One of the latest trends and the most exciting types of board games are the ones where players can customize the gameplay and create a unique narrative. In addition, some board games change their rules based on the choices of the players, and the way the game unfolds. Finally, some of the best legacy board games out there push the legacy concept to the point where physical and permanent changes to the board and cards have to be made. This includes adding stickers to the board, marking and even tearing cards apart.
Due to these changes, legacy board games are often based on campaigns with thematic narratives to create a feeling of immersion and creative narratives full of plot twists. Also, since you are required to make physical changes, legacy games are usually designed to be played only once. At the same time, you can always purchase expansion packs to generate a new playing experience and keep the storyline going.
To help you out with picking your favorite legacy board game, we have put together a guide to the top 10 legacy board games of 2019. The games have been tried and tested by us and thousands of other board gamers to offer maximum fun and engagement by delivering a unique thematic experience.
Whether you are a lone wolf or someone looking to enjoy some of the top legacy board games in a group – we are sure to have a great pick for you! Make your gathering the one to remember by challenging your guests to the ultimate board game experience!
|Image||Player Count / Duration / Age / Difficulty|
Best Overall – Gloomhaven
The best legacy RPG experience there is. Role-playing, campaigns, character development, and 95 included scenarios to keep you busy.
Best for Family – Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
Probably the most influential legacy survival board game out there. It comes with 12-24 tense scenarios that introduce new rules and components throughout the game, you are up for an epic narrative!
Best Legacy Wargame – Risk Legacy
The one and only legacy wargame on the market and the best implementation of any Risk board game. The story line changes over time based on the outcome of each of the 15 games you can play.
Best Legacy Adventure – SeaFall
Discover and explore new islands, practice trade and participate in naval combat. Create your unique exploration narrative over 15 full on games.
Best Party Legacy Fun – Ultimate Werewolf Legacy
The ultimate legacy party game of deduction and hidden identities. Discover werewolves amongst you before you get eaten by them in a paranoia frenzy of 16 game session campaign.
Best Legacy Horror – Betrayal Legacy
Exploring a haunted mansion and discover its dark secrets. The best horror legacy narrative full of thematic twists. Each of 14 scenarios represent a family generation living in the haunted house.
Best Legacy Card Game – Shadowrun Crossfire
A cyberpunk themed cooperative deck-building legacy card game full of action and drama. As a team of tough agents you work together on post-apocalyptic missions throughout a 3 sessions campaign.
Best Civilization Building – Charterstone
Compete with other players to construct buildings and populate a shared village. Across 12 game sessions you get to build a unique village which can then be used for standalone games.
Best Survival – First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
Survive a hostile Martian environment and a number of thematic adventures and challenges. It comes with 6 standalone missions and 2 campaigns supported by the app that manages balance and difficulty.
Best Legacy Fantasy – Aeon’s End: Legacy
A very tense, but fun cooperative adventure experience that takes players through the post-apocalyptic fantasy survival. Build your character over 7-14 scenarios fighting mighty forces of evil.
|Top 10 Legacy Board Games|
Gloomhaven is a beautiful and murky dungeon crawler that offers players to explore the enormous world of menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins.
The game delivers a unique blend of tactical combat, thematic role-playing and deep cooperative play. You can play the game solo, which works quite well, but you will soon realize the need to band together as a world of new experience opens up.
Despite the campaign being one of the key highlights of Gloomhaven, you can also enjoy it casually.
In fact, each of the 95 scenarios that come in the box can be played stand-alone, yet then the story text and associated campaign rewards must be omitted. This is one of the things that you can do, but given how brilliant the campaign narrative is, I am not sure why would you even consider it.
Starting with the first scenario and following the campaign narrative allow players to create unique storylines as decisions that you make result in changes that carry through the campaign. It allows the players to take charge of their own adventure and build their own world which is tailored and personal to your group.
