‘Legendary Encounters’ board game review
By Ed Appleby, Illustrator
Some co-op games are easy. Some are difficult. And in some cases, a different version of an easy game can be brutal.
Based on Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise, Legendary Encounters is a cooperative deck building game for 1–5 players designed by Ben Cichoski and Danny Mandel and published by Upperdeck Entertainment in 2014. Players use cards of various powers and prices to battle xenomorphs rampaging throughout their ship, all while attempting to complete several tasks that will put an end to the alien uprising.
In September I reviewed an earlier version of Legendary based on the Marvel universe, and though I thought the game was fun I found it much too easy for a co-op style game. This has been more than remedied in Legendary Encounters. This game takes no pity on you or your team. In the Marvel game, wounds are a mere inconvenience that take a small amount of resources to heal. In Encounters, death comes swiftly and unexpectedly, and player elimination becomes a serious factor.
This combination of higher stakes and harder gameplay gives Encounters a very tense and claustrophobic feel, which, if you know the Alien franchise, captures the main theme beautifully. There is also a Predator version of the game that can be integrated with the Alien one to create your own crossover.
Due to the intensity of the game I wouldn’t recommend it for younger children or gamers looking for light fare, but fans of the Alien franchise and groups looking for a punishingly difficult co-op game will not be disappointed.