Horizon Zero Dawn board game review: “Rewarding and moreish”

With Horizon Forbidden West on the, well, horizon, the Horizon Zero Dawn board game is extremely well placed to tide fans of the franchise over. Filled with intriguing cultures, beautiful, nature-reclaimed landscapes, and an array of robot dinosaurs to track, hunt, and scavenge from, this tabletop version translates the Horizon experience very well indeed. 

Essential info

Price: $99.99 / £69.99
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 14+
Difficulty: Moderate
Setup: 10 mins
Lasts: 60 – 90 mins 

The Horizon Zero Dawn board game sees one to four players take on the role of hunters in a post-post-apocalypse, banding together for a semi-cooperative journey with one ‘meta’ hunt peppered with a few smaller encounters along the way. That ‘meta’ hunt sees you taking on one of the largest beasts in the world – a fierce, noteworthy quarry for any hunter to bring down. This is the mighty Sawtooth in the base game, but other quests will come with expansions (more specifically, The Sacred Land boxset will launch September 14 2021 and features five new monsters). And because this is only the end goal, there’s plenty to fill your time in-between starting the game and facing the Sawtooth itself.

Setting the scene

You won’t be embarking on that journey with the video game’s protagonist or supporting cast, though; the hunters of the Horizon Zero Dawn board game aren’t named characters from the video game. Instead, they come from different tribes and offer unique specialisms.

Horizon Zero Dawn board game

(Image credit: Steamforged Games)

Although all of them have access to a ranged and melee weapon, it’s clear that some are better at one or the other. The Oseram Forgesmith is a fighter that puts more into double-handed melee, for example, while the Nora Marksman (who is closest to the franchise’s main character, Aloy) is, as the name implies, a hunter with more of an aptitude for bows and ranged attacks. 

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