Sea of Thieves: Voyage of Legends review: Lengthy learning of the ropes

Jessica Filby
Sea of Thieves Voyage of Legends board game

The Sea of Thieves board game is just as expansive, freeing, and unique as the game many know and love. But, does the Sea of Thieves Voyage of Legends Board Game blow its inspiration out of the water, or does its complexity breed nothing more than a wave of confusion?

Since its release, the Sea of Thieves video game has redefined the pirating genre, promoting all the thievery and chaos you’d expect from a pirate game, yet still retaining a sense of community, freedom, beauty, and exploration. As such, the Voyage of Legends board game must encapsulate the same style but on a tabletop instead of behind a screen.

The style is certainly skillfully replicated. Simply unboxing the Voyage of Legends introduced me to a stunning landscape with immense attention to detail. Every wave, ship, skeleton token, and map felt like it had been plucked from Sea of Thieves, and it felt almost familiar after spending hundreds of hours in this board game’s inspiration.

So, does the Sea of Thieves Voyage of Legends board game hold up against Sea of Thieves or does it sink under the weight of its own cargo? Here’s what we thought.

Key Details

  • Developer: Steamforged Games
  • Price: $44.95
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time to play: 90-120 minutes

It’s a pirate life for all

Sea of Thieves Voyage of Legends board game
Thanks to a large map, pirates can explore the seas comfortably.

Sea of Thieves is all about exploration, and trying to get that open-world sandbox feel and immersive graphics into a board game is no mean feat. Thankfully, it’s something the Voyage of Legends does expertly.

The video game is focused on your journey to become a Pirate Legend by completing voyages, defeating enemies, and looting islands. As such, there isn’t really an end game, making translating such an experience into a finite board game much harder than the likes of D&D’s Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate or One Night: Ultimate Werewolf.

Nevertheless, this is something Voyage of Legends executes with style. Players will battle to gain reputation by completing voyages, battling enemies, and looting treasures. Once they have 25 reputation, the end game will begin, and the person with the most amount of loot and rep will win the game.

While that certainly encapsulates the core experiences of its inspiration, one key element feels strikingly left out of Voyage of Legends – its cooperative nature.

Players must battle each other to get their hands on more loot, promoting a vast amount of fights and tactics as you navigate how to destroy your opponent at the right time. While that can be enjoyable for many, it does take a lot away from the general experience of the video game and certainly feels like it could have been more of a focus, perhaps with a collaborative mode.

Nevertheless, it’s clear Steamforged games haven’t taken their inspiration lightly, and have expertly navigated the rocky seas of transferring a highly loved video game into a unique tabletop experience.

Sink or Swim

Sea of thieves Voyage of Legends gameplay
Voyage of Legends can often feel like a lot both in its rules and setup.

It’s no secret that Voyage of Legends is far from an easy game to play – even from looking at it. It’s got a large map and tons of tokens to lay out, so it’s key to make sure you have a big enough table and enough time to set it up, as even after I’d played it countless times, it still took a while to get ready.

Unfortunately, the challenges don’t stop at setup, as the 31-page rulebook felt extremely overwhelming, even with the help of player-quick reference cards. Three experienced board game players and experienced Sea of Thieves Pirate Legends struggled to wrap their heads around the rules for the first few hours. We ran into countless different tokens, cards, ships, and phases being presented in one go.

However, once you do wrap your head around the rules, it can be an extremely tactical title where even the player with the least loot gets rewarded, otherwise known as the Skurvy Knave.

The Skurvy Knave began as a helpful advantage to the player who’s been hard done by with a ghost ship or just managed to start the game in an annoying location – however, it quickly evolves into a tactical position to be in.

Ultimately, tactics are key in a game like this one, and understanding the rules fully is equally as important. It’s just a shame the rules are extremely overwhelming and offputting.

The Verdict: 3/5

Thanks to its high-quality tokens, map, reference sheets, and ship cards, Voyage of Legends feels immersive and manages to expertly pay homage to its video game inspiration.

Unfortunately, it also feels like it has tried to tackle far too much for a board game, leaving the rules incredibly overwhelming, and the features just far too expansive.

That being said, once you’ve managed to master its complex nature, you’ll be sailing on those seas with a smile, just before blowing another player’s boat straight back to an outpost.

If you click on a product link on this page we may earn a small affiliate commission.

Best board games to play | Best horror board games | Dark Souls: The Board Game The Sunless City review | Resident Evil: The Board Game review

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech