Leviathan Wilds: To the Highest and Most Dangerous Heights

May 4, 2024 | Sessions | 2 comments

Encounter legendary giants across the wilds, where climbing and calming are the keys to success in Leviathan Wilds.

There was no stopping me with my exploration of Leviathan Wilds! I moved into the medium complexity leviathans, ready for special rules and new discoveries. Although this is a game with plenty of variety with the climbers, I found myself sticking with my original pair. If Kestrel and Hazard worked well together, they would continue on… As would I!

Game Overview

Game Name: Leviathan Wilds
Publication Year:
 Samuel R. Shimota
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game (Cooperative)

A total of 17 leviathans provide a range of challenges, yet this isn’t a series of battles. Instead, crystals must be destroyed to heal each giant, and the focus is on figuring out the climbing puzzle. The experience is quite fulfilling, but also filled with danger… So much threat and rage!

Heading Into the Frozen Landscape of the Avalanche in Leviathan Wilds

First Play

April 26, 2024



Latest Play

May 14, 2024



Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays


Play Time

1 Hour


High Score



Game Area

36" x 22"


Low Score


Dodging Rockslides

The Avalanche was the next page on my journey, and this one turned out to be one of my early favorites! Empty spaces made for some very careful climbs… And falls.

A rockslide struck every now and then, too, which was devastating when Kestrel and Hazard were close.

I had so much fun finding ways to separate them, but also figuring out when to simply accept any damage.

Frost tokens introduced a neat mechanic to try to stay reasonably warm. This was a very tough play, and one that looked like it might end in disaster with all the blight!

Feeling the Most Challenges from the Rockslide Threat in Leviathan Wilds

So Many Injuries

This was the leviathan that introduced multiple injuries that were doled out a lot. Although these were penalties, I enjoyed the thematic way they felt tied into the climb.

Hazard took on most of these, which made sense from her name. Ha! It wasn’t too hard to manage some, while others were absolutely terrible at the wrong times.

Luckily, despite nearly losing when her health and blight reached the same space, this was a victorious play!

I continued to feel completely engaged with gameplay, too, even if I knew my pair of climbers very well.

Near Defeat and the Trouble with Amassing Injuries in Leviathan Wilds

A Moment to Myself…

Since the goal is to heal each leviathan, the bits of flavor text and lore always have some sort of generally happy outcome. Often, this leads to napping or calming down.

There was no better way to illustrate this than with my own leviathan… A plant plushie! Ha ha! You can find all of the climbers if you look closely at this cozy, happy planter.

I would even go so far as to say this is how I ended up feeling: Happy with my success after a mental workout.

Puzzling through a climb isn’t draining, yet it provides a lovely, constant challenge that I don’t always come across.

To Great Heights to Heal and Calm the Giants of Leviathan Wilds

Bees! All the Bees!

Next up was the Hive, a living tree with teeth and swarms of bees. These seemed rather interesting, as they moved to intercept climbers and dealt a fair amount of damage.

However, Kestrel and Hazard had some very useful mobility skills. It was pretty easy to keep them out of harm’s way, and only a couple of swarms did damage.

This was the only slight hiccup I encountered up to this point: Things felt too easy, and my play time was shorter.

I think everyone will have their favorites, though, so this didn’t deter me from the game in any way.

Bees Everywhere and Dodging the Moving Swarms of the Hive in Leviathan Wilds

The Joy of Getting Engrossed with a New Game

This has remained on my table for over a week at this point, and I’m having such a great time! Often, I bounce away from new games, even the ones I enjoy. Yet this is one that keeps me coming back to discover the next leviathan and what sort of new rule I’ll need to keep in mind. The challenge is excellent, and I haven’t found it repetitive in the least.

Granted, I have my climbers’ decks nearly memorized. I know what they can do, and also what cards haven’t come out yet. In a way, I suppose I’ve sort of mastered their play styles, but does that mean I don’t want to stick with them? Nope! There will be plenty of opportunities for me to try out the other climbers eventually. Kestrel and Hazard remain!

I guess I’m sort of playing an imaginary campaign with them. The leviathans may be played in any order and there are no legacy elements, yet it’s been very fun to follow the order. I’m already finding my favorites in the main bunch!

Plotting a Victory

The end of this play was pretty neat, though! I knew there would be an early victory, but I still wanted to pull off the final strike with a bit of a flourish. Kestrel was excited!

Yet there weren’t enough action points to move over to this final crystal… What to do? Call in assistance!

Using a skill anytime opened up so many possibilities, and Hazard was ready. She seemed to get close, but with the focus token she earned previously, it was a success.

