As we mentioned back in December in our Talisman Prologue review, we had the opportunity to review the multiplayer/updated version called Talisman: Digital Edition as well. As expected, the game shares a lot of similarities with Talisman Prologue, but unlike Prologue, Digital Edition supports multiplayer. You can have multiple AI opponents as well. TDE also has Steam achievements, a leveling system for your player character, and something called runestones which can provide benefits to your character and are gained at various points. TDE has fixed some of the bugs we mentioned in our TP review as well. The music and sound levels can be adjusted just fine for example. TDE adds in the ability to resume your last played game if you quit in the middle of it. The game will auto save for you, which is nice. The quests featured in TP have been removed as TP was designed to be a single player game and TDE is multiplayer focused. Other than these few things though, the games are quite similar. Want a copy of Talisman: Digital Edition for yourself? You can grab the Collector’s Edition of the game from Amazon by clicking this affiliate link.
Graphics – The graphics in Talisman: Digital Edition are not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but they are not mind-blowing either. But that’s not the point of a game like Talisman. Being a video game version of a board game, it’s not about graphics, it’s about gameplay. The artwork for all the various cards in the game is nice though and for the most part you can tell what each space on the game board is supposed to be without having to click on it. 7/10
Sound/Music – Talisman being a fantasy-themed game, you’d expect fantasy-themed music and that’s what you’ll find here. Personally I’ve always been a fan of fantasy type music in games and the music in Talisman is quite good and catchy. The sound effects are fine as well, nothing bad, most are pretty good actually, including a lot of different ones for the various cards in the deck, such as The Hag cackling when you get her. Though some are re-used for multiple cards, but that is probably to expected because how do you come up with a sound effect for a healer versus a mage? 8/10
Gameplay – Talisman is a fun game if you enjoy board games and don’t have a problem with video game adaptations of them. Being based on the board game, the objective of the video game is basically the same thing. You want to get to the Crown of Command to “win” the game. Unlike in Prologue, there aren’t any quests to be found so you can in theory go straight for the Crown of Command, but you can’t just go there right away in reality, because you have to “level up” your character in order to survive. You level up your character through drawing cards that increase stats, acquiring objects to increase them, finding followers, or through board events. There are a few ways to move to the inner region of the board, and the most reliable method is to defeat the Sentinel in combat, but he has a Strength rating of 9. So you’ll likely need at least 9 to beat him. Talisman being a board game based video game, it uses dice for movement and just about every other decision in the game (though some instances have you choose from a list of various choices). So unless you’re extremely lucky, you’ll need a high Strength rating to get to the inner region. You can also get there by building a raft or through teleportation (which is available in various forms). The game progresses until you or an opponent reach the Crown of Command and only one player is left alive. Arriving at the Crown of Command gives you the ability to cast a spell which will take a life from a player of your choice if you roll within the required range. Unlike in TP, there is a save option in Talisman: Digital Edition, so even if you quit in the middle of a game, you can come back to it later. This is an important thing to consider because just playing against one AI opponent can take over an hour to finish. 9/10
Story – There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of story in Talisman: Digital Edition. You’re basically limited to what the cards say and whatever your class description is. That’s about it. Why are you supposed to go the Crown of Command? Who knows? The game never tells you from what I could tell. But again, this is a board game based video game, which aren’t exactly known for epic storytelling. 4/10
Challenge – As this is a game based on a board game and thus uses dice heavily throughout, a lot of the gameplay in Talisman: Digital Edition is based purely on luck & chance. If you don’t like games like that, you won’t like Talisman, but it actually isn’t as bad as it might seem. You’re not limited in direction of movement, so you can keep going back and forth the same direction each time if you’d like. The “luck of the draw” provides the main challenge in Talisman: Digital Edition. You draw cards from the deck and have to do whatever it says. Some will be good results like adding gold to your inventory, or giving you a Strength object, whereas others will be bad like drawing The Hag card which is a follower who prevents you from getting other followers until you get rid of her. The dice only goes from 1-6, so the most you’ll ever roll normally is 6 (the exception being certain spots on the board [the Warrior class gets two dice, but the values are not combined and thus he can only roll 1-6 as well). 8/10
Replay Value – While Prologue lacked much replay value, Digital Edition tries to fix this issue. As I mentioned there are now Steam achievements, leveling for your character/profile, and runestones. There’s also DLC available for the game which will add new playable classes. There’s several different classes to choose from even without the DLC, so if you want to win a match with all of them, you’ll be at it for a while. There’s even a random class option which wasn’t in TP, which can be used for AI opponents as well. All this being said, the game is an enjoyable experience and if like board games even a little bit, you’ll find plenty to do in Talisman: Digital Edition. 6/10
Fun Factor – I had never heard of nor played the board game version of Talisman prior to playing the video game versions of it, but if the board game is anything like the video game, it’ll be a fun time as well. Talisman: Digital Edition may lack a lot of depth, but it is just fun to go around and see all the different cards, power up your character and take down all the big bad enemies. Matches can take an hour or more of real time depending on your luck, so there’s tons to do in the game if you want to complete a match with every class. Whether or not you have fun with Talisman hinges on whether or not you like board games. If you don’t, you probably won’t enjoy this game, but if you do, you’ll find plenty to love in Talisman: Digital Edition. 8/10
Buy It Or Not? – Whether or not you decide to purchase Talisman: Digital Edition depends on how you feel about board games. Personally I like them, so I think the game warrants a purchase. The game isn’t super expensive either, just $15 on Steam, so there’s not a lot to lose even if you don’t wind up liking it. You can also purchase Talisman: Digital Edition Collector’s Edition from Amazon by clicking this affiliate link. Buy!
Overall (Average) – 7.14/10
Overall (Non-Average) – I added extra points to my score for Talisman: Digital Edition because I enjoy the game and think that while it may have minor flaws, it makes up for them with just being fun to play. The Story & Replay Value are not the main selling points for a game like this, so their low score shouldn’t be weighted as heavily as the other aspects of the game. Talisman: Digital Edition is a worthy purchase for any board game fan or fantasy game fan. You’ll have hours of fun with the game and you’ll likely never play the exact same game more than once as there is so much random luck & chance in the game that each time through will be different even if only slightly. Talisman: Digital Edition makes it easy to pick up and play and you don’t have to know anything about the board game version to play and enjoy the video game version. The game explains things to you along the way and the interface is simple and easy to understand (you simply click the dice or card deck). Talisman: Digital Edition is a worthy addition to any Steam library, especially for only $15. 9/10