Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad
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Lords of Waterdeep is a Dungeons & Dragons-themed board game that has found its way onto iOS. Unlike other D&D adventures, players do not create characters and live out their fantasy lives in the land of Forgotten Realms. Instead, players take control of one of the masked lords of Waterdeep and manipulate warriors, rogues, and wizards to do their bidding for them. The result is an extremely well-designed, well-executed, and awesomely-themed worker placement game for 2 to 5 players.
For the uninitiated, a worker placement board game is one in which the main action involves placing tokens - representing workers - on strategic locations on the game board. Placing a worker yields some sort of material gain, while (typically) also preventing opponents from accessing the same resources. In Lords of Waterdeep, the primary resources are money and adventurers (priest, warrior, rogue, and wizard); and these resources are gathered in order to complete quests. Upon completing quests players receive victory points, and the player with the most victory points at the end of eight rounds is declared the winner.
All of that may sound intimidating but fear not: upon first launching the game players are guided through an extensive tutorial that lays out all of the basics. From there they can choose to play the game solo versus AI opponents, play against local humans opponents in pass-and-play multiplayer, or compete online via the asynchronous multiplayer mode.
Every way to play Lords of Waterdeep is great, and random elements like the Builder's Tower, the multiple character cards, randomized quests, and intrigue cards really help the game hold up over multiple play sessions. In addition to all of that, everything from the rule book and settings menu are always easily accessible without interrupting the action, making it that much easier to play and come back to even after forgetting some of the rules. Lastly, did I mention that this game has an awesome hand-drawn aesthetic that is simply gorgeous?
Overall Lords of Waterdeep is a fantastic game. The game packs a punch in almost every department, making it easy to recommend even to board game newbies. It may not excite those looking for a more typical D&D experience, but it is definitely a must-have for board game enthusiasts.