The beginning of the year doesn’t have to be dismal! Grab a few friends—and maybe some vitamin D pills—and do a deep dive into one (or more!) of these legacy games. Multiple sessions, and evolving gameplay and storylines will keep you entertained through that post-holiday funk!
What is a legacy game?
A Legacy game is a type of board game in which players make choices that permanently alter the future gameplay. In these games, it is common to find stickers to be used on components, or sealed envelopes only to be opened at certain points in gameplay. Elements like this create a more customized and personal experience.
The game is played over multiple sessions with each session taking on the new characteristics from previous sessions. Typically an overarching storyline ties all of these sessions together into one, unique story—or legacy—that you and your friends have crafted together!
Some of the best legacy games around!
Click a game to jump to its description!
- Pandemic Legacy
- Betrayal Legacy
- Clank! Legacy – Acquisitions Incorporated
- 7th Continent
- Zombie Teenz Evolution
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is a unique and epic cooperative game where your decisions in one game carry over into future games. Over the course of the campaign, you will open sealed packets, reveal hidden information, and unlock secrets that will change your world in unexpected ways. Characters will gain scars, cities will panic, and diseases will mutate. Adapt to each new challenge and save humanity before it’s too late. The world will never be the same again!
Pandemic Legacy has a story arc that occurs over the course of a year. Each passing month brings new objectives, new challenges, and even new rules. Trigger certain events and you’ll unlock tools that reveal strategies for dealing with each new problem. Throughout, the clock is ticking. You have only two chances to win a game during a month before moving on to the next, so be careful. Your actions have a permanent impact on the world, for better or for worse.
As your campaign continues, the world you are fighting to protect becomes uniquely your own. Characters are affected by their experiences battling the global pandemic and cities feel the weight of the outbreaks and epidemics that sweep through them. Even the diseases themselves evolve as you play. These developments have a direct impact on the game itself.
Cities panic and become harder to travel to as the infection spreads. Characters’ abilities are diminished as outbreaks take their mental toll. Your team is all that stands between global catastrophe, and you decide how it evolves. Enhance your characters’ abilities or add powerful new event cards to the player deck. Many options exist, each of which will shape the course of your Pandemic Legacy Season 1 campaign.
Other Pandemic Legacy Seasons
Z-Man Games offers multiple “seasons” of Legacy, too! Pandemic Legacy Season 0 (a prequel) takes place in 1962 during the Cold War and you are tasked with gathering information about—and ultimately stopping—a secret Soviet bioweapon that could threaten all of humanity.
Pandemic Legacy Season 2 takes place 71 years after the events of Season 1. Small groups of survivors have kept the world alive, operating from floating stations called “havens.” You have been maintaining communication through a loose network between the largest cities, but some are falling off the grid and supplies are running low. It’s up to you to lead the world through the crisis!
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You take on the role of a wandering mercenary with your own special set of skills and reasons for traveling to this remote corner of the world. You must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process you will enhance your abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions you make.
This is a persistent game that is intended to be played over many game sessions. After a scenario, you will make decisions on what to do, which will determine how the story continues, kind of like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.
Playing through a scenario is a cooperative affair where you will fight against automated monsters using an innovative card system to determine the order of play and what you do on your turn.
Each turn in Gloomhaven, you choose two cards to play out of your hand. The number on the top card determines your initiative for the round. Each card also has a top and bottom power, and when it is your turn in the initiative order, you determine whether to use the top power of one card and the bottom power of the other, or vice-versa. You must be careful, though, because over time you will permanently lose cards from your hand. If you take too long to clear a dungeon, you may end up exhausted and be forced to retreat!
Cephalofair Games has another Legacy adventure in the Gloomhaven universe: Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. It is a standalone game that takes place before the events of the original game. It’s considered a more approachable game for casual gamers as it is somewhat lighter on rules and gets you into the action faster.
Jaws of the Lion also adds four new characters; all of whom can be used in the original game as well!
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Betrayal Legacy is a tile game that allows players to build their own haunted house room by room, tile by tile, creating a new thrilling game board every time. Secretly, one of the characters betrays the rest of the party, and the innocent members of the party must defeat the traitor in their midst before it’s too late!
This role-playing board game lets you journey back to the beginning of the horror and create a unique story told through several generations of families obsessed with the house. Based on the award-winning Betrayal at House on the Hill cooperative board game, you’ll get a chance to create the house’s story through decisions and actions you take in the game.
Once the legacy campaign is complete, you’ll have a fully re-playable, customized board game, completely shaped by the choices you made along the way. The customized version offers a different game each time it’s played, including new haunts unique to post-campaign play.
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The 9-to-5 of adventuring can be such a grind. Pesky gremlins, sinister vampires, and a giant dragon all stand between you and the treasure you so rightfully deserve. But you’re not in it alone!
In Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, you’re part of the greatest adventuring company in all of the planes—and you may just end up saving the world!
In this Legacy game, you’ll work with and against your co-adventurers through a 10+ game campaign. Your successes, failures, and choices will permanently affect the game and the world around you as your journey unfolds, resulting in a unique Clank! game you can continue to play after the campaign. The story may end, but the adventure continues!
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It’s the early 20th century. You have decided to sail back to the newly discovered seventh continent to attempt to lift the terrible curse that has struck you since your return from the previous expedition.
In The 7th Continent, a solo or cooperative “choose-your-own-adventure” exploration board game, you choose a character and begin your adventure on your own or with a team of other explorers. Inspired by the Fighting Fantasy book series, you will discover the extent of this wild new land through a variety of terrain and event cards. In a land fraught with danger and wonders, you have to use every ounce of wit and cunning to survive, crafting tools, weapons, and shelter to ensure your survival.
Unlike most board games, it will take you many, many hours of exploring and searching the seventh continent until you eventually discover how to remove the curse(s)…or die trying.
The 7th Continent features an easy saving system so that you can stop playing at any time and resume your adventure later on, just like in a video game!
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The prosperous Kingdom of Greengully, ruled for centuries by the Forever King, has issued a decree to its citizens to colonize the vast lands beyond its borders. In an effort to start a new village, the Forever King has selected 6 citizens for the task, each of whom has a unique set of skills they use to build their charter.
In Charterstone, a competitive legacy game scaled for 1-6 players, you construct buildings and inhabit a shared village. Building stickers are removed from cards and permanently added to your charter on the board, becoming action spaces for any player to use (kind of like Lords of Waterdeep, Caylus and Ora et Labora). Thus, a few available buildings soon grow into a bustling village with dozens of actions.
Your journey through Charterstone’s many secrets will last 12 games, but it doesn’t end there. Your completed village will be a one-of-a-kind, variable worker-placement game. Or you can purchase a completely optional Recharge Pack to play a second campaign!
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Zombies are wreaking havoc throughout the town. Cooperate with your friends and find the 4 ingredients to prepare the antidote that will change the zombies back to their human form!
Work together, rid the town of zombies, make the antidote, open envelopes, and watch the game evolve!
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