posted by Carlos @ 9:51 PM
Try it before you buy it. Talisman is "an experience game" and a "limited fun" game. There's very little game in there, but you can have a good time playing with it. It tends to run much longer than most people would want to play. There can be considerable downtime between turns. The dice can shaft you. The Adventure deck can shaft you. The characters are not balanced. The spells are not balanced. And yet, I bought a copy when they reprinted third edition for nostalgic reasons. The minis are still on their sprues.
Carlos,I have the second edition + expansions which I played quite a bit in college and repurchased for nostalgic reasons. The game can be fun if you play with the right people, but even then, it's more for the fun you have playing with those people than it is to actually win the game. (Plus, I really liked the 2nd ed artwork).Jeff is exactly right--many things in the prior versions of the game were unbalanced, and various things could inflict sudden death for no reason. There's no way to tell how the upcoming version will compare until its been out for a bit and the reviews come in. (I would expect that it solves some of those problems.)I personally like Runebound quite a bit, and Talisman feels like a less polished, less focused, more random version of that--a light fantasy RPG romp without a lot of significant decisions to be made. That last bit can be a plus or minus, though. Upside is that it is probably easy to learn and play (which might be a plus if you're looking to find a game you and your kids can enjoy together). Downside is that a lot of adults, especially gamers, might feel that a two to three hour commitment for an almost purely random outcome is just not worth their time.That being said, I liked Talisman a lot while I was in college, but we all enjoyed the game for what it was--an occasion to get together, socialize, eat snacks, and laugh at what happened to everyone's characters. We had the right audience for the game. You and your family might be the same.Would I play 2nd ed again? Mayyyybe. (The sad, harsh truth, though, is that my game will probably not see the outside of its box again until I get the fortitude to put it on eBay.) If you bought the new one, I'd certainly play it with you to see what it was like, but it might not be easy to find many others to play with us for the above reason. I think you and your kids (more than one, right?) would probably have a pretty good time with it because its a light EASY swords-and-sorcery game that you could all dig into together. I would probably still wait for a review or two first, though, and even then you might want to first ask one of the reviewers their opinion about whether kids of your children's ages would enjoy the game.Shoot, I think I still have my old copy of "Dungeon" somewhere...
From the one Memorable Lines in Reviews geeklist, the ultimate Talisman summary:"It's a Chinese water torture. It's the death of a thousand cuts. It's the stone of Sisyphus, a calliope of boredom. It's the first 5 seconds of each day from Groundhog Day. It's the steaming charred mass in the toaster oven at the end of Time Bandits. It is the science teacher from The Wonder Years without any filmstrips. It's neither a floor wax nor a dessert topping. It's a mirage in the desert, a black widow crawling up your chest. It's a female preying mantis and you're it's mate. It's a stale box of Crackerjacks without a toy surprise. It's the Night of the Living Dead, the Dark Side of the Force. It's the Energizer bunny gone hideously awry. It's that dream where you're running as fast as you can but you're not going anywhere and when you open your mouth to scream, nothing comes out.It's a naked singularity, an event horizon from which fun cannot escape. It's a souffle that never rose, the fault-ridden pudding skin in the back of the fridge. It's Xeno's worst nightmare." -- Peter Sarrett
In contrast to Peter's ambivalence, I dislike the game.Seriously, its got as much gameplay as Strat-o-matic (which is to say, little). As an event it can be fun. However, it becomes joyless when you play with all zillion expansions.
By the way, everyone should go read the rest of my Geeklist (or add to it). It makes me want to bring Time Agent one night...
Thanks all for your comments. I really did not have any serious intention to buy. There are too many games on my list and too little $ in my acount. But like I said, a buddy always talks about it and when I looked it up I noticed that it was being re-released.
I read your Geeklist, Brian. You will really need to send me a list of all your works! Thanks!
Here are my contributions to BGG.
Check out Prophecy instead for an actually playable, interesting Talisman.
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