Talisman Video Review

Myriad Board Games

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What’s Cool:

  • Easy to learn and get into
  • The board design is sweet!
  • Fast-paced game
  • Characters have alignments (Good, Evil, Neutral).
  • You can have many followers.
  • Your kills are trophies that can be traded in for stats (extra points).
  • Detailed 3D character pieces

What’s Not:

  • Very random (dice roles, card drawing), but still great fun
  • The Craft (Magic) Characters are at a disadvantage at the end of the game.

Neutral Information:

  • Expansions do exist for this game.
  • We apologize for using the word “dices”

User Ratings:

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User Videos:

Overall rating by users:

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.boardtodeath.tv/talisman-review-4th-edition/


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  1. Looks like a lot of fun. I can imagine the constant random dice rolling would get on your nerves.

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  2. Ok, it’s random… for sure! But it’s a great game!!!

    I’ve bought it 6 months ago… and still, almost every weekend we (me + my friends) get together to play it!

    We already added the Dungeon expansion and it’s great how we still manage to have a lot of fun playing it.

    About the game… if you care about a nice board, well designed tokens… if you like fantasy games… Talisman is the game for you! It really «projects» you to a medieval/fantasy world, where your hero constantly finds unexpected surprises, such as monsters, creatures, treasures… events, etc

    The best way to play it is… to declare war to any other character represented by your friends, You’ll find it much more funnier, once you start defeating them…. cause they’ll want revenge. Meanwhile, you’ll have to enter the Crown of Command… and that shall be the main goal!

    Everyone says it’s random! Yes it it… kind of! But there’s some strategy beneath it. Each character has some pros and cons… and the success of your “journey” will depend mostly in the knowledge that you have about your character’s strenghts. And how you use those strenghts! Then, you’ll have to decide where you wanna bet… Strenght? Craft? Both?

    Some think that running away from other characters is the best way to stay alive… ok, right… for how long? Personally, i think you must find the maximum of creatures and battle them… that’s the way to get stronger!

    Everyone will want to win… but the important thing is the 3/4hours that you spend having fun with your friends!

    But yeah… there’s a lot of randomness involved!

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    • Dollie on December 26, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    Just wanted to say really fun game but rolling D6(s) to move around in ether of two directions when you want to land on something.. is the biggest criticism of this game. Its too hard to get to the place you want. there is a follower that will let you move one space at a time and this can be really good to land on powerful places. the prophetess is OP and you should discard her from being a possible choice when giving out character sheets (game plays best with a lot of people) otherwise she will usually win. if the prophetess is playing, people should be ganking her. since the characters are so imbalanced the characters are best chosen at random. that said, players should be attacking each other and launching spells at each other otherwise there is runaway leader. if someone becomes a toad.. besides it being really funny.. players should be running to their pile of stuff to loot from it. This game is random. Quintessential ‘ameritrash’ kind of game. If you get -any- american 80s boardgame it should must be this one. Its just.. so random. But in a fun way most of the time. the game has a sizeable pile of cards however surprisingly it is a lite and fast game.

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    • Wretched on September 11, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    A visually awe-inspiring game, but with the randomized encounters based on card draw, luck-o’-the-dice mechanics, and the possibility of being turned into a toad (Which may quite possibly be the worst thing that could ever happen to a player in any game conceived in the history of recreational gaming!) there are too many variables that lack any form of player control.
    With the negatives out of the way, this game is extremely well designed otherwise. You truly feel like you are on an epic adventure through a fantasy world with elves and magicians, dwarves and ghouls, trolls and a minstrel (really?) and many more to choose from as your playable character. You’ll spend the first 10 turns wandering the “easy” outer section of the board in an effort to defeat and “capture” monsters and creatures, which can be traded in for increased stats. This time will also be used in effort to obtain rare magical items which may increase your physical and magical abilities, grant you powers to control various mechanics of the game, or if your luck is cursed… you turn into a freaking TOAD on second turn and feel like you’ve lost already.
    Once you “power-level” you enter the middle region which has harsher locales and consequences. Once you have reached a high enough “level”, you can enter the center section of the board and play Dice with Death, or battle the Black Knight on your way to find to Crown of Command. Don’t forget to bring a Talisman with you or entrance to the crowns resting place will be denied.
    With multiple expansions including new characters, items and board extensions, this game has great replay value. But as another user stated, have one person playing who acts as a spoil-sport, and you may as well put the pieces away for the night. Definitely a good purchase for those who love medieval fantasy or “questing” style game play. Quick Set-up time and somewhat simple game play make this a fun night at the table. Be prepared to have the feeling of being overwhelmed by the manual. It is well written and seems to flow nicely but there is a LOT of information that may not make sense until you need it through game play.
    8.0/10 from me, been a Toad too many times to give it a better rating even though I feel I should.

