I’m always happy to help out some fellow designers especially a local group like Inspiring Games. I first met them down at UK Games Expo where they were demoing their upcoming game ‘Legends Untold’, an RPG in a box style affair that sees you delving into caverns and dungeons to complete various missions.
They recently put out a call for people to preview ‘Untold Legends’ and they were good enough to shove a pre-production copy into my hands. I’ve had a chance to play through the game in solo mode but the game can take up to 4 players.
The first thing that will hit you about the game is there is a lot going on. There are quite a few moving parts to your character made up of their class, some talents and equipment. This is not a bad thing however as each part of your character is reasonably straight forward to understand and the combination of weapons and talents to turn you into a powerhouse is one of the attractions of a game with RPG-like character building.
Quick aside here but an important one. Our hobby is getting progressively more inclusive and I love to see designers considering this when commissioning the art for their games, so kudos to the team for including male and female characters and not overtly sexualising the later.
Pick a character, any character.
You get a mission to complete and descend down into the depths of the dungeon. The location cards are really nicely illustrated and very evocative of the areas you are exploring. The version I received had playing card sized locations but I believe these are going to be larger during the Kickstarter. Each location tells you whether barriers lie ahead, what encounters you are likely to have and also the light levels that are present as you enter and exit. The later is important for scouting ahead giving you a real feeling that you are picking your way through the dark places of the world.
The location cards are really nice!
The core of the system comes down to a 3d6 roll vs a target number with your talents and equipment providing a variety of bonuses and abilities to manipulate dice rolls. As you move through the dungeon you will be called upon to scout between locations, tackle barriers, engage with mystical devices and strange denizens of the dark places of the world. The encounters you have are varied and interesting with a lot of scope to play around with the core mechanics as the game evolves.
Another of the core mechanics which I loved was that of time. A lot of the encounters you have will take up time, represented by a ticking deck of cards made up of the scenarios you aren’t using. On the mission card you will have a timer that tells you when to resolve an event on those cards, which may or most likely will not, benefit you.
This gives a really interesting feeling of controlling your own experience of the game as you are constantly considering your choices in how to tackle the various encounters you come across. Will you take your time and think your way past the Gas Vent, bringing on another event more quickly, or will you just plunge on through and hope for the best betting on not breathing in any toxic fumes.
On my own solo journey into the depths I encountered strange crystals, flooded passageways, irascible goblins and giant spiders that wanted to eat my face. Each mission is different giving you a lot of game from a small box and as the game expands and grows the variety is going to get even more compelling.
Getting ready to descend into the depths
I really liked ‘Legends Untold’. The team have set out to give an RPG feel out of a card game and that is precisely what they have done. The game has a really interesting design space that can be used to come up with all sorts of adventures down the road and I know they have big plans for the world they have created and in the support they plan for the line. This is a really promising start from a small company and I look forward to seeing more of their work in the years to come.