Chronicles of Light: Darkness Falls, Disney Edition review — Adventure awaits!

If Disney is known for anything, it’s rich stories with fun and creative characters. Games developed with a Disney backdrop tend to evoke memories of childhood and let you live in that world for a time. Chronicles of Light, from Ravensburger, continues that tradition. Chronicles of Light sets the stage for players to cooperatively go on a grand adventure to defeat the forces of darkness. Does it deliver on that promise? Let’s find out.

The Game

In Chronicles of Light, 1-4 players will attempt to fight off shadow enemies that cover the map and prevent them from completing their personal quests before ultimately taking on the shadowy Vortex and freeing the land of darkness. The game lasts 5-7 rounds depending on the number of players or level of difficulty you want to play with. A darkness card is flipped to start the round and show where the vortex will move and spit out more shadows. The players will then determine a plan consisting of six total actions. There are no player turns in the game, just the overall rounds. One round might see Belle taking 4 actions and Moana 2 while Maid Marian and Violet sit on the sidelines and another round might see everyone in the mix. It’s up to the players to decide how best to use their collective six actions for the round.

Each player will begin the game with a personal quest they need to complete to unlock their powerful special ability. Personal quests provide a bit of replayability. Each character has four to choose from with different setups and requirements that push the players to spread out and move around the map. While the quest options attempt to introduce variation, they come across a bit samey. Go here, pick this up, go there. Moana’s quest to take out a sea monster stands out as a particularly unique example, but they don’t all reach that level. Once all players have completed their quests they are considered strong enough to take on the Vortex. If the players are able to defeat every shadow on the board as well as come together to defeat the Vortex, they win the game. If time runs out, they lose.

Defeating shadows and the Vortex requires players to battle. Each player involved in the battle rolls their two battle dice and they need to collectively roll a number of successes equal to or greater than the number on the enemy. Each player can re-roll any of their dice one time per battle before the results are final. Any damage symbols rolled will cause the player that rolled that die to take a hit. If a player is reduced to zero health they are knocked out and will take a healing action before they can do anything else. This will also reduce the total team’s health on the action board. If that falls to zero, the players lose the game.

Tactical Considerations

Shadows of strength three and four can reliably be taken on solo, but the fives and sixes will likely require two or more players to team up. Interestingly, battling does not take up any of the player’s precious actions. If the dice aren’t in your favor, you can battle the same shadow over and over again. The risk is that you get knocked out and reduce the team’s health. This dynamic drives players to be bold. Why not try and fight that six strength rhino yourself? If the stars align, you can take them out yourself. Didn’t knock out that four strength wolf? Might as well try again. All the while ticking away at your health and knocking the party out before you know it.

The four characters in the game share the same mechanical DNA. Everyone has two actions that just move or heal. Everyone has some kind of extra movement ability. The fourth and unlockable fifth actions are unique to each character. This gives every character a sense of identity that the designers have done a mostly great job of aligning with what we expect from the movies these characters come from. Violet is a fighter that can deflect damage back at her enemies with her shield. Moana can use the Heart of Tafiti to heal herself or others and her mastery of the sea to quickly move around water spaces. Maid Marian can direct others around the board by royal decree and amusingly defeat shadows from a distance by slinging shuttlecocks at them. Belle uses magic to weaken enemies and inventions to strike from afar. None of these characters are damsels to be rescued. Mess with Maid Marian and you’ll get a racket to the face.


Winning a game of Chronicles of Light was a bit more challenging than I expected. The six actions feel like you can accomplish a lot each round but the clock ticks down fast and the Vortex is constantly spewing out new enemies. The team needs to have a well thought out plan each round if they want to win before time runs out. Sprinting to unlock each character’s special feels like the right thing to do, but leaving a shadow unchecked in the corner of the map will come back to bite you when you don’t have enough moves to win in the final round. The round and action limits mean this is a game that needs to be discussed. Talking through how best to approach each round is a must and because of this, the game suffers from a common cooperative game problem. Quarterbacking. The game tries to solve this via a rotating Leader Badge that determines who gets to make the final decision each round but that will only be as effective as you allow it to be.

The production

A lot of thought went into the visual design of Chronicles of Light. Everything from the heroines bursting into action from the corner of the box to the brightly colored map and chunky tokens feel intentional. The map tiles are bright and clear and kind of look like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse meets crystal magic. The rule book is logically laid out and easy to understand. They’ve even included a QR code to a video tutorial if you’d prefer to learn that way. The miniatures are not quite the direction I would choose but fit the crystal light magic theme the game is going for. They are soft plastic and subject to warping but aren’t going to break if knocked off the table. It’s probably the right choice for a family game.

Final Thoughts

If you have read any of my other Ravensburger/Disney reviews, you know that I am a fan, so take that under consideration. Ravensburger has struck gold with Chronicles of Light. However, I don’t think this game is for everyone. I played all of my games of Chronicles of Light with a mix of adults and kids. My 8-year-old niece, who asks me to play games every time I see her, has declared Chronicles of Light her favorite game. My enjoyment of the game is partially due to the real challenge/puzzle that it provides but largely due to the family time around the table and the opportunity to take on the adventure together. Playing with a family is where I think this game shines. That’s not to say a group of adults won’t get any enjoyment out of it, as I said it really is challenging, I just don’t think the replayability is quite there to satisfy adult gamers over and over again. If the map tiles were swapped about for a map book with a more narrative story akin to something like a family weight Gloomhaven, this game would be perfect for gamers of any group or age. In its current form, Chronicles of Light is right at home on the kitchen table with the family gathered around for an adventure.

If you are interested in pre-ordering a copy of Chronicles of Light: Darkness Falls (Disney Edition), check out the link here.

Lead Tabletop Editor | [email protected]

A life long video gamer, Mark caught the Tabletop itch in college and has been hooked ever since. Epic two player strategy games are his favorites but he enjoys pretty much everything on the tabletop, just no Werewolf please. When he gets a break from changing diapers and reading bedtime stories he can usually be found researching new games or day dreaming about maybe one day having time for a ttrpg. Some of Mark's favorite games are Star Wars: Rebellion, A Feast for Odin, and Nemesis.



Chronicles of Light: Darkness Falls (Disney Edition)

Review Guidelines

Chronicles of Light: Darkness Falls is a challenging adventure in the Realm of Light. The seasoned adult group will likely move on quickly, but family game night doesn't get much better than this.

Mark Julian

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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