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  3. game looks sweet, how long is average play time?

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  4. This is one of those games where everyone has to be in the mood for it. When that does happen, usually facilitated by alcohol and familiarity, it is an awesome game for casual play with liberal amounts of trashtalking. In this situation it is easily a 9/10. However, the inclusion of one or more spoilsports can lower this to a tedious, drawn out experience, reducing it to a 4/10….

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  5. Truly a game of chance, risk vs reward, and kicking some monster or spirit hide! If your looking for a tatical game Talisman is not for you. If your looking to roll dice beat baddies, go up in level, and watch your oppoents scream, this is the game. I have only played 4th ed, but this game has a long history and a strong following of gamers all over the world. Grab your wizard, gladiator, minstreal, merchant,
    leprechaun, or others and get to crown to claim your thrown.

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  6. I think out of all the versions available, This is the best one to have. Especially since if you want to get expansions or the new stuff, it might fit better with the new version.

    I also don’t like the randomness of the game.. I’m at a point where I’m afraid I’ll get sick of dice because there is so much rolling going on.

    As for battling with only strength in the final room, I really like BoardtoDeath’s house rule of deciding what skill to use to fight. That makes more sense to me..

    Maybe they were trying to balance out the craft user’s power throughout the game? I don’t know.

    I give this game a 7/10

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    • LoMa on March 2, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    Talisman 4th looks very cool and has high production qualities. I like both editions – the Black Industries version and of course the fantasy Flight. The minis in the FF edition are nice but not necessary.

    I like the theme, the bits, the artwork, etc., but still I don;t like the game. It’s just not that much fun because of it’s extreme randomness, which kills any sense of game progression. The roll of a die can send you back to the beginning, and soon you feel like this game will NEVER end!!! If there was better game progression, slightly less randomness, and a more deterministic way to end the game, I might play it again. As it is, I never need to play it again! There are so many better games out there with this theme.

    I’d give this dated feeling game a pass.

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    • Hem on February 18, 2010 at 5:17 AM

    I don’t get the german ad under, and the harsh comment above it, but anyway…
    Randomness ? sure it is. Imagine an old-school and tacky version of the old european game of the goose, or remember gamebooks from the eighties, or imagine you could introduce nicely and with good feedback stuff like orcs, dungeons and all, to some casual gamers not in the like or the know of Tolkien-like realms…
    That’s what Talisman is. You can play with your 8 years old boy, with your old parents if they’re fun enough, it’s not complicated at all, it’s repetitive, fast paced, fresh and old-school… I give it a 6 in normal times, and a 7 with the good players ;)

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    • ja on November 23, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    this game is terrible.
    Its complete randomness. There is no skill involved.
    roll random, items random, skill radom, effects random. You can actually play this game against yourself and roll both players and it wont affect the gameplay.

    I give it a 2/10

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  1. […] Mit BoardtoDeath.tv ist eine neue Brettspiel-Website online gegangen, die Reviews für Brettspiele in Video-Format bietet. Bisher hat noch nicht jedes auf der Website gelistete Spiel ein Video, aber zumindest in der Fantasy-Sektion gibt es schon Reviews zu Descent, Runebound, Munchkin: Quest, Talisman und Dungeon Twister. Link: BoardtoDeath.tv […]

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