Despite having so many scenarios in the campaign, each one features a different set-up, enemies, and obstacles, keeping play fresh and exciting.
Despite being brilliant at so many things, Gloomhaven is a game of tactical combat first and foremost. The combat is driven by cards that have two halves, the top half usually represents an attack whereas the bottom triggers some sort of a move. With two cards per turn, each player has to choose one top and one bottom card action, which can result in interesting and engaging combinations.
The rules of combat are pretty simple, but making good decisions is far from it as making a wrong one comes with tactical issues and narrative changes. In addition, time is important; taking too long can lead to exhaustion, forcing a retreat.
The idea of the game designers was to surprise players by the interesting, surprising and thematic encounters. Due to that, the rules are fluid and flexible, inviting you to experiment and try things out to discover the best path to success. The most important rule? Keep your people alive!
Gloomhaven is a masterpiece and there is a reason why is it currently rated as #1 board game in the world by BGG. It has managed to do what others have failed to achieve and become a master at everything it attempts to do. It flawlessly blends a deep thematic feel with amazing narrative, innovative tactical combat, teamwork and role play in a way that blurs the lines and delivers an experience like nothing else out there. Quite easily the best legacy board game we have ever played.
|Unparalleled sense of discovery|
|Currently rated #1 board game in the world by BGG|
|One of the best teamwork execution we’ve experienced|
|95 scenarios and over 100 hours of game time in the box!|
|Solo is tricky and not as rewarding|
In Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, you and your team are the only things standing between mankind and total world annihilation. Your team is tasked to cure a deadly disease and travel the world in your quest for an antidote – before it is too late!
The game offers exciting and fast-paced gameplay full of crucial decision making and thematic storytelling.
You can even tailor the gameplay to create your own unique world, and become fully immersed in a gripping story which leaves you as the sole savior of humanity!
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 offers a story based narrative consisting of 12 scenarios based on each month of the year. New challenges and objectives are being introduced each month, as well as new rules. Each scenario has two ways you can win with most of your actions affecting and permanently changing the world around you.
At the start of each game, players are presented with objectives which must be achieved during that ‘month’ in order to win the game. Some of these will be marked as ‘mandatory,’ meaning they must be completed to be successful. Others will be unlocked as you make your way through the game.
It is essential to take care of your characters; if they are present in a city when it falls, they are lost forever and cannot be played in this or any future games. Similarly, if they run out of ‘scar slots,’ they are wounded beyond saving, and are beyond help; again, they cannot be played in this game or any which follows.
This is a challenging and immersive game which will keep you focused and trying right until the very end. The board is beautifully designed, heightening the gameplay experience, and it offers a chance to work together to achieve a great goal filled with all the purpose you can find.
|Pandamic Legacy is a well balanced and thoughtful survival game which offers from 12 to 24 rounds of playtime out of a base game. The legacy narrative engine is smart, dramatic and thematic, designed to create those memorable moments full of emotional highs and lows. Whether you are a veteran to the Pandemic world or a new player, you will be amazed and intrigued by the ever-changing twists and turns the game has prepared for you.|
|One of the best cooperative legacy board games ever made|
|Constantly evolving gameplay|
|Dramatic twists and thematic narrative|
|One turn can change everything!|
|Can only play through once|
|Rules are easy, but can be tricky at first|
Risk Legacy is a game of world domination that puts you on the frontline of a war. The decisions you make impact the way the battles turn out, and your main goal is to eliminate your opponents and gain control over the earth and everything that comes with it.
The original board game Risk came out in 1957 and with dozens of versions released since then, it has become one of the most sold board games in history.
Risk Legacy is not only the best board game in the series
It is difficult to summarise the gameplay without spoiling the twists and turns that come with the war narrative. Essentially, each player is in charge of controlling regions and countries located on a map of the world. The goal is to eliminate all opponents or be the first player to score four ‘red stars,’ which are ultimately victory points.
