Insider Look - Kingdom Hearts Perilous Pursuit
By Nicholas Leeman
I’ve been having these weird thoughts lately- like there was a board game I could play with four of my friends about one of my favorite video games. Turns out I was right. The Op has published their long-awaited Kingdom Hearts co-op game, Kingdom Hearts Perilous Pursuit. The whole team’s inside the lid: Sora, Riku, Kairi, Donald, and Goofy. Their unique powers combine to give players a chance to seal off six worlds before they’re overrun by the heartless. Succeed, and the future of the keyblade is secure. Fail, and darkness reigns over every world imaginable. So.. no pressure.
Fans of the classic video game and its sequels will find plenty to love here. The player boards for each character not only feature giant art of their respective heroes, but are tuned to their specific playstyles from the original game. Donald’s forte being gathering up resources for the team, he only requires a single die to ready that ability, which will give an extra card to his friends. Goofy, ever the stalwart protector, needs only a single roll to start handing out shields to everyone. Sora and Riku represent the keyblade’s edge, attacking foes at every opportunity. Finally, Kairi serves as the groups all-around support, needing only one distract die to ready giving dice out to the crew. Each main character brings exactly what you’d think they should to the table, and players of the video game will instantly feel right at home.
But a journey’s not a journey without a place to go, and Perilous Pursuit provides more than enough realms to save. All told, there are 28 worlds to explore inside the box, among 3 different difficulty levels. Simpler areas make up the level 1 offerings, such as Twilight Town, Hollow Bastion, and the Beast’s Castle (Beauty and the Beast). You choose six worlds to save every game, three of which are level threes, and from those you can choose some of my favorite Kingdom Hearts locations including Port Royal (Pirates of the Caribbean), Space Paranoids (Tron), and the Keyblade Graveyard.
Gameplay is familiar to those familiar with chunky-dice games. Each player’s turn begins with rolling all six dice, including the black heartless die. Keep which dice you like and roll up to three times. Once your dice are set, it’s time to assign them to your player board. As mentioned above, the actions best suited to your individual fighter are the easiest to fill at one or two dice. The more powerful ability action takes four to five dice, depending on your teammate, but is always worth aiming for if the dice fall your way. Once each action is ready, it can be “Set” during a later turn - which not only enables actually taking that action for themselves, but sending their own dice to other’s players Ready boards, multiplying the actions available to be taken on a single turn. Once all the available actions have been activated and fulfilled, the Heartless strike back- the set number of dice on the world mat are rolled, and then some manner of awful thing will happen. Without adversity, though, no hero ever learned their true power.
Defeating the last heartless in the world will lock it away from the ever-encroaching darkness, and allow passage to the next one. Perilous Pursuit overall feels just enough like the video game in this fashion- fighting off heartless from world to world, only to be pushed into the next one to do it all over again. Whether you’re a KH player from way back (PS2 represent!), or you’re a brand new fan, there’s plenty in this box for everyone to feel right at home. Is any of this for real? Or not? It is, Sora. It very much is.
Kingdom Hearts Perilous Pursuit is for 2-5 players, ages 8 and up, and available for $29.99 from your local game store or our online shop! A new addition to our popular Perilous Pursuit line of cooperative dice games, a follow-up to the previously-released Fantastic Beasts™ Perilous Pursuit! For more tabletop adventures featuring Kingdom Hearts, be sure to check out our Talisman: Kingdom Hearts Edition and Kingdom Hearts Rubik's Cube!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicholas Leeman has been writing about and reviewing board games since 2017, and currently reviews games for the YouTube channel GLHF Boardgames. He makes his home in Minneapolis, MN
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