May 4, 2021

Talisman: Star Wars Board Game

 Over the years, the Star Wars license has been slapped on many classic board games including Operation, Clue, Life, Trouble, at least a half dozen versions of Monopoly, and most recently, Uno. Unlike all these other games, you'll have to shop outside the US to get this one. I assume it's because Hasbro has licensing rights to board games in the US.

If you're not familiar with Talisman, it's a fun way to kill an afternoon with friends. The original is set in a generic fantasy world. Each player has a character with its own abilities. You travel around the board encountering creatures and places, finding allies and gear, and building up your power while searching for a Talisman that allows you to travel to the center of the board to win the game.

This version is basically the same but Star Wars-ified. In the original, a character can be Good, Neutral, or Evil. Here, there is only Good or Evil and you're making your way to the center to defeat or overthrow the Emperor on Exegol.

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Each space on the board is a location in the Star Wars galaxy. A space may have something specific to encounter or have you draw Encounter cards to see what you find. More on those later. As you may have noticed from the box, this game pulls from all the movies as well as the animated shows.

Here are all the characters available in the game. You can have up to 6 people playing and you can battle other players if you land on their space and they're not on your side of the Force. I think it would be fine if Dark Side players could attack each other but that would probably throw the balance off.

Each character has a card detailing their special abilities and a plastic mover.

The plastic movers leave something to be desired for me. They have a rough 3D printed look. I presume the style is modeled after the busts in the Jedi Archives but there's just something about it. Maybe it's the eyes being completely blank. Each also has their lightsaber below the character. Someone on BoardGameGeek painted theirs and they look pretty spiffy. I think I'd rather hunt down some knockoff LEGO figures to use.

In the original game, only certain people can cast spells but since this is Star Wars and we have Force users, everyone gets to use "magic". The twist is that the Force powers have alignments and you can only use powers on your side of the Force or that are Neutral.

You can find/buy gear to help you on your journey. Some increases your Strength or Will (the two main stats used for combat) and some grant an ability. The Sith Wayfinder replaces the Talisman as the object you need to travel to the middle of the board because you're going to Exegol.

You can also encounter places and events...

and Confidants/Adversaries. I really like the way they did this. If you're on the same side of the Force, the card is an ally that joins you, if you're not it's an enemy you have to battle. As you defeat more enemies, you can turn them in to level up your Strength and Will. You need every extra point for the final battle to win the game!

There are a ton more Encounter cards so you'll also find Porgs, Loth Cats, droids, and other characters and vehicles from all the films and animated shows.

As with most re-themed games, it is essentially the original game but with a few minor twists to make it more Star Wars. My geek brain finds it a little odd to see all eras thrown into the blender but it's a concession you have to make.

The original game is fun itself if you like a fantasy setting. It's available as a physical board game and you can find it on iOS and Steam where you can play vs the AI or friends. Two warnings: Talisman is not a quick game and if you enjoy it, there are a LOT of expansions out there you can get which add new characters, cards, and sometimes whole new boards!

If you want to check out the Star Wars version, you can order from Amazon just be aware of the shipping because it's coming from the UK.

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