Welcome to my post on Perdition’s Mouth: Soul Spire, the fantastic expansion to Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift!
Dragon Dawn Productions have done it again – and this time, they’ve done it even better!
time: 60-150 mins
Designer: Timo Multamäki and David Hladky
Artist: Matthias Catrein, Darko Kreculj and Jamie Noble-Frier
Publisher: Dragon Dawn Productions
Gamefound campaign coming soon!
Perdition’s Mouth: Soul Spire (hereafter referred to as Soul Spire) is the sequel and expansion for Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift (hereafter referred to Abyssal Rift) which I’ve previously reviewed (twice!). Soul Spire is not designed as a stand-alone game and players are expected to be familiar with the Abyssal Rift rule set.
I highly recommend reading my review of Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift before reading this one if you haven’t already. I will be referencing the rules and mechanics of the base game as I discuss Soul Spire and rather than re-explain the game mechanics of Abyssal Rift, I direct you to that previous post.
Firstly, I absolutely love what Dragon Dawn Productions have done with Soul Spire. They have taken an awesome and innovative game and developed it even further with this expansion!
Dragon Dawn have kept the beloved rondels for player and monster actions and have added in some cool new mechanics which make the game even more immersive and exciting! There are brand new heroes, new monsters, extra cool minis and tons of new cards!
The art is just fantastic on Soul Spire! They’ve taken the pure gritty fantasy of Abyssal Rift and added a little touch of steam-punk goodness and the stylish cowboy-esque Guide character looks super cool!
The level of detail on the maps, tiles, tokens and cards is immense and really helps bring that sense of immersion into the game. You really feel like you are exploring this dangerous cavern system in the mountain!
If you like small, simple games then Soul Spire is not for you! There are tons of cards, tokens and tiles and it will take you some time to get your head around it all!
But bear in mind that Soul Spire is a commitment! It’s a campaign which is going to give you many, many hours of enjoyment, so the hour or so you spend at the start sorting out your components will be worth it and will be just a tiny fraction of your overall game time!
The first major change is the story line, or, I should say, story lines. Abyssal Rift had a number of different adventure paths through the game, but Soul Spire takes this to the next level with a full-on choose your own adventure game built in!
The game is heavily narrative led with several options in the story guide before you even lay out your first map. And the first scenario is an immediate fork in the road as at the end of that level, you will find yourself allying with one of three factions.
The outcome of this first scenario determines the path you will be on for the rest of the game and brings a really interesting variety to gameplay. It makes you want to play it again and again and experience all the different routes and options through the adventure.
The biggest change, narratively, is that although you play with some familiar heroes from Abyssal Rift, your team will have to ally themselves with one of three factions. And in keeping with the grim-dark flavor of the game, nothing is black and white and each faction has their own agenda which only somewhat aligns with your own.
Will you align with the Frozen Court who are dark fey creatures, or Collective 13, a group of self-interested dwarfs. Or will you find it necessary to team up with your old enemies, the Cultists of The Grand Lodge of the Spire!
Each choice leads you down a different path and requires different sacrifices and compromises. And beware, for which ever faction you choose, the others will become your enemies!
The Initiative Track
Much of the rule set mirrors the original game, but there are some very interesting developments! The first big change is the initiative order. This brings a higher level of realism than in the base-game where all the players take a turn followed by all the monsters. In Soul Spire, the initiative order is randomized to some extent and players and NPCs alternate taking turns depending on where they lie in the initiative track.
The game-board has also gone through a big development, with a tile-based, modular system which now offers much more flexibility and variation in the maps that you play on. The artwork on them is fantastic as well!
The new miniatures for Soul Spire are amazing! There are some really cool new enemies and heroes which have just gorgeous-looking minis to play with. There is also variation in the size of the characters, with some very small and some very large, with game mechanics to match!
Tiny Creatures can move through other character’s squares and squeeze through portcullises. Large Creatures were met in Abyssal Rift, but in Soul Spire we get some Large playable characters which is fun and they have a couple of new rules.
‘Facing’ gives Large Creatures a bonus or malus depending on whether they are being attacked from the front, flank or rear. Large Creatures also reduce the terrain penalties for movement.
You start the game with a limited number of heroes to choose from and depending on which story path you take, additional heroes become available to you throughout the campaign. The designers have tied Soul Spire directly in as a sequel to Abyssal Rift and you can begin Soul Spire with your surviving heroes and their decks as they were at the end of Abyssal Rift.
The events of Soul Spire begin two years after Abyssal Rift and to demonstrate the additional experience gained by the characters, SS gives the characters extra cards to add to the decks. Characters also get a new ability: Jump
Jump allows characters to leap from platform to platform which is very handy as the new maps come with much more danger as there many areas where a character can fall to their death!
To conclude, I loved Perdition’s Mouth: Soul Spire! I had a review copy and only for a short period of time so I just scratched the surface of the game, but the deeper you go, the more characters, minis and scenarios you unlock and there are literally hundreds of potential story arcs so you can play and play again and have a different adventure each time!
I love that Dragon Dawn have expanded on Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift and that they have taken the original concept and developed it further. The planning that has gone into the story arcs is phenomenal – as is the design work on the minis and boards and the scenarios.
And in the meantime, if you haven’t already, check out the original game, Perdition’s Mouth Abyssal Rift!
And see all the Dragon Dawn games that I’ve reviewed here!
Check out the Dragon Dawn Productions Website here!
And thanks for reading!