App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Time is valuable, and few games communicate that as effectively as Legends of Andor. This game is a digital adaptation of a cooperative board game where fantasy adventurers try to work together to save their kingdom across a variety of scenarios. Legends of Andor doesn’t just value teamwork though, it values efficient teamwork, and the unique mehcanics it uses to hammer this home make it something worth experiencing.
Legends of Andor is a strange board game in that it actually has a story. The game itself plays out over a progression of missions that start with a simple hunting expedition. In each of these missions, up to four adventurers (warrior, archer, wizard, and dwarf) have to work together to complete objectives that are necessary to progress the story and move onto the next mission. To complete objectives, you usually just have to move an adventurer to a specific location or defeat a specific enemy.
Getting to these places and/or winning these fights isn’t particularly difficult though. In Legends of Andor, your adventurers can expend stamina to move about freely across the land or initiate fights. Outcomes of fights are determined by different dice-based systems that change depending on which adventurers you’re playing as, and you can always use multiple adventurers to team up on your foes. What ends up making each of your tasks difficult is actually time management.
Time passes in Legends of Andor when your Adventurers have to rest and recover stamina or whenever they finish a fight, and each objective in the game expires at a certain time. If you fail an objective, you fail the mission. As much as this might make you want to stay laser focused on moving to your objectives, that also might not be the best plan. Sometimes, you’d be better served going to a merchant to buy powerful equipment or fighting secondary enemies to prevent them from attacking the kingdom. Legends of Andor’s challenge comes from negotiating choices like these and trying to find the right combination of moves that leads you to victory.
If this sounds like a lot, that’s because it kind of is. There’s quite a few mechanical intricacies that create Legends of Andor’s time-based gameplay, but they are all thankfully couched neatly in a fantasy theming that makes everything in the game make sense. In addition, this digital version of the board game really goes the extra mile in its polish and production value to make the experience feel right at home on a screen. These touches go a long way to make Legends of Andor feel approachable, despite all of its moving parts.
Time and time again
This digital version of Legends of Andor is really slick and polished, but it does have one glaring omission: Although the physical version of Legends of Andor is a multiplayer game, this digital version has no specific multiplayer mode. I guess there’s nothing stopping you from playing Legends of Andor in a pass-and-play format, but the game does not seem set up at all to actually encourage you to do that, nor does it have any kind of online multiplayer component.
The silver lining to this is that Legends of Andor is fun enough to play on your own, at least it is most of the time. Playing solo can be satisfying as you’re executing an optimal and efficient strategy, but it can also be frustrating if you have to repeat missions to try and figure out what that strategy is. This is also somewhat compounded by the fact that even flawless strategies can seemingly be brought down by a few unlucky dice rolls. I could see how trying to hone your strategies or dealing with bad luck could be fun in a multiplayer setting, but it can grow tiresome when doing it on your lonesome.
The bottom line
Legends of Andor is a great digital adaptation of a unique board game. It condenses its rules and moving parts in such a way that it almost feels like it was originally designed as a digital experience. Conceptually though, this game really does feel like it was meant for multiplayer, and this version does not seem particularly interested in facilitating that.