To start the game, players need to choose one of five factions, each with its own rules and unique pieces. In addition, each player gets to choose one of two special powers that are permanent once picked and the other power gets discarded (i.e. physically torn). Picking the right power is important as it ultimately alters your tactical approach and war strategy in general.
Each game played changes the map, special abilities, units and the overall experience. Every choice you make has an impact that may be temporary, such as disabling a character for a turn, or permanent, such as taking power or strength out of action forever. Winning each of the 15 scenarios comes with major perk, such as renaming continents and finding cities, which is done by placing stickers on the map.
Overall, the changes the board game suggest to make throughout the campaign are brutal. For example, there are times when you need to decide between two factions which one goes on the map and which one gets ripped. Yup, ripping cards is part of the legacy experience the game intentionally creates. In return, Risk Legacy delivers a fully customized world-conquering you get to craft yourself.
Winning a scenario definitely comes with a great deal of satisfaction and feels good, but somehow it encourages other players to gang up on you the next time around. It does make sense, however, as the bonuses the winning players receive are powerful and naturally need a countermeasure. In fact, it adds an extra level of strategic depth, as you may intentionally choose not to win a scenario to avoid being ganged up on in the next scenario.
Lastly, whichever way you choose to play Risk Legacy, you can be sure to expect a unique experience every time. The game itself is not replayable due to so many permanent changes being made to cards and the board, so if you ever want to try an alternative story in your campaign – you would need to get a new game.
|Risk Legacy is a game which is as strategic as it is fun, focusing on competitive strategic gameplay. The rules are easy to learn and are accessible to non-board gamers. Tearing cards, physically changing the board may feel brutal at first, but in fact is an essence of the legacy experience the game aims to deliver. If you are looking for a legacy driven war game where you can create a world that is uniquely yours – Risk Legacy is amongst the best legacy board games for the job.|
|Best version of Risk|
|Easy rules, suitable for the whole family|
|Fun, engaging and exciting|
|Get to physically create a custom gaming experience|
|Some players reported faulty packs|
|If you can’t rip a card, this game is not for you|
Have you ever wanted to set sail across the globe, discovering hidden corners and rebuilding society and civilization after a mighty fall? SeaFall is your chance to step into the shoes of an intrepid explorer, and makes choices which change the face of the world…
SeaFall is a complex, multi-layered game which can be made totally unique and personal to each individual player.
As you and your team advance through the campaign, your game will grow and evolve.
As the ruler of a maritime province, you will trade with other islanders, explore the hidden depths of the ocean, raid, and pillage as needed, and ultimately attempt to rule the reunited provinces as Emperor.
Decisions can have permanent, life-changing consequences, and the rulebook will be torn up and rewritten as play occurs. Any future games will be directly impacted by the choices you make here, so make sure you build your world with care.
Your province is the first choice you will make, and this decision carries far more significant than a game piece of color; it is your key to the future of the game and any future campaigns.
SeaFall allows you to build and create a brand new world from scratch. You will be responsible for making crucial choices which have far-reaching consequences. It is up to you to rebuild a world on the verge of emerging from the darkness of the past, and back into enlightenment.
|SeaFall offers a very different take on the familiar legacy game format and allows you to build and create a world which is thematic and unique. Prepare to be fully immersed in the storyline as you focus on world-building; the other benefits are merely a bonus. The most intense and unexpected narrative twists we’ve experienced in board games.|
|Epic story line with unmatched twists|
|Well executed theme|
|Get to jointly create an enthralling world unlike anything else out there|
|Takes a couple of games to get to grips with|
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy is a party game of deduction and secret identity where a team of Villagers takes on a team of Werewolves.
The problem is that Villagers do not know who the Werewolves are and need to use all the tools and tricks they have to try and spot the wolf lurking amongst them. Werewolves, on the other hand, need to play a smart game that allows them to cause maximum damage, yet remain undiscovered.
