Named one of the Best Solo / Co-Op Games of 2013by Space-Biff!
A messenger came this morning: The castle has fallen.Most of us have been expecting this news for days, but to finally hear it is still heart-breaking.The prince arrived in the afternoon, escorting a small group of refugees seeking shelter in our monastery.The royal guard has been effectively wiped out.The king is presumed dead…or worse.
Our grounds have been sanctified for generations, and they still ward off the Necromancer’s minions, but they are no proof against the dread I see in the eyes of my brothers.Each passing day seems a bit darker, each night a bit colder than the last.Yet His Highness the prince is still holding the people together.Even now, he is convening a council of war.Somehow, he makes me believe there is still hope… Darkest Night, by designer Jeremy Lennert, is a fully-cooperative board game for up to four players, set in a kingdom broken under a Necromancer’s shadow. Each player takes on the role of one of the kingdom’s last heroes (nine playable characters), each with a unique set of special abilities, just as they hatch a plan to save the realm.
Searching the kingdom provides new powers and equipment to strengthen you and your party, as well as the keys that can unlock the holy relics and defeat the Necromancer. You can acquire many powerful abilities—unique to each hero—that can help to fight the undead, elude the Necromancer’s forces, accelerate your searches for items and artifacts, and more. The knight is a brave and powerful warrior; the prince can rally and inspire the people; the scholar excels at locating and restoring the treasures of the past.
But ravenous undead roam the realm, and as the Necromancer continues to build his power base, he blights the land and his army steadily grows. As the game wears on, the Necromancer becomes more and more powerful, creating blights more quickly and effectively. If an area becomes too blighted, it gets overrun—and the monastery receives the spillover. And if the monastery is ever overrun, the Necromancer wins and the kingdom is swallowed in darkness!
Before the monastery falls, it's up to you and your party to defeat the Necromancer in one of two ways: If you can gather three holy relics and bring them all back to the monastery, you can perform a powerful ritual to break the Necromancer’s power and scour the land of the undead. Alternatively, you can try to defeat the Necromancer in direct combat—but be warned, he will readily sacrifice his minions to save himself.
Can you save the kingdom from darkness? Do you have the courage, the cunning and the will to withstand the Necromancer and his forces? Strategize, plan and bring out the best of your abilities to end our Darkest Night!
Number of Players: 1-4 (up to 6 with variants) Ages: 13 and up Playing Time: Approximately 2.5 hours Complexity: 4.5 on a 9 scale Solitaire Suitability: 9 on a 9 scale Scale: Eachunit represents a Hero, the Necromancer, or Blights in a guerilla war over a small kingdom. Each round represents approximately several days to a week.
Polybag Game Components:
• One full color Rulebook (player aid included)
• One 11" x 17" game board
• Five six-sided 12mm dice • One 11" x 17" mounted, jigsaw-cut game board • One bright red, 9" x 11 7/8" Deluxe cardboard VPG game box • One beautiful box cover sleeve • One "Wipes-A-Lot" napkin • One charcoal desiccant packet
Suggested Box Price: $54.95
Video review by Marco Arnaudo
Video review by Undead Viking
What They're Saying:
- "Darkest Night is the first of the new Victory Point Games I’ve reviewed, and now I am really looking forward to playing more of their stuff. It’s a fun game that has obviously been tested, with excellent production values and ten straight miles of charm. ... It’s everything I love about American-style gaming – violence, story and old-fashioned luck. When things come together and the heroes manage to beat down the evil despot, it’s exhilarating. And when the bad guy gets a few lucky rolls and hands the heroes their asses in a burlap sack, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun." - Matt Drake (Drake's Flames)
- "...is a fun co-op game that encourages individual thinking through unique characters with a host of abilities only the player will fully grasp. At first players worked autonomously gathering materials for the battle against the Necromancer, until we were confident enough to come back together and defeat him. In the final round, every player brought something to defeat him... I never felt like I wasn't contributing or being controlled by someone else." - Josiah White (Board Game Geek)
