Claustrophobia - Board Game Box Shot

Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia title

Hell gates are open…there’s no escape!

1634. Humanity wants more, Hell is the next target.
In this tactical survival game, one player controls the human group that explores the infernal underground and confronts a steady-stream troglodyte’s army, and your opponent plays the demon group who tries to stop them.

In this game you will find high quality materials with pre-painted figurines, combined with easy to learn rules that allow you to set the game up quickly. This game takes some of the best features of Euro board games mechanisms, (character skill management) as well as American (random combat resolution). Be ready to make Claustrophobia you’re next favorite head-to-head board game.

The six scenarios included in the game will provide you hours of gaming in the dark and gloomy New-Jerusalem Underground. When the scenarios no longer have any more secrets for you, you will be able to create your own or go on the Claustrophobia website where you will find unseen scenarios and a FAQ. If that is not enough, Croc himself (the author) will provide you some advice to help you on your Hell’s adventures. Follow the link to get the latest news on Claustrophobia.

Claustrophobia contents
images © Asmodee

User Reviews (11)

Filter by: Order by:
Player Avatar
10
Gamer - Level 8
Explorer - Level 5
Critic - Level 3
Junior
10
90 of 97 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Poor man's Space Hulk?”

Intro:

Claustrophobia is a 2 player dungeon crawl where one player takes on the role of humanity (a redeemer plus a few condemned warriors) and fight the demonic forces controlled by the second player in the world of **** Dorado. This is a low complex but highly thematic game .

Setup:

Determine who will play as human and who will take on the role as demon player. Then decide which of the scenarios you’ll be playing with several being included in the book. Each scenario can be played several times as there is no secret information being revealed during the adventure. Often the goal will be for the human player to complete a task, escape, seal a gate etc and the demons will try and prevent the humans of doing said task.

Preparing the teams is done in a matter of minutes, it is pretty ready to play out of the box. The human team is built up by a redeemer and several condemned warriors and usually receives some weapons, advantages as well. The demon player has a horde of Troglodytes and a specific demon for the scenario he may call upon. Lastly the big heap of tiles need to be shuffled well after the start and finish tile has been prepared.

Gameplay:

Claustrophobia is a perfect example of how easy it can be done. Each turn starts of with the human player rolling one die per adventurer he controls and then assigning one die to each. The value of the die is important as that determines the stats (movement, combat and defence) for that character until the end of the round. Advantages controlled by the redeemer can also be activated on a specific die value.

Movement: Determines how many tiles a character can move
Combat: Number of dice rolled
Defence: When attacked a hit is scored for each result equal or higher.

After the human player is done for the turn the threat phase starts in which the demon player rolls three dice and may use this on a board with several abilities which may be activated on specific numbers or dice combinations (2 even numbered dice, 1 odd and 1 even etc) The two most used abilities will often be to gain threat tokens and drawing cards. Threat tokens are used to summon troglodytes and sometimes a demon while the cards will allow several different effects and can be very handy.

Troglodytes are weak, but attack in numbers. Due to the quick nature of the game it never turns repetitive either despite more or less there only being one type of demon pieces. For one threat the demon player may summon one troglodyte, but only to a tile with no human character and with an undiscovered opening. While each human character has a specific combat value, the demon player rolls one die per troglodyte on the tile. Hits scored by humans simply removes troglodytes 1 for 1, while a hit by the troglodytes/demons forces the human player to remove one of his six stat lines and after a sixth hit the character is killed and removed from the board. Simply ingenious.

Conclusion:

Just simply ingenious indeed. Poor man’s Space Hulk? Very far from it, while they have similarities they are quite different games. In my book Claustrophobia is THE 2 player dungeon crawl go to game and often a scenario will be played twice with each player getting to play both teams. Another great feature is the amount of tiles with every tile having an ability with some being good for the humans and some good for the demon player, and from time to time it might even be the opposite of what you thought.

 
Player Avatar
4
10
89 of 96 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Simple mechanics, tough choices, best components you could ask for in a boardgame”

Probably the best dungeon crawler out there, with pre painted miniatures and unbelievable replayability – with the amount of scenarios, modular board and special rules that make every game look different. there’s just so much inside the box, and the gameplay mechanics are some of the most innovative I’ve seen in a game. Look out, with the expansion it shines even more!

A game that I enjoy playing almost any time, but even before the fun factor – it’s a game that I appreciate because of it’s design level. It is simple at its core but is able to lead to unobvious and interesting choice making.

The base scenario is a simple race of the human team towards the exit of the unknown maze. The board which is created is modular and looks differently from play to play, as the demon player tries to slowly constructs the dungeon in a way that will allow him to keep the humans inside for as long as possible, while gaining power and attacking them with his army of monsters.