At the start of the game, each player gets two card – Family and Role. The Family Card determines which one of five families the player belongs to and is public knowledge. The Role card on the other hand is secret and determines if a player is a villager or a werewolf.
Each game in the series happens over the course of a day and night. Throughout the day everyone is having heated debates to work out who the werewolves are and eliminate one of the players through the voting process. When the night sets in, the werewolves secretly attack one of the villagers and eliminate him. The rounds keep going until there are no villagers of werewolves left, whoever is left wins the game.
Compared to the original game Ultimate Werewolf Legacy introduces a couple of interesting elements for both players and the village itself that carries over from one game to another. Decisions made by players can result in permanent changes that ripple between games. Making bad decisions early on in the game can have a long term effect and haunt the villagers for games to come.
In the village, players can move up in ranks and earn titles, which provide them special abilities. New skill learned carry across the whole campaign and do provide a feeling of character progression.
In addition to the evolution of the players, the village is also in a constant state of change. The decisions made over the course of the game changes the environment (i.e. village) with a different set of roles being introduced and changes being made to the rules.
The ever changing environment results in multiple paths and avenues which may be followed and explored adding a great deal of replayability to the game. To try your luck at going through the campaign again, you need to buy a replay pack, which ultimately brings new family cards a new diary that helps the game moderator to run through the scenarios smoothely.
|Ultimate Werewolf Legacy is an extremely tense, fun and loud party game. It brings an exciting challenge, lots of suspense and an element of paranoia at times to the table. If you are looking for an easy legacy board game that you can play with almost anyone and have buckets of fun – Ultimate Werewolf Legacy is definitely worth your time.|
|Perfect for larger groups|
|Creates an addictive feeling of suspense and paranoia|
|Amazing and loud fun!|
|A perfect bluffing board game|
|Players eliminated early need to wait until the end of the game|
|Need to a ‘replay pack’ to play the game again after completing|
Surely, if you are faced with a haunted house, the smart thing to do would be to seal it off, run and never look back? Why would countless generations be so obsessed with exploring this creepy mansion over and over again?
If you are someone like me who enjoys stories, horror and has an above average sense of curiosity – Betrayal Legacy is set to deliver in spades as you are about to be endlessly drawn into a spooky, supernatural house full of mystery and unknowns.
In the game, the players take on the role of one of the families that have lived in the house over a number of generations. Each player represents a family member who takes it in turns to maneuver throughout the haunted home to explore rooms.
As you find items, explore rooms, trigger events and roll dice – a haunt may get triggered which one of the best things about Betrayal Legacy. If it does, one of the players becomes a betrayer tasked with a new objective to murder all other players in the house. In addition, some of the rules of the game change depending on the narrative being told.
The series of haunts is designed in such a way that they tell a deep and thematic narrative of the house itself going from one generation to another.
Not only does the game manages to immerse players into a very solid storytelling, but it also creates an incredibly strong sense of identity. One of the first things players get to do is to come up with the name of the family. It actually starts to feel somewhat real, delivering a feel that you are discovering real mysteries in a real house with a real family.
Without spoiling too much, the first game puts things in order and makes it very clear that the house is there to work against you. Most events are bad and make players work hard to recover, most stories are truly horrific and create a daunting feeling of fear and tension. The best thing is that even when you are done playing the campaign, there are two dozen more stories the board game can tell making it one of the most replyable legacy board games we’ve seen.
Overall, Betrayal Legacy is an exciting and a genuinely spooky board game that turns everything on its head at the halfway point. Friends become enemies; ghostly figures surround you, and yet you keep returning over and again to the house, desperate to seek the truth!
|Betrayal Legacy is a story-driven narrative, which successfully weaves, creates and builds a world around the players, leaving you engrossed and immersed in getting to the truth hidden by the house. It creates a tense, scary but satisfying gaming experience driven by a very strong narrative full of twists and turns. All in all, an almost perfect haunted house legacy board game!|
|Can be replayed multiple times|
|Immersive and memorable horror story|
|Delivers a thematic and grandiose feel|
|Dramatic twists and turns|
|Setup is a little rough around the edges|
|A lighter legacy feel compared to other games in the review|
Tactical thinking and strong cooperation is the name of the game in Shadowrun Crossfire, combining cyberpunk fantasy with life or death missions in a deck-building roleplay experience.