- "I’ve played this game solitaire. It’s the choices that you make that are key. Timing and luck feature in the game but that just keeps it all interesting. No 2 games play the same as there is a healthy number of variables, whether in Blights, Events, items found, the Necromancer’s movement. To a degree you have control over your actions but the fickle finger of fate will inevitably have a go at you. I personally like this as it avoids trying to find an optimum strategy. All in all I enjoyed Darkest Night. I would say that its one of the best games that Victory Point Games has published and should be a top seller. It ticks pretty much the boxes that you would expect in a fantasy cooperative game. The theme and darkness of the game come out pretty well, it looks great, the components are a nice step up. It moves along as a solitaire game, even as you manage 4 characters and so I can’t imagine loads of downtime with other players. The Necromancer and Blights are suitably menacing and the wide variety of variables in Events, searching, Blight placement, etc., all contributes to a game that keeps you on your toes. As I keep thinking that I want another go, I’d say that Darkest Night worked well for me." - Marco Rivera (Boardgames in Blighty)
- "...is a great introduction to cooperative board gaming. If you have a group that likes fantasy themed games and wants to try out a cooperative game, this is a good one to try. I have to say I like the game better with the variant as the added difficulty adds to the tension and fun. If you get the chance to try this you should." (Play Board Games)
- "... When you let loose of the forced idea that Darkest Night should be played by four players because the game requires four characters, you’ll discover a quick and gratifying solitaire game with complex variations on a simple pattern. ... a fantastic lunch hour solitaire fantasy mini-epic." - Tom Chick (Quarter to Three)
- "...I've played DN multiple times solo now, and highly suggest it for those looking for a great solo game. Even though you're controlling 4 characters, it never feels overwhelming or like something you can't handle. It also forces you to really think about each character, how they function, their abilities and the importance of turn order. Darkest Night was a huge hit for me. I don't feel like I can get it to the table enough. I've had it less than a week and have already tackled 7 games... I think if you're a fan of co-op games, Arkham Horror, Pandemic, etc., then you should really look into picking up a copy of Darkest Night." - Steven Riola (Board Game Geek)
- "...Darkest Night has become one of my all time favourite games after having played it many times. The expansion really adds a ton to it as well. The game drips with atmosphere and that's what I love best about it. Dark fantasy and also dark sci-fi are my favourite type of themes in media so it was awesome to find a board game where the theme was implemented right. ... The artwork really brings the game to life. The components have a classic game feel to them that adds to it as well. The art on the cards I enjoy a lot because it just looks so cult, magical, and ancient. ...So anyway, not to go on for too long, but in short: if you are considering buying this game, get it! It's very thematic and a great game all around!." - Kamma (Board Game Geek)
- "Darkest Night is fabulous, whether cooperative or solo, though be warned it’s hard. As in, Ghost Stories hard. This is one of those co-op games built around the design philosophy that you should die two times out of three, and the occasional win ought to make you feel like a genius because you sometimes have to be in order to pick your way through all the threats the board will throw your way. Add the fact that combat, evasion, and the Necromancer’s hunt for revealed heroes are determined by rolls of the dice, and that even the weakest enemies and blights can potentially kill you as surely as the Necromancer himself, and you’ve got a stew on. A stew that’s as likely to burn your tongue as it is to fill your stomach with, um, stew. Still, if you’re tough enough to get it down, it’s a good stew. That’s my final score: Darkest Night is good stew." - Daniel Thurot (Space-Biff!)
Game Design:Jeremy Lennert Development: Noelle Le Bienvenu Map Art: Clark Miller Art & Graphics: Clark Miller and Daniel Taylor Graphic Design: Jeremy Gleeson and Barry Pike III Playtesting: Orion Anderson, Brad Bernstein, Deon Carrico, Devon Chenoweth, Nick Cuneo, Paul Fell, Chris Ferguson, Bill Fisher, Justin Fuhrmann, Catharz Godfoot, Nathan Hansen, Jason Allen Jackson, Barry Pike III, Otmar Schlunk, David Spangler, Sean Young
Proofreading: Bill Barrett, Shane Sather, Ian Wakeham
(Rules require a PDF viewer installed in your browser, or right-click to download and open with a PDF reader)