Designed by Isaac Childres, Gloomhaven launched on Kickstarter in 2015, and once it landed on people’s doorsteps it gained an immense following. That lead to a campaign for a second printing (which earned nearly $4 million), a sequel called Frosthaven (which earned nearly $13 million) and a mass market spin-off called Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion.
Mechanically, Gloomhaven relies on deck-building mechanics to power its combat. There are also traditional RPG elements, as well as some Legacy-style mechanics that permanently change the game board. What keeps players coming back is the sheer mass of gameplay on offer. The base game comes with nearly 100 adventures, tied together with a complete storyline. Best of all everyone gets to share in the fun, since the game doesn’t require a game master to facilitate the action.