You and your team are a group of runners who get paid to complete increasingly challenging missions. The troubles you get yourself into
To be successful, the teamwork is paramount as the incredible world of Shadowrun is bursting with traps and challenges…
The enemies you encounter in Shadowrun Crossfire seem to have come from all sorts of worlds and universes and can stretch as far as your imagination can. They range from flesh-eating ghouls, dragons, corporate raiders to brutal gangsters to name just a few.
To begin, players select a mission card which describes the scenario and explains the set-up. Missions consist of a variety of obstacles (i.e. obstacle cards) which must be overcome to succeed – usually one card is initially dealt per player, though this can vary based on the scenario.
The obstacle cards describe the effects they have when they are entered into play. Also important is the damage track. Players choose an obstacle which they have played cards next to, and apply the damage from those cards; the damage done depends on the contents of the cards. Once all obstacle cards are removed, the next part of the mission begins.
Shadowrun Crossfire is a game which grows increasingly deep and complex as you play and get better at it. In addition, the legacy concept lies within choosing the right cards as getting things wrong in early games can have significant impacts on later events. The obstacles are relentlessly making this an ongoing challenge, and there is a real cooperative element that makes teamwork enjoyable and imperative to winning missions.
If you are looking to band together with your buddies to try yourself out on challenging missions that stress test your teamwork abilities, Shadowrun Crossfire is a perfect legacy board game to go for. It requires quick thinking and fast action and will keep you focused and entertained as the challenge level increases with every mission, but so does fun and the sense of fulfillment.
|Good balance of tactics and luck|
|Success almost entirely hinges on cooperative play|
|Character development that grows on you|
|Full of tension and planning ahead|
|Can be challenging and unforgiving|
|Increasing in difficulty obstacles can become frustrating|
Charterstone is a competitive legacy board game where each player takes on the role of a village founder in order to build, populate and develop the most prosperous village on a 6-plot charter.
The game introduces an interesting asymmetric twist as despite each player having the same objective, their founder comes with a unique set of skills and abilities. Those, when played wisely can be turned into a significant advantage throughout the length of the campaign.
The overall campaign consists of 12 games where at the end of each, the victory points are tallied up. The player with the most points by the end of the campaign wins the game.
The game board depicts a village and since Charterstone is a worker placement game at heart there are multiple places where you can make your villager useful.
There are eight main sections on the board, consisting of a charter for each of six players. The center of the map hosts the most important area of the board game which can be shared amongst players – the ‘Commons’. Some of the main structures it hosts are:
- Zeppelin: Lets players open new spaces in order to construct buildings on them.
- Charterstone: Allows new buildings, players, crates, and rules.
- Grandstand: Needs to be visited to complete game objectives.
- Treasury: Exchange resources for money.
- Market: Purchase crates, buildings or victory points.
One of the key features and limitations of the game is that each player’s charter has only six spaces where structures can be constructed. Since the number is limited, you want those buildings to be efficient and give you the most benefit. For other, secondary building you can always revert to other player chapters and use them if they are available. The balance between what to build on your own chapter and what to reuse from other players ultimately becomes a balancing act and a strategy to be able to win the game.
Also, being a legacy game the rules get added and changed throughout the play regularly, which keeps the gameplay fresh and exciting.