Kestrel destroyed that crystal, sending it flying off into a million pieces that rained down. No more attack bees!

Kestrel and a Little Assistance from a Focused Hazard in Leviathan Wilds

“Finding” All the Relics

Next up was the Collector, a fairly adorable and interesting sort of leviathan. The important piece was the addition of a victory condition. Namely, collecting the relics.

In practice, I didn’t end up using them for their special abilities. That wasn’t much of a disappointment, though, for blight management was made even harder with relics.

I enjoyed the challenge of the highest heights here, as it was tricky to easily reach every area like with some others.

The Collector’s threat cards were also pretty tricky, with a double pinch offering up a reason to let go and fall a lot!

A Very Neat Leviathan in the Collector and a Series of Relics in Leviathan Wilds

Dizzy Dancing Dangers

Maybe I’ve glossed over it a little bit, yet there are many thematic and almost cinematic aspects. Leviathans feel huge, and climbing feels like going way up into the air.

Then, fantastic moments have popped up! At one point, Hazard took an injury that made her dizzy. The card text simply meant that a skill card had to be discarded.

But I found the perfect time to erase the injury… During a victory dance where Hazard obviously fell over.

How embarrassing… And hilarious! Kestrel wasn’t nearby, but they would likely have laughed as much as I did. Ha!

Making a Dizzy Injury Thematic with a Failed Victory Dance in Leviathan Wilds

Fury, a Volcanic Bull

Still on a winning streak, I set my sights on the Fury. When I saw vents were in play, I figured there would be something going on with a snorting bull. Oh, it was worse.

This right here is a volcanic bull! Vents provided openings to possibly manage upcoming damage, but there were all sorts of lava eruptions all the time. Such a tricky design!

I wish I could say I had a climber go up the chain, but alas, I plotted a different route. Kestrel did go up the tail!

There was no denying that this was a difficult leviathan, although I managed to pull off a win at the last moment.

All Sorts of Fun Dodging and Cooling Volcanic Vents on Fury in Leviathan Wilds

Session Overview

Play Number: 5-10
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game (Cooperative)
Play Details: Normal Difficulty Level
Outcome: 6 Wins

My excitement carried me to the next leviathan, which just started to get into the high complexity section. This one was tough, yet again, Kestrel and Hazard won! Most of these victories came down to the last couple of turns, so although I kept on winning, I was fighting to survive and puzzle through the best options right to the end. As usual, I had an amazing time and just loved the game even more!

Another Wondrous Challenge with Bloom from Leviathan Wilds


10 Plays


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • Each leviathan plays very differently, which means that the climbing puzzle never feels repetitive or too easy.
  • Lots of opportunities exist to feel like a scene is unfolding without much effort, courtesy of very thematic cards.
  • There are always a lot of options to consider, particularly with the neat opportunities anytime actions offer.
  • Leviathan pages may be laid out horizontally or vertically, and both configurations translate the scale very well.
  • Plenty of variety exists without doing more than swapping different climbers and trying out standard leviathans.
  • Moving onto another page takes a minimal amount of effort to reset and prepare to play again in a few minutes.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • The rulebook doesn’t feel complete, and has a fair amount of ambiguous elements and missing sections.
  • Setup moves quickly, but the small icons blend into the artwork and require a little extra time to double-check.
  • Although each leviathan’s story card provides some lore, the jarring climber personalities can be a little much.
  • It’s great to be able to use the attack markers, but their large size often hides the types of nearby spaces.

More Leviathan Wilds

Explore related posts about Leviathan Wilds!

Victory Conditions

Destroy the Crystals and Complete All Goals

  • Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%

Goals and Milestones


Win at least 1 game without losing grip for any climber.


Win at least 1 game without resorting to a last chance.


Win at least 1 game against every leviathan (17 / 17).

Continue the Conversation

What do you like about Leviathan Wilds? How far have you made it in terms of playing with different climbers and leviathans? There is a lot more to discover, and I can’t believe this has kept my interest for so long! I often move from game to game, yet this is one that’s proven to be excellent. It’s exactly the sort of thematic puzzle I enjoy right now!


  1. Thanks for your ongoing reviews of this game! I didn’t pull the trigger on it when it was being funded but I’m following the reprint closely after all your praise. It looks like a great co-op or solo game with an interesting theme.

    • You’re very welcome! Glad I could help provide some insight. It’s been absolutely wonderful, and although I tend to lean towards the positive on every game, this one continues to stand out for me. Good luck continuing to look into it to see if it’s something you’ll enjoy, too!


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