Talisman the Magical Quest Game

3.8 (3)
4.0 (6)
970   2
Talisman Board Game 4th Edition
Talisman Boardgame 2nd Edition

Game Information

Game Name
Year Published
Games Workshop Ltd.

Talisman is a cult classic adventure game with a fantasy theme. 

There are 14 characters a player can control, from the heroic Warrior to the powerful Sorcerer. In this perilous adventure, play centers around the journey of these gallant heroes to find and claim the Crown of Command, a magical artifact with the power to destroy all rivals and make the bearer the true ruler of the kingdom. Only with strength, courage, wisdom and a few good dice rolls will players be able to survive the ultimate test and beat their opponents to victory.

The newer 4th edition is nearly identical to the older 1st and 2nd editions in gameplay. There were several expansions released for the 2nd and 3rd editions.

Editor reviews

3 reviews

My favorite adventure game, mostly because of its sparse design and wildness. It's definitely a big random fantasy hootenany, but all of its most contentious design decisions are vital to its success. It needs the ability to end the game whenever you want, because it's one of the key things characters have control over. It needs binary movement to force the players into difficult or even impossible situations. It needs that abstract rectangular board because it puts the game in easy-to-learn gaming vocabulary. The best version is really the FFG version, because of the addition of fate and the copious and varied expansion content. It's definitely not for everyone, but the people it is for will absolutely love it.
Top 50 Reviewer 5 reviews
I despise Talisman, and I gave it an honest try several times. I've even played it on the app, thinking that the speed of play and overhead might have been the problem. Talisman is really a pure push your luck game, not an adventure game, about when to enter the closer concentric rings and take the crown. The problem is that your ability to make those decisions is constrained by time consuming roll movement and combat tests to get resources that fall flat. The one part of Talisman that really works for me is the generic weird fantasy trappings that surround it.

I honestly believe that the working part of Talisman could be easily condensed into a 30 minute push your luck card game.

User reviews

6 reviews

3 stars
1 star
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Light and cutthroat fantasy fun
(Updated: August 12, 2009)
Chaotic, crazy, fantasy-themed, random insanity! May not be perfectly balanced, but it's a bunch of silly adventuring fun. This new edition looks really nice, with the cool gold coins, awesome board and card art, and little plastic pieces for stats (they aren't very readable, so I'm just using all of them for '1'). Great for casual gamers who like fantasy stuff (though it can run kind of long if you don't use any time-saving variants).

The 4th edition is nearly identical to the 2nd edition in gameplay, which isn't a bad thing. It's not mentally taxing, doesn't have downtime, is heavy on theme, feels like an adventure, and is an endless source of dramatic situations that can cause feelings in players all over the emotional spectrum.

The old expansions were good (for the most part). The extra card expansions and the dungeon were great for variety. The city and timescape kind of took away from the cutthroatness and player interaction, which I didn't like.

At first glance, there doesn't seem to be much choice or opportunity for strategy (just roll a die, move that many, draw a card and do what it says), but there's a bit more decision making than people give it credit for. You feel like you are both choosing your own adventure and simply going along with the story. Still, there isn't *a lot* of strategy here, and this is a nice game to play when you want some light fun after a long day, or when you're with a bunch of friends and want to play something light, fun, thematic, and cutthroat.
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No wonder it's a classic
This is a simple fantasy adventure game, you've got your hero, your mission and side quests to complete while leveling up and trying to find the talisman before someone else.

It's a surprisingly fun light hearted game, you'll get swept away by any of it's editions and is a blast, no wonder it's a classic.
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It's like a Snickers bar
TALISMAN is nothing more than what it purports to be--a dungeon romp with little guys, monsters, some Toad action; and if you toss in the expansions, you get some dragons and towns and shit. It's not trying to be D&D Lite, it's not trying to match itself to some robust mythology--it's just TALISMAN, and that's just fine.

The game looks nice, plays fast, and can be taught in about 12 seconds. The missions are obvious, the way there is obvious (though treacherous!), and folks can drink heavily and still have a grand old time sloshing through the game. If you are a serious gamer with serious gamer buddies looking for a serious game--look elsewhere. If your cousins are in town and the game got rained out--this thing is pure awesome.
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Dead, but not buried
(Updated: February 15, 2009)
Great. A fantasy game that's boring for both kids AND adults.

The 21st century reprinting of Talisman - knowingly! - after the publication/innovation of Descent, Prophecy, Return of the Heroes, and Runebound is an inexcusable crime worthy of a class action lawsuit.

Following my recent experience with this nostalgia-fueled fun incinerator, I did some additional background research - and what I discovered is that rabid Talisman fans also enjoy:

- teenage heart failure
- incurable venereal disease
- Keanu Reeves movies

So yes, I suppose that I should have known better.

Admittedly, I've done some rotten things in my life. I've swindled, flayed, pimped, and dislocated. (Often, all at once.) But now, those who have been wronged by my heinous acts can consider their vengeance complete. For I have played...TALISMAN.
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