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Necu Hawke

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53 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

This is my first review upon boardgaming.com. /woots.

I have played a variety of board games in my time. I <3 games. This is a game i wish i had found sooner.

I had seen it resting upon many a different shelf in the various gaming stores i frequent. However i've never had the chance to actually play it until this past thursday. I don't know what kept me from picking it up sooner (one shiny new game or another more than likely). Thankfully, this door in my gaming world has now been opened.

We played it twice thursday at a board game store i happened across that was hosting a gaming night (i shall definitely return). It was a little intimidating with all the tokens and tiles and the rule book of if/thens as they began to get everything set up. But then the game began.

My first experience into this game, the leader (for lack of a better word) took control and led us into the house upon the hill. We told it story style, with each person reading their cards as they came up and really playing up the dark. There was of course ribbing and curses as various tiles entered play and events and omens were encountered. Every potential haunt was played up, with everyone getting excited as more and more were attempted until, of course, the real game began.

From this newcomer's perspective, exploring the house and falling prey to its many dark secrets as we delved ever deeper was completely enthralling. I do feel our narration/reading of the cards as they came into play helped keep everyone interested and excited.

But when the haunt came into play and everything in the house began to stack up against us, that is the moment the excitement and pace of our particular story really kicked into high gear.

(This game does have a lot of if/thens that have to be taken into account. This does lead to rule mongering and arguments over semantics. Don't let this slow your experience down. Appoint a leader and address the issue and then move on. We had a couple such pauses that could have been avoided with better handling of the players- course this is coming from a seasoned story master of many a dnd session. With a game this detailed this is going to happen though. And more so when you pit one versus the rest).

However, that said, oh so.much.fun. We had six players, and we pulled the immortal something or other than cannot be killed 'cept by some **** statue which is here and … Anyway, not going to throw a spoiler in these particular cogs. Suffice it to say, we did not win our first encounter. Certain things conspired against us (namely that cursed house) and we were p@wned.

Then we played again. Still i didn't get to be the baddie, but this game went smoother and faster because now we'd all greased the gears a little with the first game.

BUT this time we had a different, yet no less volatile rule wrench thrown upon the fire. As i have said, this is very if/then dependent. Rules in these sections need to be read and reread before play proceeds. Why? Because both times something was missed that caused unneccessary torment in each particular betrayal. A quick and easy out- if something would make the game unwinnable (as both times there were argument that certain circumstances in each scenario did this) reread and then fix it. I do not imagine the developers of the game wanted to add that particular cruelty into this otherwise great board game.

I will end this review momentarily but let me tell you- if you have the right people, this game box contains an amazing boardgaming experience. Few games have i played that instantly hit me like this. Settlers of Catan is one of them (it was my gateway boardgame). This would be another.

The replayability is very high. The fun is very high. The cooperative and competitive aspects of this game are masterful. This game can turn even your most timid boardgamer into a demon with the need to feed. And the fact that you get to pause after the haunt is revealed to discuss plans and plot against the baddie while they are away, oh.so.fun.

do i recommend?
yes.yes.yes.

~Necu

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