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‘RuneScape’ Board Game Has the Open World Feel Without Being Overwhelming

4 Minute Read
Mar 31 2024

RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg is filled with everything you know from the record-breaking video game but keeps it light and fun.

There’s been an influx of these open-world RPG-style board games lately, and I’m here for it. Even Mage Knight, which has been around for ages, is getting a new expansion soon. For better or worse, these games tend to have a lot of mechanics and systems to really capture that open-world feel. Fortunately for RuneScape fans, RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg avoids that issue.

Party hat not included

RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg Overview

RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg is a cooperative campaign-based game with RPG mechanics. Each player takes the role of a single character and runs around completing quests, collecting resources, and slaying monsters.

Thanks to Steamforged Games for sending me a copy to check out!

As you can see from the game board itself, it’s not huge, especially compared to games like Skyrim. Some people might count this as a negative, but isn’t the worst part of any open-world game just running back to the quest giver to turn it in? A small world means that’s barely an issue.

Throughout the game, players will need to complete quests as directed by the specific campaign they are running. Additional side quests, explorable cities, random events, and more offer plenty of ways to level up your character.

Each character has their own paper character sheet. The game comes with a stack of them, far more than you’re likely to need for any regular amount of play. This tracks their resources, skills, health, and more.

Quick Skill Checks Keep the Game Moving

In RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg, players will need to use their character’s skills to, among other things, complete quests. This comes down to a dice roll. The numbers by the quest indicate the difficulty as X/Y, where X is the level of the skill challenge, and Y is the result required. If the character’s skill is less than that of the challenge, they roll a single die. If it is the same, they roll 2 dice, and if it is higher, they roll 3. So long as one of the dice shows the required result, the skill challenge is successful.

Of course, players will also have tons of equipment to aid them along the way. Equipment often adds additional dice to specific skill checks, but they have plenty of other effects I won’t spoil here. Plus, options for upgrading to make them even better. Additional items and equipment are unlocked through quests and exploration like you’ll find in other legacy titles like Frosthaven.

As the main quest line reaches its conclusion, the game switches into a boss battle mode. Each campaign has its own boss straight from the video game. They’ll have unique mechanics and minions to deal with as well. There are also mini-bosses players will encounter along the way, which also comes with a different system for batting them as well.

RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg Review

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know much about RuneScape, the video game. I was much more of an Ultima Online kinda guy. Still what I do know about RuneScape does feel well captured in RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg. It hits the tone of the game just right: silly and kinda goofy but still provides a fun overall RPG experience.


Even if you’re not a huge RuneScape fan, like myself, trust me when I say that anyone can have a great time playing RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg.

Author: Matt Sall
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