Dungeons & Dragons The Yawning Portal Review
You are the proprietor of the Yawning Portal, an Inn that serves adventurers from every creed and country. Serve your guests their preferred foods to earn as many victory points, or VP as possible and win the game! To set up, build the game board based on how many players are participating. Next, give every player 4 face down Hero Cards of each color type. Give each player 4 different Acton Tiles as well, place Food Tokens and Gems within reach of every player, place 5 random objective cards near, but off to the side of the board, place the starting food tokens in the middle of the board, then play can begin with the player who last ate something.
Turns work by selecting an action tile, then performing the actions on that tile. Each tile lets you play a specific color of food on the board, followed by unique and specific actions. For example, If you select the blue tile, place a blue food token on the board, then you can switch two food tokens and then play a Hero Card onto the board. This combination of actions can ONLY happen with a blue tile. Each Red tile lets you dismiss a Hero Card from the board, Green lets you draw two Hero Cards from the deck, and yellow enables you get get a wild white enchant food token. All of this is in service of matching Hero’s desired foods. Match as many foods as you can to earn gems of matching colors. Match them all and earn a Perfect Match bonus displayed on the card. White Gems are often perfect match bonuses, and these can transmute to match the color of whatever gem they’re near, adding to your score. Adding further complexity are Hero Card Effects, which give you a specific boon when you play that card. Once a Hero has been fed, flip their card over to show the gem side. The strategy in this game can get pretty intense. Cooperation can turn to opportunistic sabotage in a moment, be it satisfying a perfect match of another player’s hero, or switching around food tokens to make a perfect match of your own! Side challenge cards reward more points based on who gets to certain milestones first, like “first to 6 specific color gems”, or first to “have 3 of each kind of gem”, etc. Once food tokens have filled up the end spaces of the board, it’s finally it’s time for scoring! Count up how many of each 4 main gem color you have, then multiply those numbers by the number of matching symbols on the game board. Add up the totals, plus any VP earned from objective cards you may have picked up and get your grand point total. Whoever earned the most wins!
We won’t lie, this game is fun, but it’s a little complicated, even with the allegedly easy instruction booklet. However, go in with the mindset that it’s ultimately a color matching game, and all of the individual mechanics in service to that goal will fall into place. Don’t be afraid to jump in before you know it front to back. Also, check the reference card if you’re ever confused! At the very least, relish in the beauty of the lush illustrations of the Hero Cards and game board!
Should I get it?
If you’re looking for a pretty unique board game unlike any other that may be in your collection, seriously consider checking this game out. Doubly so if you’re a D&D fan!
- It’s a complex game that’s fun once you get the hang of it.
- The craftsmanship is high on all the pieces, cards and tokens.
- The illustrations are full of life and character.
- There’s even a single player mode we didn’t have time to talk about!
- It’s a bit hard to wrap your head around coming in fresh. You’ll get the hang of it though!