Requiem, Downfall of Magic: Honest & Precise Prototype Review.

Requiem, Downfall of Magic

The Sweet Spot Between Complexity and Engaging Gameplay

Nearly two years have passed since we first played a very early prototype of Requiem: Downfall of Magic at Ludus Magnus Studio HQ, on the outskirts of Rome. Now, we’re hosting a highly advanced version of the same game on our table just before its Kickstarter campaign kicks off (link in our bio). So, how has the game evolved, and what can you expect from Requiem?

Requiem strikes an excellent balance between complexity, a streamlined approach, and new mechanics that bring freshness to the genre. Each character possesses a unique pool of tokens they use to perform one of the four main actions: walk, explore, run, and fight. Different actions require different tokens (for some characters, even two of them), for example making some heroes more focused on exploration and others on combat. It’s a clever, well-designed solution that feels like a mini-game itself. Add to this plenty of free actions, special skills, and various other elements, and you have a game that remains fresh and varied.

Dice-based but fair combat

Combat with regular enemies is dice-based but surprisingly fair. The unique results on the dice (a novel approach I’ve never seen before) make combat quick, balanced, and engaging. Dice results are just part of the success here, with proper skill management allowing you to effectively control the situation on the board. Plenty of different enemies with several different skills make the combat varied enough to provide fun each time.

Great characters’ creation

Distinctive, interesting heroes that players will love. From a fallen nun saved from a satanic cult to a maiden fighting blindfolded for increased effectiveness in battle, a hero who saved the Pope, or a reserved tracker with his loyal hounds. Each character has a unique background and their own deck of skills, uses action tokens differently, and focuses on various aspects of the gameplay. This approach ensures heroes complement each other, encouraging players to find synergies and optimize their rounds. Along with levels gained throughout the game, items, artifacts, and NPCs provide enough tools to build our characters to our liking while keeping everything manageable.

Proper writing and plot make you hungry for more

Our demo offered just a glimpse of the plot, but even those few paragraphs made us eager for more. Magic in retreat after the fall of the lodge (the original plot of Black Rose Wars), a mysterious cult growing in Germany, and our Order tracking a necromancer… That’s all I can reveal without spoilers. The writing is good, fast-paced, and focuses on action and building the mystery we need to solve.

Aesthetic and Attention to Detail

Unchanged, the components of Requiem are as stunning as any game from Ludus. Dark, yet visible backgrounds (avoiding the pitfalls of games like Darkest Dungeon or Nemesis, where board details can be lost), beautiful graphic design, and, as always, stunning miniatures (especially the heroes!) make Requiem immersive even before you delve into the plot.

I must commend Ludus for improving rules clarification and text accuracy. Our prototype was free of any flaws, and if the final version maintains this standard, we’ll have one of the most polished, story-driven games from Ludus. Plus, the simple idea for a book stand exemplifies their commitment to detail.

Boss fights are still a mystery

Boss fights remain an enigma. According to our information, each boss fight will offer unique challenges and require a tactical shift, but our prototype concluded before we could experience such a battle. We’re hopeful this aspect will live up to our expectations.


In summary, Requiem: Downfall of Magic stands a chance to offer a compelling alternative to games like Journeys in Middle-Earth, Mansions of Madness, or the new Descent, without the need for an app. Its streamlined gameplay, high immersion, manageability, and depth will likely satisfy most players, earning it a “Hype & Hopes” score of 8 out of 10.

– David

Hype & Hopes: 8.0/10

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