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Encounter Party Delivers A Highly Entertaining D&D Adventure

Encounter Party delivers suspenseful and hilarious actual play D&D in an extremely entertaining way, with high production value. It should be noted that this review is based solely on the first three episodes of Encounter Party.

Encounter Party review

Even those who know very little about the world of Dungeons & Dragons have likely heard of Critical Role and / or The Legend of Vox Machina. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many other series out there that deliver entertaining actual D&D play. Encounter Party is just that.

Trust me, I was one of those people that become obsessed with The Legend of Vox Machina, but found it difficult to put aside enough time to watch the actual play from Critical Role. The episodes are several hours long and that is a big time commitment (but well worth it, trust me!).

If you are looking for something similar to dive into, Encounter Party episodes are less than an hour long each. They drive the story forward in each episode, and thanks to the improv skills of the professional actors involved, it is always highly entertaining, suspenseful, and hilarious. It often feels like you are watching some of your friends play this game, because it is easy to relate to all of them. They never shy away from letting their personalities shine through, which makes Encounter Party genuinely fun to watch. 

The actors who play in season 1 are Ned Donovan, Landree Fleming, David Lee Huynh, Sarah Babe, Khary Payton, and Andrew Krug. Each of them comes to the table fully prepared, and even after watching three full episodes, I have been unable to choose a favorite. Not only are each of their characters incredibly well thought out, they each seem to possibly be hiding something, which is exciting as a viewer to try to figure out.

At the same time, the cast has wonderful chemistry. It is so much fun to watch their interactions with each other — and this includes the Dungeon Master. It doesn’t take long get hooked either because the very first episode hits the ground running from the start, never slowing down. Of course, the ending of each episode always has you anxious to hit play on the next one!

What works so well with Encounter Party is that you can jump into it with any level of D&D knowledge. They explain the mechanics of the game when necessary to understand the story, proving they are aware that this could be someone’s introduction to the game. That being said, they don’t allow it to slow down the actual story. The balance is perfect.

Those who are looking to get into Dungeons & Dragons might even pick up some tips — especially those hoping to be a great Dungeon Master. Brian David Judkins brilliantly pivots when he needs to, while also seeming like he always has something exciting and mysterious up his sleeve. My daughters have been begging to start a family D&D game, but it has always seemed daunting to my husband and I. Now, we have a bit of inspiration and feel as if we can dive into it and have a lot of fun together. 

Overall, Encounter Party is a whole lot of fun to watch. It delivers a highly entertaining actual play D&D adventure, with incredible production value. The story itself is gripping, exciting, and suspenseful.

NEXT: The Legend Of Vox Machina Cast Interview: Season 2

Encounter Party review

About Encounter Party

Encounter Party is of new type of television experience where 7 performers use the rules of Dungeons & Dragons to adopt personas and work together against the very story they’re writing in real-time.

THE STORY

Six strangers share a prophetic dream that condemns two of them to death. Despite their attempts to avoid it, the party discovers their lives are more intertwined than ever imagined. As they hunt for the source of their grim fate the party becomes ensnared by a charismatic group who are fixated on seeing the future. With the abduction of a sentient weapon, new medical magics, and a masked vigilante obsessed with a romance novel, a question forms within the party.

Does fate change if you know what’s coming?

Watch Encounter Party on FreeVee and Plex.