Perhaps you’ve played ‘Gloomhaven’ countless times, and now you can’t think of a life without it. But yeah, you have to give up on this game, right? Gotcha! The great news is that you won’t completely get rid of the game! Based on our very own experience, we have made a list of games like ‘Gloomhaven’, which are extremely unique, and most importantly, you’ll love them.
- The games:
- Shadows Of Brimstone;
- Mage Knight;
- Mice & Mystics;
- 7th Continent;
- Mansions Of Madness;
- Legends Of Andor;
- Sea Of Legends;
- Kingdom Death
- A Game Of Thrones;
- Spirit Island;
- Too Many Bones;
- Arena The Contest;
- Sleeping Gods;
- Arkham Horror;
- Sword & Sorcery;
1. Shadows Of Brimstone
Available on Amazon ($119.99) | Ages 12+ | 1 to 4 players | 90-180 mins of gameplay
Although there are several game packs of ‘Shadows Of Brimstone’, City of the Ancients is an all-time bestseller. If you appreciate the game structure of Gloomhaven, you must definitely try playing ‘Shadows Of Brimstone’. All characters have their unique abilities and powers, which will be used in searching, depth tracking, spawning monsters, and more. You’ll help your character grow, gain different powers, and most importantly, heal & suffer from all the scars you’ll get throughout the game. There’s no game end, so you just play and upgrade your characters until any of you get bored with the game.
2. Mage Knight
‘Mage Knight’ is as magical as its name is! The base game comes with 4 heroes, and each represents a different Mage Knight, who visits villages and encounters caves, monsters, and of course, magical towers. While playing, you will kill monsters, exceed the enemy armor value, increase character levels, and more. Most importantly, you’ll control your reputation, acquire powerful spells, explore dungeons, build your action deck, discover an artifact, and recruit units. If you’re looking to relive the fantasy-themed experience of Gloomhaven, you should give the Mage Knight a try!
3. Mice & Mystics
Duh, finally a family-friendly game, for all the kids in your group! The first thing I thought about this game was Tom & Jerry, they give the same vibe: adventure! Similar to Gloomhaven, Mice & Mystics tells a story while playing too! This time, the characters you’ll play will be mice, and each comes with unique abilities and strengths. Using the storybook, you’ll know how many rooms you have to go through. As you assumed, yes, the mice will run into some enemies, including here spiders, and the GOAT, the housecat! Once you fulfill all your objectives, you win. Otherwise, if you run out of time, you lose. Yes. There’s a game end. You won’t play till you get bored of it.
4. 7th Continent
Available on Amazon ($69.00) | Ages 15+ | 1 to 4 players | 2 hours;
If you were comfortable with Gloomhaven’s game difficulty, the 7th Continent is right there. No matter your location, this game will definitely send you to the 7th Continent. Each action in the game is resolved by the sequences: item, cost, result, skill, consequence, and hand size limit. Next, taking turns, players will go through temporary & permanent events, items, states, and more. The game is either won collectively or not at all. If you manage to fight all the curses y’all have chosen at the beginning of the game, you win. So yeah, differently from Gloomhaven, there’s a main goal in this game, and you won’t just add items to the story on and on.
5. Mansions Of Madness
Let’s have some fun in our Mansions of Madness, shall we? This is the second edition, which also includes a phone app for the game, to tell you about your missions and locations. The game starts with everyone taking the roles of investigators in different Cthulhu Mythos locations. It starts with the investigator’s phase, and during the play, the board eventually will become full of enemies, and lots of challenges. You should be careful about your health as an investigator since once it reaches zero, you get an injury card, and you may even gain the insanity condition. Whoever completes their investigation, wins. Just like Gloomhaven, Mansions Of Madness has cooperative and narrative-driven gameplay.
6. Legends Of Andor
Ladies and gents, the magnificent: ‘Legends Of Andor’! There’s one main important thing to know: Andor is in danger, and you’re the chosen one to protect it! The game’s a puzzle and an adventure all in one. It includes 5 scenarios, and you’ll get to deal with a considerable number of quests in them. You will have to fight the monsters and win the battles, but you should also be logical. If you don’t kill enough monsters, they occupy the castle. If you kill too many of them, you may lose the game. The main goal is to complete the tasks of each Legend (scenario) before the monsters overrun Andor’s castle. Although Legends Of Andor has a more complicated gameplay than Gloomhaven, both games have fantasy themes.
7. Imperial Assault
For all of you ‘Star Wars’ fans, besides ‘Cards Against Star Wars’, we have another game made for you: the ‘Imperial Assault’! In the scratch, there are 2 main important roles: the imperial (which will be one of you), and the rebels (the rest of the players). There are 10 scenarios in the game, and after each scenario, both the rebels and the imperials level up. When playing a mission you’ll go through two main phases: activation and status phase. Each mission comes with its rules, and it tells which objective you have to complete in order to win that specific mission. The players’ goal is to win the last mission of the campaign, a.k.a. Winning the campaign. Gloomhaven & Imperial Assault both feature tactical and miniature combat, however, Imperial Assault is more competitive.
8. Descent: Legends Of The Dark
Finally, it’s time to meet the very famous ‘Descent’, which is a great game for small groups! There are six heroes: Brynn, Vaerix, Galaden, Syrus, Kehli, and Chance. Obviously, you have to pick the one you’d like to play, take care of their traits, level them up, face enemies using your hero’s powers, and so on. Just as the name says, ‘Legends Of The Dark’, you will be legends facing some dark challenges: demonic barbarians, undead lurking, and other monsters whose names we don’t want to mention… You will have to survive attacks, and also, complete the campaign you all work on. Although Descent & Gloomhaven both center around exploration and crawling, Descent offers shorter campaigns and standalone scenarios.