The game uses a special mechanic of dice allocation which functions differently, depends on if you’re playing the Humans or the Demons. As the human player, you’ll get to roll a number of dice equal to the amount of living characters that you have. You’ll then allocate the results to each of them in order to determine how much Attack, Defense and Movement every character is gonna have this turn.

As simple as it may sound, this is one of the hardest decisions in the game. As your people get wounded your options for allocating the dice will become more limited, so you have to decide very carefully how you manage the hits that your pack takes. When your people will die (eventually…) your amount of dice rolled will shrink as well, so you basically try to manage your luck the best you can.

Should I move my team as a pack to maximize their survivability? Should I move as quickly as I can, giving the demon player more options to summon his monsters? The experience of playing the human is nerving, it feels as if every choice you do matters – and it really does.

The demon player, while not playing with a fixed amount of living characters, has a much more powerful options of using his horde of little minions called the Troglodytes. He uses his pool of dice to decide in which way he prefers to play – do I want the ability to break the rules of the game to summon my minions wherever I want? Do I want to save up power for later turns? Will I bet on the even card deck? are 5 Troglodytes better than 1 summoned demon?

As I said, this game is very unique – firstly because its a-symmetrical nature which makes it feel like 2 different (utterly balanced, in my opinion) games, and second because in about 15 minutes you can finish learning the rules and start playing a game that is really simple to learn but hard to master. When it’s all wrapped with the magnificent art and design all I can say is – buy it. Get it. It’s worth every penny. Every game is like a story to be told.

 
Player Avatar
4
Intermediate Reviewer
8
90 of 98 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Getting my butt kicked in a corridor never felt so good!”

Unboxing
First impressions are that the box is nicely decorated and sturdy, the vinyl effect to the box is a nice touch. The second impression is the weight! It seems rather weighty for the size and that is a good thing! Just make sure you don’t drop it as you’ll either lose a toe or two or cause a little structural damage!!!

On opening the impression of quality continues starting with the rulebook. This is clearly written and well spaced with plenty of breakdowns and easy reference sections for some of the rules, of which there are not too many! Along with some easily read examples and demos. Then there is the Troglodyte reference chart which is also very easily understood and clearly written, this is too made of a good thick card and treated to the same vinyl effect, which lends to the sturdiness of the whole package. Under these are the tokens (pre punching). Again these are thick and beefy and really well printed. A problem I’ve had before is that some tokens are printed a little off-kilter and being a little OCD about things being even and level this irks me. This is not the case with Claustrophobia, all of the tokens are neat and centrally punched and came away from the frame with no mess or ripping (another problem that sometimes occurs, and that means I’m looking at you Fantasy Flight!)

Under these still we get to the true gribblies of the box (a made up word, feel free to steal and spread it!) The movement tiles are where the weight comes in. They are BEEFY. The art on them is nice and straight forward, no confusing lines or iconography and where icons are used they are clear and easily referenced on the back of the rulebook. The various event/equipment cards are well printed and the art is of a similar quality, leaning slightly more to a comic book style which I like to see every now and then and the character reference boards are well done even if the plastic stands they rest in do come across a little flimsy! And the wound tokens are BRILLIANT! Where most companies would go with plain pegs or even card tokens for wound marking Asmodee have made them small nut+bolt shaped pegs. This doesn’t sound that impressive but its the small things that sometimes please people and make them come back for more.

Finally we get to the miniatures. These are well sculpted and not too delicate which can be a turn off sometimes. The paint job isn’t astounding by any means but not that bad as to warrant a repaint unless I run out of other minis to paint and have a hankerin’ for a brush o’ thon!
Out of the box (before play though) I’d give this an 8/10 just for component quality.

Gameplay
The first couple of games played do nothing to harm the first impression of the game, the rules are that easy to grasp and reference from the boards provided that even the first game plays quickly and effortlessly. The balance between the enemies and the adventurers/warriors is good and it can all hinge on one decision by either party as to the outcome of an encounter, and from experience being killed completely one tile from the exit and a comfortable win is a brutal experience! But one that made me want to immediately try again and try a different tactic. The abilities of the warriors and the equipment loadouts each scenario provide make for many interesting choices too and more are available online for more options.

After playing I stand by my 8/10 score and would recommend this game to most board gamers as a brilliant change, the similarities to GW’s Space Hulk are evident but with a greatly lower price tag (and the gap keeps rising boys n gals! GW’s limited release guaranteed that! Mooks) and pre painted miniatures for those without the inclination for brushy nonsense make this a more affordable tactical corridor combat board game.

 
Player Avatar
4
Novice Reviewer
Gamer - Level 4
Advanced Grader
9
77 of 89 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Beautiful components supported by good game play”

Claustrophobia makes a great Next Step game for introducing casual gamers to gaming, and it makes a fine game for avid gamers.

