Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.
There’s a reason Gloomhaven (read our 2017 review) is so popular. There’s also a reason why half of my friends who own a copy have opened it once, stared in despair at the contents within, and loosed a timid box-fart as they reassembled the package. “More is better!” can be true, especially when it comes to fighting your way through a dungeon. “More” means more monsters, more classes, more loot—even additional varieties of stonework decorating the corridors. It also happens to mean, you know, more. More to learn. More to remember. More to sort and keep sorted. Gloomhaven basically defines “more.”
But now there’s Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, the largest box to ever feel small. With only four classes, a single (mostly) linear campaign, and some clever quality-of-life improvements, this is Isaac Childres’s attempt to make a Gloomhaven for the rest of us. (Or the rest of you, since I played Gloomhaven until I was well and truly sick of it.)