Your next adventure should begin in the Lands of Galzyr

Lands of Galzyr Feature

Disclaimer: Lands of Galzyr was provided for free by Snowdale Design, although the writing and opinions of this article are my own.

Lands of Galzyr has been a game I’ve had my eye on for years. It’s a storybook game in the same vein as Sleeping Gods or Tales of the Arabian Nights. Except instead of thumbing your way through a tome of stories, you’re using a web app that serves up stories at the touch of a button. The gameplay, however, remains similar. Where your turns are made up of moving around the map before being dunked into a milky cup of storytelling like the delicious Oreo you are.

Whereas other story games have an identity crisis, unable to decide if they’re a board game or a story game. Lands of Galzyr stands out as a story game focused wholly on the story, stripping nearly all elements of board gamey goodness.

No complex battle system.

No in-depth character creation.

And no complex combos or mechanics of any kind.

To my logical brain, this sounds awful. But it creates a rules-light, easy to set and pack up board game that nails a world of fun, full-on adventures, and I can’t get enough of it.

The lack of mechanics, and seamlessly integrated mobile app, eliminates everything standing between you and the story you’re creating. An easy comparison to make is with a choose-your-own-adventure book, but it’s more open than that.

You have a whole world to explore.

Mor, the frilled lizard is skilled in communication, knowledge, and beating your skull in!
That lizard has a gun!

The world within Lands of Galzyr

Playing Lands of Galzyr couldn’t be simpler, move your character a couple of spaces and then read through several paragraphs of text as your character goes on an adventure. During this text, you’ll come across moments where you’ll have to put die-rolling skills to the test.

Otherwise, there’s not much more to it mechanically.

However, like Snowdale Design’s previous game, Dawn of the Peacemakers, the world-building and narrative hooks pull you into the world and keep you coming back.

These passages of narrative are an absolute joy to read and are a driving factor for me wanting to stop this review right now, and go play it again.

The story element is helped immensely by the mobile application, which removes a lot of the effort in story-based games. Where usually you’d have to thumb through pages to find the next bit of text. Here, the application finds it for you and serves it up with the push of a button.

I am hesitant about giving all of the praise for world-building on Lands of Galzyr. As the world of Daimyria has been built over a multitude of years, over a number of games. Going back to Dale of Merchants – one of the best deck-builders ever.

Like these previous titles, each species of animal has its own quirky personality and traits, and the characters you run into in Lands of Galzyr continue to exemplify these traits. Creating larger-than-life characters that you can’t help but get invested in, and help them with their high jinks.

Daimyria in all its beauty, showing the town of Teshune and Meratu.
Welcome to the world of Daimyria

The highs and lows of quest-driven gameplay

Even though Daimyria is an open world, the quest system shrinks it down like Rick Moranis in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. You’re always given a quest to fulfil, or a direction to head. This stops you from wandering aimlessly and gives you goals to work towards. But it doesn’t let you explore the world and see the sights.

An outright shame in a world so rich as it is in Lands of Galzyr.

This compounds when playing cooperatively as to do as well it encourages you to travel together and land on the same spots as your teammates. Again, reducing your freedom of choice when exploring the magnificent world they’ve created.

Outside of this constriction though, there’s only one other thing that irked me.

That is how little impact you can have on your character.

You see, there’s a limit on how strong your character can get, and you’ll hit that limit fairly early on. From there, you go on adventures, but you rarely grow beyond that power level. So while the journeys are wonderfully fun, they rarely leave a permanent imprint on your character.

This reiterates Lands of Galzyr‘s priority of delivering a marvellous story, but it left me wanting more growth for my character.

Showing inside the box of Lands of Galzyr. Over 300+ cards of equipment, quests, and characters to meet.
We need cards. Lots of cards.

A lasting legacy

One thing brought up in my interview with Sami Laakso was the continuity of the world from game to game.

As a reward for completing quests, you’ll earn different rewards based on the outcomes – with some of these rewards being another quest. These new quests are put at the bottom of the quest deck. After more than a few games, these quests will make their way to a noticeboard, where you can pick them up. So although it’s a slow process, the world is affected by the choices you make and the dice you roll.

While you’re waiting for these quests to filter through, there are also day and month mechanics. Where it’s a new month each time you play, and a new day of the week each round of play. Although I don’t know if this affects anything within the storybook app. It does add a sense of time and seasons passing between rounds, and between games.

Overall, Lands of Galzyr is an absolutely fantastic board game that successfully risked it all on having a great story. Its light rules and streamlined gameplay will have you, as it has me, champing at the bit to go on more and more adventures of the common folk.

Designer: Seppo Kuukasjärvi, Sami Laakso

Publisher: Snowdale Design

See how Lands of Galzyr compares to all of the other board games I’ve reviewed.

  • Explore Daimyria like never before
  • Journey through a world of quirky animals, and help them through their adventures
  • Fantastic writing, and engaging narrative await!

4 thoughts on “Your next adventure should begin in the Lands of Galzyr

  1. Glad to hear you liked the game as much as you did, David!

    The lack of character progression in terms of levelling up is fully intentional. You can have a dozen games under your belt and can still invite new players to Galzyr. There’s also no limit to how much you can play. With these self-made restrictions upon us, we choose to celebrate what we can do in an endless open world instead of offering a level-up system. I know it won’t satisfy everyone, but it was a decision made from prioritising the ease of getting the game on the table. 🙂

    There are enough dungeon crawls with fighting and power-creep that I wanted to do something different. It’s what I love to do with my games, offer new and fresh experiences to people. 😄

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sami, it makes sense that it keeps the characters in check game after game.

      Also, I must admit one of the things I really enjoyed, but couldn’t fit into my review, was the lack of dungeons, fighting, and fear of being hurt/dying. It was incredibly refreshing just to go on wild wacky adventures without all that stress.

      Congrats on the game, I hope it’s a raging success!

  2. Dave, this sounds like an interesting game. I do love Sleeping Gods and the freedom to go anywhere and explore, but the game is more complex in mechanics and if you are playing with multiple players, each player’s turn can take a bit of time, especially if there is combat (although I think Lukat’s system for that is pretty terrific). I think all story telling games try to walk that line, some going more on one side and some more on the other. But your review makes me think I’d like to have a go at Lands of Galzyr. I’ll have to request it for game night and see if others can bring it out.

    1. Anton! It’s great to hear from you again. 🙂

      I didn’t have space to put it in the review, but I feel like where in Sleeping Gods some people can have 20-30minute turns, and others can have 5 minute turns. Lands of Galzyr everyone will have 5-10 minute turns, it’s a lot more even in the amount of story everyone gets. Furthermore, it moves at a good clip, lots of rolling of dice.

      I ended up liking Sleeping Gods more than Lands of Galzyr, but Lands of Galzyr will see more play because of its ease of playing, setting up, and explaining. I think it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’ve played Dale of Merchants before.

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