Frosthaven, the sequel to Gloomhaven, dominates on Kickstarter

April 1, 2020 - 1:05am

"The only outpost in the harsh northern region of the world is on the brink of destruction. Harried by vicious and mysterious threats on all sides, Frosthaven would need great warriors and leaders to survive the coming winter..."

When Gloomhaven first went to Kickstarter in 2015, no one could have predicted how big of an impact this game would make on our little world. This legacy, card driven, fantasy puzzle game by Isaac Childres and Cephalofair Games came from a successful, but hardly earth-shattering, campaign in 2015. Little did anyone know that once the game came out, it would quickly move to #1 on BGG, where it sits currently, and would become one of the most popular games in stores everywhere for years to come.

In Gloomhaven, 1-4 players control one of the many unique characters in this fantasy world, by manipulating a hand of cards. Each turn, two cards are played simultaneously, combining a top action from one card with a bottom action on the second. Numbers on the cards determine turn order among both the players and their adversaries. Cards determine character movement, battle, spells, and general abilities. After play, some cards are put into a discard, but the more powerful cards are lost permanently from the deck, and if a player runs out of cards, their character has “exhausted” and is out of the scenario. This makes Gloomhaven very much a puzzle game with a rich fantasy theme, also unique among dungeon crawlers in that there are no dice. Any randomness comes from the attack modifier deck, which itself can be changed game to game. In fact, nearly everything is fluid and upgradable – players get better cards, can add stickers to existing cards, can gain equipment, and as stated, can manipulate their “to hit” deck. And then entire characters can retire, new characters can become playable, new locations show up, and the vast underlying story in this 100+ scenario legacy masterpiece blooms to life.

Now, Cephalofair and King Childres, first of his name, have started a Campaign for a true sequel, Frosthaven. Frosthaven promises the same addictive game play in a new wintery world, with 100 new scenarios, 10+ new characters, new monsters and bosses, and several new mechanisms. In the far north, money has become less useful, so now when players loot in their scenarios, they draw from a new loot deck – herbs, resources, and materials, which can be combined together to create new items or even buildings. Yes, players can help rebuild the dwindling city of Frosthaven, adding or improving buildings. New buildings give new abilities, allow the crafting of new items, or even draw new characters to the city. The story in Frosthaven will bring more variability as the seasons change from Summer into Winter, making everything more dangerous. Finally, monsters and characters from Gloomhaven can be used interchangeably in Frosthaven and vice-versa.

The original Kickstarter campaign in 2015 made a modest $386,000 while the reprint campaign in May 2017 cleared nearly $4 million during its 30 day run. Today, on the first day of this new campaign, Frosthaven has already funded over $4.5 million, and is still growing fast. The Kickstarter includes game with board, rulebook, scenario books, and a puzzle book. Included are 6 starting characters with minis, and 10 new unlockable characters. Scenarios will be constructed from 30+ map tiles, 100+ overlay tiles, 50+ monster standees with 24 plastic stands, 6 envelopes, 30 random dungeon cards and 48 loot cards. Players have at their disposal 200+ item cards, 160 event cards, 36 personal quests, 40 battle goals, 4 hit point and experience dials, 250+ tokens and 5 sticker sheets. Also in the box are the element board with element tokens and attack modifier decks. Optional purchases include metal coins, removable stickers, a wooden organizer and more. The Kickstarter Campaign for Frosthaven will continue through May 1, and the game is expected to deliver in March 2021.

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