9. Kingdom Death Monster
Available on Kingdom Death Shop ($420.00) | Ages 15+ | 1 to 4 players | 2 – 3 hours;
Finally, a game that includes haunting. The story in the game includes a 25-year lasting campaign, and each little move you make while playing can have a significant impact. There are 7 monsters and 3 levels of difficulty, and important factors in the actions of this game are your weapons, powers & abilities. It doesn’t mean that once you hit the monster they’re dead. It all depends on their energy & power as well. Kingdom Death Monster features storytelling, memorable encounters, and definitely character progression. Yes, both games (counting Gloomhaven) are similar when it comes to the game complexity, but they have different themes: Kingdom Death brings a surreal horror theme!
10. A Game Of Thrones
GoT fans, no, we didn’t forget about you! I mean, yeah, you also have Cards Against Thrones, but we’re sure you need more! Straight forward, the game is played in a total of 3 rounds, and each round consists of these 3 phases. Each player has one goal before the game ends: taking control over seven areas of a Castle, or Stronghold. The game may end in two ways: the 10th round of the game is finished (and the players with the highest rank wins), or one of the players completely takes control of the 7 areas that contain a Castle or Stronghold. A Game Of Thrones & Gloomhaven are both very competitive, but if we analyze the differences, the last game is all about the series.
11. Spirit Island
To begin with, Spirit Island is way more peaceful than Gloomhaven. You won’t fight monsters anymore. You’ll fight people. People who want to colonize your island, even if that means killing the native ones. Every player in their turn has to perform these 5 phases: Spirit Phase, Fast Power Phase, Invader Phase, Slow Power Phase, and lastly, The Time Passes. The game is either lost or won collectively. If you manage to wipe out the invaders, you win. If any of you is kicked out of the game, if you’re out of blight, or if you take too long to deal with the invaders, you lose. For everyone who loves the power progression of Gloomhaven, Spirit Island should definitely be on your list!
12. Too Many Bones
Available on Noble Knight Games | Ages 12+ | 1 to 4 players | 60-90 mins;
People who love Gloomhaven’s character customization, and the world-building element, should definitely play Too Many Bones. Now, here’s the thing: your homeland has been attacked by Tyrants, and the council has chosen you, the Gerlocs, to protect it. All battles in Too Many Bones are tasks and challenges you must figure out. There are over 10 battles for you to complete until you arrive at the final destination: facing off kingpins, and winning! Based on your performance, you’ll gain progress points, which may be a big help when fighting one of the Tyrants. This board game brings shorter sessions, so there isn’t a long scenario happening throughout the whole game.
13. Arena The Contest
Available on Noble Knight Games ($139.00) | Ages 14+ | 1 to 8 players | 45-92 mins;
In Arena The Contest, a tactical, turn-based board game, all players represent nations. Players who use good reason are called heroes. There’s a game campaign, divided into several sessions, which also helps heroes gain experience and power. All fights and battles happen in the Arena, which leads to the conflicts being solved. There are two game modes available: competitive (usually a team vs. team), and cooperative (all players work together). In parallelism, both Gloomhaven & Arena The Contest include both cooperative and solo play but have different combat mechanisms.
14. Sleeping Gods
Aren’t we all sleeping Gods? Let’s visualize it: you’re on Manticore, the steamship, it’s 1929, and you become Captain Sofi Odessa and her crew. This one’s a campaign and Atlas board game, and all pages on the Atlas represent the world you can explore. One of the most unique things about Sleeping Gods (which is not available in Gloomhaven) is that sessions can last as long as you want, meaning, you can mark the journeys, take breaks, and return right where you left off. All locations in the game most of the time bring hidden treasures, new characters, and definitely so many adventures. As you probably understood, this board game brings just as much exploration as Gloomhaven!
A board game made by the same creators as Gloomhaven, can’t be anything else than amazing! The game features 16 characters, over 20 enemies, and a hundred-scenario campaign, which is huge! The story of Frosthaven takes place in White Oak, specifically in an outpost, which is hardly surviving the damage of the enemies, and extremely cold weather. Players must try to make peace with all the enemies, known and unknown, so they form a team together and fight even more awful upcoming forces. Gloomhaven and Frosthaven have similar core gameplay, but the latter brings new characters and rules from what is found in Gloomhaven.
16. Arkham Horror
We agree. We love traveling in time. To play Arkham Horror, a game with a similar campaign structure to Gloomhaven, you must imagine as if you were in the year 1926. Investigators have one main objective: to prevent one of the Ancient Ones from being destroyed. In the streets of Arkham, you’ll upgrade your character and fight the unpredictable monsters. It’s important to know that the game grows, constantly changes, and probably keeps getting more complex. If you got frustrated by Gloomhaven’s long scenarios, don’t worry! In Arkham Horror, stories are generally shorter, which makes the game last less too.
17. Sword & Sorcery
Last but not least, Sword & Sorcery! All players can control one or more heroes, which with the help of powerful sorcery, were awake from the dead. Players will participate in battles, and earn soul points. The story in Sword & Sorcery actually represents an evolution, in which heroes regenerate and restore their powers, weapons, and magic. Long story short, all players aim to fight the forces of evil, while working together as a team. Although there are some differences between Sword & Sorcery and Gloomhaven (such as the gameplay mechanisms), however, both follow a campaign-driven structure.
Hope you enjoyed this exciting journey as much as we did! After reading the details for each board game (written after extensive research), pay attention to picking your favorite, depending on your preferences. One thing’s for sure: it will be just like reliving the Gloomhaven experience once again. Have an amazing game, you’re welcome!