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Buy Smart and Play More – Games of June 2020

June’s game of the month is none other than Gloomhaven – Jaws of the Lion by Cephalophair Games. A current Target exclusive that sold out before some stores even had the opportunity to put it on shelves – seems to answer some of the big problems I had with the 2018 release of the game.

For $50, JotL still provides a large amount of content that you don’t normally see with Target consumer games. Lots of cards, a handful of minis, bound books and punch tokens. Those who have purchased Gloomhaven will probably see a lot similarities in production. Some big changes include books instead of map tiles which is a welcome change and a 5 game tutorial that introduces the game bit by bit which is another welcome change.

With 25 scenarios in total, not all of which the campaign will go through depending how you play, my first three plays of the game have been positive. The setup time has been dramatically reduced with the books. The tutorial has been good for Gloomhaven standards but I could still feel that it would scare off casuals in the long run of things. The amount to explain for the first couple of scenarios can sometimes be a lot when reading things out so while it is a standout tutorial – it isn’t the best out there. That is still reserved for Fog of Love.

Current GH buyers probably will not need this unless there is a big urge to play one of the four new classes in the game. I think JotL is a good pickup for those that couldn’t afford the $100 buy in for GH retail or wanted to dip toes into shallow water before the deep payout for the main game and Frosthaven – when that arrives sometime next year.

The jury is still out on if this revitalizes my urge to reclaim my Gloomhaven box again. Probably not at this point – even with the book of maps rumor has out for the future. In all, this juggernaut of a game has released a much needed title in their lineup that gives no reason why you shouldn’t check out this game.

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