Being based on a campaign, it is recommended to play the board game with the same bunch of people from the beginning to the end. Unlike other board games, however, Charterstone allows to add or drop player throughout the campaign, which I find to be a great advantage due to the challenge of having the same group of people organized every time.
|Charterstone is an immersive and engaging competitive experience which encourages you to see the action right through to the end. Watch your village grow and thrive, and be responsible for increasingly complex decisions and choices. At the end of the campaign, you are sure to be left with a unique village that is nothing like anything out there. Despite having a theme, it does not feel thematic, which we were’t too worried about. At the same time, it is a very solid worker placement challenge that delivers more options as the game progresses.|
|Engaging and immersive gameplay|
|Bulid your own unique village!|
|Works well with any player count|
|First games can be slow|
|Story sometimes overlooked|
First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet is the ultimate legacy intergalactic challenge where you test your wits against the hostile Martian environment.
Your and your team’s job is to take on the Martian planet, and face the challenges and dangers that come with it! It is a survival exercise where many things can go wrong and many crucial decisions must be made.
According to the story, you and other astronauts are stranded and fight for your lives to make it out of the planet alive! Each player takes on the role of an astronaut who has five lives. Running out of lives ends the game and deems the mission as failed.
At the start of each game, you will be supplied with a mission sheet which details what you need to do to win the game, and your progress is tracked throughout via the app.
Goals can be either mandatory or optional and are tracked in a mission log. All mandatory goals must be completed in time to win the game, while voluntary goals will help you to improve the situation you are in, by supplying bonuses such as food or extra parts.
First Martians supports both standalone missions or a campaign play. The former offers single gameplay and can be replayed over and over again. You can select a mission depending on the skills you want to develop: research, building or exploration.
If you choose to go with the campaign – an immersive narrative with missions linked together in an overarching storyline awaits. You can pause the campaign at any time and return to it later.
The board game is supported by an innovative integrated app that makes sure the game’s balance is maintained throughout the game to deliver an enjoyable and balanced experience. It overall works well and ads an interesting interactive element to this survival experience.
First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet is ideal for anyone looking for an engaging and challenging option which offers a tremendous amount of replay value. You will have to work together as a team to succeed, and so this is ideal for those who are looking for a collaborative and exciting twist on the traditional legacy game.
The challenges the game throws at you are sometimes tricky and it may feel that you are walking on the edge most of the time, yet this is the feeling the board game attempts to create and it is doing a good job at it. If you have ever played Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island – this game delivers a very similar experience as it ultimately re-themes the original game with a Martian survival story.
|First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet requires you to use the strengths of your teammates to keep everyone alive, and conquer the hostile Martian landscape! Although the game plays well with any player count, it is best-played solo. It is a flexible game with the options for single missions or extravagant campaigns, making it suitable for casual and story-driven gameplay. If you like survival board games with a legacy driven storyline – First Martians is screaming to be considered.|
|Interesting and engaging gameplay|
|Requires tight collaboration with teammates|
|Best played solo|
|Complex rules, not for new board gamers|
Aeon’s End: Legacy requires you to take on the role of one of the Breach Mages to stand between humanity and total destruction.
You are the last chance to protect the city of Gravehold from the relentless being who is determined to end all human life, and wipe them from existence…forever!
Players are infused with the power of the breaches; the spaces from whence the monstrosities first appear.
Spells are your weapons, and throughout the game, you will charge up new abilities and learn further attacks. Throughout the progression of the game, you will defeat new enemies, upgrade equipment, and gain new magical abilities as you steadily stem the flow of darkness.
You will begin with a mat which shows you the male and female incarnations of the characters, which can be customized to help you create your own unique individual, including giving them a powerful name. This attention to detail created a real, immersive world in which to play and defend.
The main story is told through Legacy cards, giving important information on the mentor breach mages, the movements of your more fierce, nameless enemy, and directions on when different content packs may be opened and explored.
