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Karlson

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33 out of 34 gamers thought this was helpful

With the continual increase in the popularity of Kickstarter.com, a great multitude of board games are being created all over the world. It’s impossible to know just how many of these independently created games are real gems and which ones to forget, but Ancient Terrible Things is certainly one that delivers all the thrills and chills of the Noir Pulp Horror theme.

To begin with, the artwork and production values of the game are remarkable. For their first-ever published game, Pleasant Company Games hit the nail on the head with their quality of components. The box and game board are sturdy with a nice matte finish. The character boards and game cards are all top notch and will certainly stand the test of time. Finally, the translucent dice round out the excellent components and add a lot to the atmospheric theme of the game as well.

Speaking of theme, this game is dripping with it. The lead developer devised the setting of this game from multiple ideas, including the fusion of the Indiana Jones-esque atmosphere of exploration with the supernatural monsters and horrors of Lovecraft’s literature. It’s certainly a darker theme, but in a very whimsical and entertaining way. Anyone could enjoy the game due primarily to the vastly entertaining dice chucking it involves.

Ancient Terrible Things takes place over the course of several rounds in which players travel to various remote and haunted locations along a dark, winding river in the deepest depths of the jungle. The players are looking for secrets and booty to aid them in the uncertain future. At these long-forgotten locations, players encounter traps, villains, artifacts, or perhaps something even more sinister – ancient horrors. They then attempt to best these encounters by rolling five (or more) dice, known as focus dice. If the player matches the required cost of the encounter, they have survived the encounter and gain the rumor card, each of which carries with it ancient secrets – a numerical value signifying victory points.

Play proceeds until the players have been bested by too many encounters along the dark river or when these rumors run out entirely. Throughout the journey, players can acquire unique assets (known as SWAG) to help them on their journey, as well as perform a few tricks of the trade (in the form of Feat cards). Yet, at the end of the game, the Unspeakable Event occurs and all players stand trembling at the onset of their certain demise. However, the player who collected the most ancient secrets lives just long enough to record their fate and leave behind a legacy in a battered journal. It’s a brief victory for the doomed explorer, but better than none at all.

Ancient Terrible Things is an undeniably fun board game with wonderful artwork, top-notch components, and fluid overall gameplay. The ancient secrets await along the dark river; what are you waiting for?

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