Home » Should you buy Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game? – Review

Should you buy Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game? – Review

You should get ready to hear a lot about this, because oh boy, we’re a fan of this one! The original Divinity: Original Sin games by Larian Studios were some of the first games that brought us together as a couple, with hundreds of hours spent together playing the games to 100% completion on multiple platforms, and so we’ve been more than a little bit excited about this one ever since it was first announced on Kickstarter. We’ll have a full review of the game up in the near future, but here’s the quick version of what you need to know about Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game.

What is Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game like to play?

Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game is a campaign-based cooperative adventure game for 1-4 players, where you play through an epic story that very closely mirrors, but does not replicate the story of the early parts of Divinity: Original Sin 2. We were very pleasantly surprised to find that despite featuring some of the same places and characters, the plot of the game is actually very different from the very beginning, featuring a new villain, new origin characters, and new locations throughout. This means that fans of the game won’t be simply retreading the same steps that they’ve taken a thousand times, this is a brand new experience even for hardcore Divinity fans like us.

Rather than a traditional board, Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game uses what it calls the Divine Atlas, a book where you place miniatures and standees representing your positioning within each location you find yourself exploring. I’m a massive fan of the Divine Atlas, as it allows the designers of the game to include a wide variety of different locations and tactical challenges without requiring a thousand different boards or tiles like you’ll see in many adventure games.

How easy is it to learn to play Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game?

As much as I enjoy Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game, it’s an extremely challenging game starting out, and there’s a steep on-ramp which could make the game frustrating for some players. In particular, the challenge level seems very much weighted towards 3- and 4-player groups, so the solo and duo coop experience is absolutely brutal by comparison. We’ve found ourselves on the receiving end of a lot of pain during our campaign, and that’s as very experienced players of this type of game with a lot of knowledge of interactions between skills and builds in the cRPG.

Lohse player area under the Atlas, taking a third of a dining table.
Each player area takes a lot of space, including the Atlas.

That being said, on the few occasions we actually lost combat encounters during the beginning of our campaign, we didn’t actually get told “you lose, try again” particularly often. For example, in one encounter where our task was to visit a hermit’s home that was being raided by Magisters, we had to flee into the woods after running out of time before actually accomplishing our objective. In another instance, we discovered that no matter how an encounter ends, we would continue our journey, but with different rewards and certain NPCs killed off in future locations. So in one sense, this difficulty leads to failures that add to the narrative experience of the game, rather than cutting it short, in a very similar way to a tabletop RPG like D&D. So maybe it’s OK that combat is a bit challenging in places?

As you progress through the campaign, you gain a very satisfying amount of power that results in the game weirdly getting much easier the further through you go. This strange inverse difficulty curve is perhaps my biggest complaint about the game, because it meant that we found regular encounters challenging, but boss fights incredibly trivial. We’d over-prepare for what we thought would be an extreme challenge only to kill the final boss of our campaign in… two turns. It definitely feels like despite being a really fun game, the playtesting was rushed and inadequate for the scale of the game.

How much does Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game cost? Is it worth the price?

Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game costs €150.00 to preorder directly from Larian (don’t pay the scalpers on eBay! You can wait!), and while that’s a lot to spend on a game, this is perhaps one of the first times that I’ve felt that a premium game like this could actually provide great value for money despite the expense.

Divinity: Original Sin - The Board Game,, all the miniatures in the box.
The miniatures are sturdy, and with great details.

A full trip through the base game’s campaign takes around 20 hours, but that’s not the end of your story. The base game’s campaign has 3 extremely distinct paths with very little overlap, different locations, and boss encounters, so really the base game has 60 hours of content to explore over the course of 3 playthroughs. Which is actually nice because it means rather than spending 60 hours with the same characters and builds, you’re incentivised to try out other builds in the other 2 paths once you’re done.

Even once you are done with the base game, Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game features a range of expansions that can be used to expand the scope of the game, even including an infinite roguelite mode that you can use to make the game deliver an unlimited number of hours of gameplay. So in short – yes! We absolutely believe this game is worth the pricetag.

Similar games to Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game that you might enjoy

  • Descent: Legends of the Dark* is a similar pseudo-RPG, campaign-based board game with great storytelling with a similarly premium price tag, if your hunger for premium RPGs isn’t sated by Divinity alone.
  • While we’re not shy of saying that we’re not fans of Gloomhaven*, its younger sibling Jaws of the Lion* is a much more streamlined and less overpriced version of the Gloomhaven experience that is also likely to fill your need for RPGs at a lower price tag.
  • If you’re a fan of challenging cooperative games with a “deck” building leaning where you power up your chosen character, Spirit Island* remains possibly my favourite game of all time, and I find this definitely scratches a similar itch in my brain.
  • If you find the idea of playing with a game book instead of a board fascinating, you’ll want to check out Aftermath*, a post-apocalyptic story of tiny critters trying to survive and thrive in a big, dangerous world.

Should you buy Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game?

Divinity: Original Sin – The Board Game is a well-made RPG that’s faithful to its roots while delivering something new and exciting. It’s not a perfect game, with some design decisions feeling a little questionable at times, and a definite lack of robust playtesting, but overall we believe it’s worth picking up for anyone able to afford its premium price tag and a love of story-driven RPGs.

Unlike many campaign-based games, it’s an easy game to play in 1-2 hour chunks, making it easy to pick up and continue at any time, and we’ve definitely found ourselves binge-playing it. Ina timed herself doing the setup solo, and it took her well under 10 minutes to set up a play session during our campaign, without unduly rushing anything. It’s a really quick game to set up and play for a few hours without feeling like you have to play for 5 hours for it to be worth the setup time, which is something that definitely plagues a lot of campaign games like Frostpunk.

If you found this quick review useful, please consider supporting us by using one of our affiliate links, or by donating or subscribing over on Ko-Fi using one of the many fancy buttons that Ina made. We’re not a big, wealthy company, we’re just a couple who wants to help people find games they love, so every penny we can spend on board games instead of site hosting is deeply appreciated.

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