Ever since Pandemic Legacy came onto the scene, I have heard constant talk about legacy games—games in which the choices you make are permanent, in which you rip cards in half and write on the board, in which there can be plot twists. The legacy system brought new life to Risk, and has now done the same for Pandemic. With Seafall finally hitting players' tables, there has been yet another surge in Rob Daviau love. Legacy games are hot right now, and they've probably had a permanent impact on tabletop gaming.
All the same, I don't think I'll be purchasing a legacy game anytime soon. There are several reasons why they don't seem like a good fit for me. Some are situational, while others are a matter of taste.
Socially, legacy games are a challenge if you don't have a regular gaming group. Because the point of a legacy game is that the game changes over several sessions, you need a consistent group of people to play with over time—and you will preferably play often enough to remember what has happened from one session to the next. There is no way I could fit this into my life right now. My friends and I have trouble getting together even for sporadic game nights. On top of that, I would rather not commit to playing the same game for months on end. I like seeing several different games come to the table, and embarking on a legacy gaming adventure would kill game night variety for weeks on end.
On a personal level, legacy gaming doesn't fit with my motivations for tabletop gaming or for purchasing games. I consider my board games a good investment because they are replayable. I enjoy the process of mastering a game and improving my performance from one round to the next. Even if i play a game so much that I burn out on it, I can take it back off of the shelf after a few months and experience that old familiar thrill. The whole point of a legacy game is that it isn't replayable—nor can it be traded away, because a played legacy game is no longer intact. I already struggle enough with limited-play games like Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, and I haven't tried Time Stories yet because I know I'll have to keep buying expansions to continue playing the game. But at least I could theoretically lend or trade Time Stories to other players once I was done with it.
I think it is exciting that legacy games are now part of our hobby, and I respect Rob Daviau for developing such a game-changing concept. (See what I did there?) But legacy games don't provide what I'm looking for in a tabletop experience. I wish Seafall well, but I don't plan to add it to my collection.
My name is Liz, and I play a lot of games. By day, I am a teacher. By night, I am an avid gamer.