Embark on an epic adventure in the world of Daimyria, seeking out quests to earn prestige.
What Is Lands of Galzyr?
Lands of Galzyr is a game for 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, and takes about 60 to 150 minutes to play. It’s currently seeking funding on Gamefound, with a pledge level of €69.95 (about $83USD) for a copy of the base game, or €129.95 (about $153USD) for the deluxe edition. Although it’s marked as 14 and up, I played with my 8-year-old as well; there’s a lot of reading aloud involved but at least the storylines we explored weren’t inappropriate for kids. The game takes place in the same world as Dale of Merchants, but the gameplay is entirely different and you don’t need to know anything about Dale of Merchants to play it.
Lands of Galzyr was designed by Sami Laakso and Seppo Kuukasjärvi and is published by Snowdale Design, with illustrations by Sami Laakso and Jesús Delgado.
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Lands of Galzyr Components
Note: My review is based on a prototype copy, so it is subject to change and may not reflect final component quality. It did not include all of the cards and was missing the quest tokens. The deluxe edition will not add any new gameplay elements, but gives you some premium components like extra dice and card sleeves, a dice tray, a playmat, plus an adventure journal and a soundtrack.
Here’s what will come in the game:
- Game board
- 4 Adventurer meeples
- 4 Adventurer boards
- 4 Prestige tokens
- 48 Skill pegs
- 18 Dice (17 custom 6-sided dice, 1 standard 12-sided die)
- 480 Cards
- 3 Organization trays
- 14 Card Dividers
- 44 Timer tokens
- 6 Quest tokens
- Day token
- Starting Player token
- Souvenir token
- Travel Guide
The game board is a map of Galzyr, showing various cities and the paths connecting them, along with various spaces marked along the paths as grasslands, forests, hills, and so on. The cities themselves have cards with matching artwork that slot into the spaces, adding specific locations like marketplaces, museums, and docks. Along the top of the board is a prestige track for keeping score, and at the bottom is a “calendar” used for tracking the days (and upcoming events). The board is double-sided, with a winter side and a summer side; each of the city cards is also double-sided so the artwork matches.
Each adventurer has a board that tracks their gold with a spinner dial, along with their skill points. The spinner was a little loose in the prototype, which was generally fine for playing the game, but you also save the amount of gold between games, and I worry that it would be easy to bump that when putting the board away and getting it back out. The rainbow-colored wheel on the right shows the six skills used in the game; at any given time, an adventurer has four skills, marked by plastic pegs that plug into the board. It’s a fun way to visualize what skills you have, but I’m not totally convinced it’s the best solution—if you push the board down on the table, it’s possible to pop the pegs out (though since they’re colored, you won’t get them mixed up). It may have been just as easy to use wooden cubes or something generic, but these do add a nice pop of color (that also matches the dice). Each adventurer board also has two “tags” below the name—these can come into play during the game, just like the tags present on the items or other cards you may acquire.
The dice are custom six-sided dice. The black dice are the base skill dice, with one of each icon on the six faces. The advanced skill dice are colored to match the skills, and each of those has two faces with double icons for the respective skill, along with two sides for each of the adjacent skills. For instance, the purple die is for Perception (eyes) and has two faces with double eyes; the adjacent skills are Communication (happy mask) and Thievery (hand), so the die also has two faces for each of those—but it does not include any of the other three skills.
The meeples are cute: they’re custom shapes with an additional single color painted on them, to match the character portraits.
The timer tokens will look familiar to those who have played Dale of Merchants, because they feature the same animal icons used in that game. These small tokens come in pairs: one is placed on the calendar, and the other is placed on a card that has a timed effect. When the day token reaches a timer token on the calendar, that triggers the card effect. I don’t know how likely it is that you’ll need all 22 pairs in play at the same time, but it’s fun to have a lot to choose from.
The game includes two card trays—one holds the “library,” the bulk of the cards, which are sorted in order and marked with dividers; the other is for saving the game, with one divider per character, as well as a global section that stores things like the city cards, current global effects, and the quests that were on the noticeboard. The prototype didn’t include all of the cards, so everything actually fit into one card tray, but presumably the trays will be a bit fuller in the finished version. Each of the cards has a three-digit number on the right edge, so that when they’re placed horizontally in the trays you can flip through them easily without reading the actual card contents. (And, of course, you should avoid doing that because of potential spoilers.)
I’ll have more to say about the cards later, but each one has a bit of artwork at the top, a few tags that are keywords referred to by various skill checks or story choices, and then a description of what the card does. Some cards share the same number: for instance, all of the 150 cards are books, so sometimes you’ll be instructed to take a random 150 and you just grab any card with that number. Many numbers are unique, and some even have a character icon on them to indicate that they’re specifically for that character.
The game even includes a travel guide, made to look like an artifact from within the world. It’s a tri-fold pamphlet on thick cardstock, with details about each of the cities and a little bit about Galzyr in general. It’s a fun way to help immerse you in the story, but isn’t required for gameplay.
Overall, the components were quite nice, even in the prototype, and I can tell this will be a beautiful game. The weirdest thing to me was the “souvenir token,” which (at least in the prototype) is just a paler copy of the first player token. I’m not sure if it will be something different in the finished game, but it appears to be a cardboard token with no actual use. The prototype did not include the quest tokens, which will be wooden tokens that you use on the board to mark the locations of various quests. (We used timer tokens for the prototype.)
How to Play Lands of Galzyr
Lands of Galzyr can be played cooperatively or competitively; in either case, the goal is to score as much prestige as you can, either to reach a threshold collectively or to be the first to reach the goal. The game is played over a series of sessions, with a “save game” function between games.
Before your first play, there are some instructions for the first setup: after sorting the cards, some cards are placed into various other sections of the box—the “vault” at the back holds some cards that aren’t yet available to be used, and the quest section at the front holds the available quests. The first time you play, you’ll roll the 12-sided die to see what month it is when you begin. You choose 3 quests to place below the game board as the “noticeboard,” marking their locations on the map. You’ll also choose whether to play competitively or cooperatively, placing that…