Twilight Imperium is known for its immersive gameplay and lavish world, but it’s also known for its grueling gameplay time and slight intimidation factor for new players. Now Fantasy Flight Games brings the perfect platformer into this larger-than-life world with Twilight Inscription, a roll-and-write that allows fans to control an array of engaging factions with a welcome depth of play without the player becoming excessively bogged down and slowing down the pace. . Twilight Inscription is fun to play and instantly provides the best way for fans to jump into this wonderful universe, and I can’t wait to get back to it.
Twilight Inscription is a roll and write, and for those unfamiliar, a genre in which players choose their options and mark their progress directly on their player boards thanks to dry erase markers. The boards flip and offer different options on the other side and you make your choices based on the results of the dice you rolled. Twilight Inscription comes with four different cards that individual players track down, and you’ll need to manage each of them and which one to prioritize to earn the most victory points and win the game.
Four leaves may seem like a lot, and it’s definitely not without its own intimidation factor. The game comes with learning rules as you play to speed up the process and get the dice and make choices; But I found those rules to be a bit lacking, and after a few times of going into the main rulebook to find out the missing details, I decided to just play from the main rulebook and forgo the quick rules altogether. It might work better with others, but I’d recommend just diving into the bigger rules, once you get used to it you’ll find the fun of playing much sooner.
These four cards are divided into Navigation, Expansion, Crafting, and War, and as the names suggest, each card offers a different path to pursue victory and advance against your opponents. Nav enables you to explore the galaxy, claim systems, assets, relic cards, and more, and all four cards work in tandem with each other although the player is only able to activate any one card at a time.
The choice of which card will be activated at a given turn depends on several compelling factors, as you will need to keep up with other players on certain matters as you make your way to your active strategy. You’ll probably want to win more dice to roll as you roll, which is called Focus Dice, and if that’s the case, you’ll need to invest in crafting or win some battles in Warfare. If you want to earn more rewards and assets in Warfare, you will need to use industry or expansion to access specialized assets, although to unlock a planet in the expansion sheet to claim assets, you will need to claim some systems in the mobility sheet.
This combination of strategy alone is worth the price of admission, but your style and play style will also change depending on the faction you choose. Factions like Vuil’Raith Cabal offer other mechanics like Captives, which can be spent to get more resources on cards, while The Nekkro Virus trades in the ability to cast votes for the option to transform the votes you’ve collected to deploy powerful ships in Warfare. Others like Winnu give you the ability to write off goods in the industry when you claim new advisors, and that doesn’t even consider that each faction has a special faction ability, which can shake things up in your favour and is only activated when you claim faction space on a sheet of paper.
Turns are relatively straightforward even with a mix of strategy, production, warfare, and board event cards drawn at every turn, and it’s impressive how well every aspect of the game flows into the others, creating an exciting and tactical experience that you’ll find yourself coming back time and time again.
Twilight Inscription features beautiful, vibrant components and artwork, and luckily, it doesn’t take long to play either. Now, there is still a learning curve, and some may be a bit overwhelmed by the number of options you have to explore. Having said that, turns move relatively quickly even towards the start, and filling in the different spaces on your boards becomes more addictive the more you get used to the mechanics. If you’re not a fan of drawing on your boards directly and back and forth with dry erase pens and erasers, these aspects probably won’t work here either, and there’s obviously some cleanup involved when you’re getting ready for a new game and want to use some of the same paper. This might annoy some, but I didn’t mind in the least.
Twilight Inscription offers a plethora of options and rich gameplay once you get it out of the box, and the replay factor is absurdly strong with so many unique factions to choose from. Unique opportunities present themselves among players as they look to outdo each other in the areas of warfare, voting, trading goods, resource gathering, expansion, exploration, and more, and the possibilities that once players learn the mechanics, they will want to book a journey back into this extraordinary world.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Posted by: Fantasy Flight Games
Designed by: James Knivin
Art by Anders Wiener, Thomas Jedroczyk, Alex Kim and Stephen Sommers
Twilight Inscription is now available online and in game stores.
Provided by the publisher a copy for your review