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Catacombs (2ed)

90 out of 101 gamers thought this was helpful

My kids and I love playing Catacombs. The artwork by Kwanchai Moriya feels whimsical, but also captures both the heroes and fiends. The components are solid. When you first open the box, set aside 15 – 20 minutes to sticker everything (if you have helpers).

There are LOTS of pieces, including MANY cards. I separated classes of cards and tokens into sandwich baggies, which helps speed along set up. If you throw all of the pieces into one or two bags, plan to spend a few extra minutes each game finding all the right bits.

Gameplay consists of flicking disks. Though the mechanic is simple, I haven’t won on the adventurers’ team yet (chalk me up for one win as the Catacomb Lord). Explaining the cards and abilities—and how often powers and items can be used—might challenge beginners, but even experienced casual gamers shouldn’t have any trouble figuring out the rules and mechanics.

Trying to decide whether to risk a long shot to take out a challenging monster before it can wreak havoc can be tense. Figuring out when to use one-time or one-time-per-room powers occasionally causes similar nail-biting moments.

If you play as the Catacomb Lord, it’s hard not to chuckle over the imminent demise of the heroes, especially as they reach the Level 2 room and you start picking which monsters to sic on them.

My kids and I played the game five or six times over two days without tiring. I’d like more room boards, but there are a reasonable selection to start with (I might have to pick up Cavern of Soloth, but not sure how many boards it adds). The base selection of heroes should suffice, but we grabbed the expansion heroes as well (Chicks in a Catacomb). It’s almost too many heroes, but some of the extra perks are welcome.

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