Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion board game box cover
Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion board game pieces
Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion board game charcter cards
Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion board game booklet and pieces

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

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Quick Takes: Crowd icon 1-4 players Clock icon 30-120 minutes Adult and child icon Ages 14+ 3 of hearts Level 3 (advanced, looking for a challenge)

About the game:

Get ready to play mercenary. In this cooperative campaign game, you and up to 3 of your friends role play as members of the infamous "Jaws of the Lion" mercenary group in the city of Gloomhaven. Your job is to figure out why the poor people of the city are disappearing, and who is behind it. In true role playing game (RPG) style, you play as one character throughout the game. You level up the character, customize your card deck, and gather equipment to become more powerful as you move through the series of scenarios that make up the game.

You can think of Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion in one of two ways. This is a great game for folks who play mostly Level 2 or Level 1 games (more about our Level 1/2/3 rating system here) but want to try a heavier experience. Yes, we rate it Level 3, and this game requires an investment of time, patience, and energy for gamers. But it's also approachable for curious gamers. It also teaches you how to play grandaddy Gloomhaven, so it works as a non-boring Gloomhaven tutorial. And it even has it's own tutorial, a 5-scenario walkthrough, that gets you started on the right path with Jaws of the Lion.

Gloomhaven is an amazing, immersive board game. There's no doubt that gets a lot of attention from fans of board games, especially role playing games (RPGs). But there's also no doubt that, with its hundreds and hundreds of pieces weighing in at over 21 pounds and hours of rules to read, it's not exactly the world's most approachable game. In fact, we'll admit that Gloomhaven is downright intimidating to our Board's Edge Games cofounders (although we have to admit we're intrigued). Enter Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion.

Enjoy RPGs? You might also like Descent: Journeys in the Dark.

Why we chose this for Board's Edge Games:
  • Demand! Our friends kept asking us to carry this one, and we think they're onto something.
  • Tutorial mode - this game isn't easy, but it teaches you how to play itself. It helps to bridge the gap for gamers ready to try something a little heavier.
  • Works at low player counts. It's still hard (if not impossible) to get a regular gaming group together. Jaws of the Lion works well at 2 players for enjoyment in small social bubbles.
Selected Awards and Honors:
  • Guldbrikken Best Expert Game Winner - 2020
  • Golden Geek Awards Best Cooperative Game - 2020
  • Golden Geek Awards Best Heavy Game of the Year - 2020
  • Golden Geek Awards Best Thematic Game - 2020