of games across every medium led to their desire to create Trials of Tempus. MOBAs like League of Legends, battle royale-style games like Apex Legends, and even the dystopian world of The Hunger Games all contributed to Heavy Dragon’s vision of a Dungeons & Dragons experience that was not only fast-paced, competitive, immersive, and replayable, but easy to play, easy to customize, and easy to fall in love with as well.

© 2024  •