Starting as a mere apprentice, you will see your powers grow and develop throughout
|Aeon’s End: Legacy is an exciting and fresh cooperative deck builder experience that is both fun and strategic to play. With a low barrier to entry, the game is an excellent start to those new to deck building games. The game feels smooth and personal, as character development is well thought out and always present.|
|Smooth gameplay with little downtime|
|Majority of games go down to the wire|
|Suitable for new players|
|Powerful attack combos if you have the right cards|
|Variable difficulty level|
|Experienced players may lack content and depth|
|Legacy aspect not as strong|
Conclusion – Best Legacy Board Games
From summing up the best solo legacy board games to analyzing those which are sure to be a hit at parties, we have reviewed the most popular legacy board games on the market today. Whether you are keen to survive a haunted mansion, looking to save the world from apocalypse, or simply want to fight the good fight, there is an option to enthuse every player and interest.
Charterstone gives you the opportunity to take charge and create your very own village, while Adventures on the Red Planet takes you even further, exploring the deepest regions of a planet far away, and attempting to survive. Pandemic Legacy offers a thrilling survival race against time before humanity is wiped out by a virus, while Risk Legacy is the only legacy wargame you will find.
Experience freedom as you trek the globe in SeaFall, or turn against your loved ones as they reveal their inner Werewolf and turn the game into chaos…Master spells, battle spirits, and defend humanity in this eclectic mix of the very best games; there truly is something for everyone. If you are looking to get immersed into a storyline for the next month or two, nothing beats Gloomhaven which comes with 95 scenarios out of the box. For a bit of a fantasy touch or an incredible two player legacy board games experience – Aeon’s End is a great choice to go for!
Legacy games are an experience, more than merely board games. By making sure you find the one which is a perfect fit, you are embarking on an adventure which takes you across missions and through campaigns, and which can be returned to and revisited at any time, until you finally see the day when you can succeed. We hope you have enjoyed our top 10 legacy board games we have compared and reviewed.
What Are Legacy Board Games?
If you are still wondering what does legacy mean in board games then this short snippet should help you. A Legacy board game is a variation on traditional, tabletop games. With a Legacy game, the game itself is changed permanently over the course of play, usually through adding stickers or otherwise modifying the board, tearing up cards to eliminate characters, or making marks or irreversible changes.
Unlike traditional board games such as Clue, which reset after each play, legacy games are ongoing. They are designed to be played over a much more extended period, usually by the same group. They are often used to tell a continuous story or scenario, such as a virus taking over the world in Pandemic Legacy or discovering the answer to a mystery of Betrayal Legacy.
How Do Legacy Board Games Work?
In many ways, legacy board games are similar to traditional games; there are set characters and rules, to begin with, and most are best played in a group. Some startling differences separate the two genres, however.
Legacy board games work by containing a narrative which continues over an extended period of time, and in which the players are heavily involved. For example, the players may take on the role of warriors, seeking to fight an evil which threatens humanity, and this occurs through a series of linked missions and campaigns.
Each aspect of the story is connected, so choices made early on can have huge impacts elsewhere in the game, and rules can be changed and introduced at any moment.
History of Legacy Board Games
The idea of Legacy board games is thought to have been introduced by a game designer named Rob Daviau. He claims that he once made a joke which asked why the characters in Clue – known by all to be murderous villains – were always invited back to dinner in the next game.
Clue, like so many other games, obviously resets after every play, with everyone ignorant as to the identity of the murderer. Daviau pondered the effects which would occur if everyone remembered who the murderer was each time, and pitched an idea to Hasbro. When this was rejected, Risk Legacy was born in 2011, and the legacy board game genre was born.
Future of Legacy Board Games
There is no denying that legacy board games have transformed our ideas of what exactly constitutes a ‘board game.’
As video games become increasingly story-focused, it makes sense that board games have followed this trend with even more backing behind it.
It would appear that legacy board games are here to stay; the intrigue is in seeing the stories and creatives ideas which are brought to life next. Stay tuned for upcoming legacy board game reviews!