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JOURNEY INTO THE BEYOND Kickstarter Preview 2

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Quick Look: JOURNEY INTO THE BEYOND


Designer:  LIAM BURNS
Artists: Eamonn McCorrmick
Publisher: HANDSOME MONKEY GAMING
Year Published: Coming to Kickstarter 15 August 2022!

No. of Players: 2-4
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 90-120 minutes.
 
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com  

Foreword:   

I caught up with Liam, the designer of Journey into the Beyond, and took the game for a couple of test drives (a 3-player free for all and a 2-player co-op). We had some great chats before and after the game about life, the game, and his ideas for the future. It was a pleasure to meet and swap stories with him and connect with another fellow Canadian in the business. They have a pretty comprehensive site that describes the game in full, has a rulebook link, video walkthroughs, etc. 

 

From the Publisher:  

Journey Into the Beyond is a 2 – 4 player board game coming soon to Kickstarter. With asymmetrical combat and tableau building, the game features deterministic combat and heavy player vs player interaction.

Take the role of a Champion trapped by a Lich in a purgatory forest and fight for your freedom. The first player to kill the Guardian and claim your place in the Beyond.

Disclaimer: The publisher provided the Digital prototype copy of Journey Into the Beyond. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.

Review:
Initial Impression/Components:

The size of the rulebook and the number of pieces would initially intimidate a lot of players – aside from those already into medium and heavy games of course – but the rules are straightforward and easy to digest. A lot of pages are dedicated to detailed descriptions rather than rules for the game. As for the components, I cannot attest to the physical quality as I had played a digital version of the game but I believe they were a replica of the original files that are intended for the manufacturing run. It all looked to be a good quality. The art was a little more on the cartoon side than I normally go for but that’s a personal preference.

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite:

I thought it was an interesting twist that there was no real penalty for dying, in fact, it could arguably be called an advantage to do so in some cases. It makes sense when you think about it. You are already in an afterlife of sorts so you can’t really die more than you already are – you simply go back to the starting position of the map and bring your life and mana to full.   

 

Least Favorite:

Although I’m a huge fan of the progression feel this game gives by unlocking new abilities and collecting gear, I found it way too difficult at the start where almost any move is a bad one with a high chance of dying and wasting a turn. There are only a couple of options that are a viable first pick and I think that took away the agency I was hoping for in the early game.

 

 

 

 

 

Overall:

I know there might still be some small changes or polish for this title but it’s nearly ready to roll out with the Kickstarter launch just around the corner. There is a very active Discord community for the game who talk shop and meet on Tabletop Simulator to play. I can say I enjoyed the game for both modes and would play again.

 

Areas they did well:

– unique character experience: decks, growth, playstyles, etc. Each character has a different feel.

– Respawn mechanic

– having interactive shops on the map you can purchase potions, gear, or mythic items from.

– a challenging game that won’t be over in a few minutes with some quick lucky plays. This will be a nice main event for an evening.

– difficulty and depth

– variety of components (items, monsters, bosses, etc.)

– Interesting combat resolution and always a fight to the “death”.

– really cool PK’er (player killer) ability.

– You are free to interact with all spaces and players as you see fit, even if that’s too attack them as mentioned above.

– True “leveling” type feel as you race to rapidly increase your characters abilities and/or gear in preparation of taking on the boss 

– rulebook covered the full game 

– Nice mini-boss that is always present in the center of the game if you’d like to challenge it. 

 

 

 

 

 

Areas they could have improved:

– I liked how the dungeons worked (the following card described your next level dungeon) so you had to go further to actually see what was there. However, I really didn’t enjoy the dungeon experience itself. It felt more like those prank jelly belly’s vs the real jelly belly experience. This is the one area I feel could use a revamp.

– More agency and/or valid choices at the start

– Some smoother wording in the rulebook in a couple of spots

– I’d like a little less choice when awakening (similar to leveling) a character. I’d like to play a little more hardcore where you don’t get an option of 2 or 3 things.

– Not positive it doesn’t exist already, but a monetary bonus to 3rd or 4th players who are extremely limited on their opening move by not going 1st or 2nd.

 

Final Thoughts:

I think they have a clever game here in Journey into the Beyond and I am interested to see where it leads. This was a prototype and subject to changes, but my experience from my plays were a positive one. I think that Liam is more than approachable and would be happy to chat if you wanted to reach out about the project. I’d recommend it for players that are interested in a game with a lot of variability, not afraid of risk, and 2 great modes (the longer, standard free-for-all mode and the quick, co-op mode).  For the standard adventurer, I believe you’ll enjoy the fresh take of Journey into the Beyond compared to your standard dungeon crawler or tableau building engines.

 

I’ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,

Zerility

Here’s a link to their website and kickstarter page if you’d like to find out more:

 
After reading Brad’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting Journey Into the Beyond is waiting for you to follow along so that it can launch on KICKSTARTER on 15 August 2022. Check it out and make sure to click to be notified upon launch and back it HERE. once it goes live.
Find out more at BGG.
Did you back it based on our review? Please comment below letting us know!
 

 

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Check out Journey Into the Beyond and Handsome Monkey Gaming on:

      
 


Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.

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All of Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”‘s reviews can be found HERE.

 

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