Top games of the week: Rise & Fall, Lore of Aetherra, Forsaken & more

Check out these cool fantasy and historic tabletop games before their Kickstarter campaigns end. They keep you immersed and playing for hours.

Top games of the week: Rise & Fall, Lore of Aetherra, Forsaken & more
Lore of Aetherra: Dark Symmetry illustration

Fantasy tabletop games and RPGs figure large in this week’s Top Board Game Roundup. Because who doesn’t love games about underwater cities or guides on how to run an incredible dungeon? Yes, these cool fantasy board games will have you hooked and playing all afternoon.

Want to explore a strange, strange world? Go for Forsaken, a sandbox adventure set on a resource-stripped planet. Otherwise, create immersive dungeons for your 5E adventures with the Dungeon Delver’s Guide.

Ready for these great games? Let’s break them down!

Rise & Fall

Rise and Fall
Rise & Fall with game pieces

Both beginner and veteran players will appreciate Rise & Fall, a game based on territory control, opportunity grabbing, and strategic unit positioning. Immersive and engaging, this game is easy to understand yet challenging to master.

Players are leaders of nations trying to survive and expand in a fantasy world. The customizable 3D board has a different setup for each game, and the tiles’ height influences your strategy. The gorgeous UV-printed wooden meeples enrich the gameplay.

Pledge about $59 on Kickstarter to reserve a physical copy of the game.

Lore of Aetherra: Dark Symmetry

Lore of Aetherra: Dark Symmetry trailer video

If you’re into science-fantasy RPGs with a campaign/adventure setting, check out the Lore of Aetherra: Dark Symmetry. The next edition of the Lore of Aetherra saga, Dark Symmetry centers on the underwater city of Chrysalea and its mysterious technology.

A 300+ page adventure and campaign based on 5E, Dark Symmetry lets you pick up where you left off in the saga or start fresh. Here’s the setting: far beneath an azure lake lies Chysalea, a magnificent city founded to advance technology, no matter the cost.

Outer habitats offer unique playing environments that play host to the unique campaign you develop for your party. It’s a pretty cool fantasy board game.

Back it for $30 on Kickstarter.


Forsaken promotional graphic

Love adventure board games set in weird worlds? Then Forsaken is for you. This sandbox adventure has endless paths you can choose from. Meanwhile, you get a sense of agency as you play and deter opponents.

The backstory is that the planet Thyrria and its moons have been stripped of their natural resources, and abandoned workers have bound together, trying to survive scarcity and crime. Meanwhile, strange creatures and nomads have resurfaced to reclaim the land.

Will your character be remembered as a legend? Your actions decide.

Preorder Foresaken for $129 on the official website.

Legacy of Yu

Legacy of Yu game graphic

Looking for a great solo board game? Consider the Legacy of Yu. Set in ancient China, it has you thwart barbarians, build canals, and create the legacy of Yu the Great.

It’s the reign of Emperor Yao, and a flooding Yellow River plagues China. Gun, an official appointed by the emperor, has failed to secure the river after 9 years and has met a dubious end. Yu, his son, has inherited the job.

In Legacy of Yu, you take on Yu’s role, constructing canals before the river floods while defending your village from barbarian tribes. Each game is different, with new elements added each time and a self-balancing system that adjusts to your successes.

Back Legacy of Yu for about $43 on Kickstarter.

Dungeon Delver’s Guide for D&D 5E and A5E

Dungeon Delver’s Guide: A Sourcebook for D&D 5E, A5E

Need some guidance on creating, running, and exploring dungeons in your 5E or A5E game? The Dungeon Delver’s Guide offers a comprehensive toolkit. It’s a 300-page sourcebook designed for use with 5E and Level Up: Advanced 5E.

It helps you create mazes and lairs and offers choices for adventurers to explore below and return alive. The book also includes new gear and spells, 100+ tricks and puzzles, how-to guides, and a dungeon-building system. It belongs on any list of cool fantasy board games.

Preorder a physical copy for about $58 on Kickstarter.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the cool fantasy board games and other games on this week’s game roundup. What games are you playing? Tell us in the comment section!

Lauren has been writing and editing since 2008. She loves working with text and helping writers find their voice. When she's not typing away at her computer, she cooks and travels with her husband and two daughters.
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