Reviews | Written by Ed Fortune 18/10/2021


Christmas is just around the corner, which means that your friendly local book shop is about to become flooded with all sorts of stocking-filler style Christmas gifts. In keeping with tradition, that also means it’s Annual season – slim hardcover books aimed at younger readers that essentially serve to hype a certain thing.  They tend to be filled with light articles, word-searches and the like, rather than anything more detailed or serious.

Amid the annuals for football teams, popular TV shows and British comic books, the world’s most popular roleplaying game, Dungeons and Dragons re-joined this hallowed Pantheon last year.  The Dungeons & Dragons Annual 2022 shows that this wasn’t a fluke and that kids and adults alike really do want such a thing in their stocking this mid-winter.

The new book has a very similar look to 2021’s effort; a striking if slightly abstract cover, though this time it’s a much brighter red than the last one, and again it’s just over 90 pages long.  This year’s book is a bit more of a whistle-stop tour of the hobby, but it's just as fun-filled. We open with a look at the people who inhabit the Forgotten Realms before taking a quick peek at the Rime of The Frostmaiden adventure campaign. Then of course, we get some puzzles and a word-search. The book continues in a similar vein throughout; we have a short interview with Drizzt Do’Urden creator RA Salvatore, we take a look at the new Baldur’s Gate game, there’s a look at various podcasts and gaming events, etc.

There’s also rules reminders, Dungeon-Mastering advice and recommendations for live streams; all useful stuff.

All of this is mixed in with features on the heroes and villains you can find in various D&D books as well as spot-the-difference puzzles and quizzes.  It’s a very colourful book and one that will be a fun curiosity to older gamers and a treasured artifact to younger types.  We were hoping to see a comic strip, short story or even multiple-choice story in this one, because the Dungeons and Dragons Annuals of the 80’s had those, be suspect that might have been nostalgia overload for older readers. It's not an 'essential D&D' book by any stretch of the imagination, rather it's a celebration of the game. It's easy to read and a nice way to waste time whilst you're waiting for your regular session of D&D to start.

The Dungeons & Dragons Annual 2022 is a fun look at the state of the hobby so far and we found it rather delightful. Absolutely recommended as a stocking-filler for the D&D fan in your life, regardless of their age.