The pre-painted miniatures and other components are all in great shape. Even the box is a good in that it holds all of the components well. The only complaint about the components is that the players are required to shuffle the tiles. They are quite big and it makes mixing them up a bit cumbersome.

You may need a big table to play. Longer scenarios can take up a lot of space.

The two players are using different mechanics, and they often have different goals. The human player has a dice allocation system that typically dwindles over the course of the game. The demon player has their own resource allocation system, but they generally keep their power level or even increase it through out the game. The human player needs to move and move fast if they want to win.

The variability in quests, equipment, powers, tactics, and board lay out opens the game to a lot of re-playability.

It is a lot of beautiful components and good game play for a cheap price. I can’t recommend it enough.

 
Player Avatar
6
I play orange
Miniature Painter
Veteran Grader
Intermediate Reviewer
3
89 of 114 gamers found this helpful
“Attractive but hollow”

Claustrophobia is a gorgeous looking game based on the New Jerusalem setting within the*dorado universe. The miniature game is fabulous, so I had great expectations for a dungeon crawler version.

What a let down.

Although the game has a unique ability management system, the game suffers from a gross level of “auto-pilot”.

Typical dungeon crawlers have an element of suspense and danger; “Should we go this way? Where do we find XXX so we can deal with YY obstacle?” The dungeon building portion of the game is almost automatic, so the adventurers simply follow a bread trails laid out for them and the resolution of the tiles and space is too large to help grant the feel that you’re moving through a dungeon. Sure the quality of the tiles do this, but the mechanics and movement don’t so it feels rushed and takes away from the suspense of traversing a dangerous dungeon. “Don’t go in that dark corner. Don’t stand in that area.” You’re in a room and your presence encompasses that entire room.

Fighting is pretty straightforward and simple. This kind of bums me out. There isn’t much depth to the miniatures actions so the nice looking miniatures, their movement and presence are more abstract than cinematic.

“It’s a beer and pretzels kind of game.”
Sure, I could get behind this.

To enjoy this game, displace any notions of having a rich or deep dungeon crawler experience and subscribe more to imagery. But without a deeper resolution of actions, movement and presence, the ability to imagine things wears out thin quickly.

 
Player Avatar
1
10
96 of 127 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Great components/ Unique Gameplay/ More Scenarios Outside the Box”

This is definitely one of my favorite 2 player Dungeon Crawlers out there. Actually, it’s one of my favorite 2 player games, period.

While playing the heroes, you need to roll a D6 for each player you control. The corresponding number you roll is what determines what kind of stats your characters will use for that turn. That concept alone was unique and so much fun for me. I haven’t seen that used in any other game thus far (it’s probably out there, but never heard seen it yet in any other game). On the other hand, playing the demons side also involves rolling die to assist you in picking what types of actions you can do on your turn. Either side is so much fun to play with.

I really enjoy that there are several scenarios available in the box. If you search online there are also more you can download and try on your own. This brings more variety to the game and just extends the life of an already great game. I haven’t tried the expansion yet but have heard great reviews about it.

If you are looking for a great 2 player Dungeon Crawler with awesome components (pre-painted minis FTW!) and a unique gameplay mechanic, look no further than Claustrophobia.

 
Player Avatar
2
Went to GenCon 2011
8
87 of 126 gamers found this helpful
“Claustrophobia: The game with the "Cool figures and tile map pieces"”

I played this with my 6 year old son this weekend. Stayed away from the whole story on the game except to make it good guys/bad guys My son picked it up pretty well as for strategy of moving the figures and the Tunnel Limit per tile where he was attacking with a Trog then moving out so he could move others in to attack (following the rule to make sure that he had the same number present so he wasnt outnumbered and thus couldnt move out of the tile). The cards (whiched we played face up) were a bit much but I just told him that card can do X and when a situation arose to use it he asked “Can I use this card here?”.

Overall he loved making the tile map as the game progressed, loved the figures and the attacking via dice rolls and when the tunnel tile came up he thought it was the coolest thing to be able to bring guys from across the map to attack me

Oh yea, he loved beating me too!

 
Player Avatar
2
9
87 of 130 gamers found this helpful
“Unequal and Still Balanced”

This is my favorite 2-player game after Memoir 44. The beauty of it is the fact that each side playes by completely different mechanics, yet the game is still balanced. This is an amazing accomplishment. I would give the game a 10 except for 2 points: there are only a handfull of scenarios included (we haven’t grown tired of them yet, but we might someday); and the images and theme are a little dark. The latter complaint may not be a big deal for most gamers, but I usually play with my kids, so I usually only get to play this when friends come over. And I do wish I could play iy more, because it is a great game.

 
Player Avatar
1
Gamer - Level 1
9
88 of 135 gamers found this helpful
“A favorite two-player game”

While the theme is kind of a love-it or hate-it affair, since it comes outside the usual frame of reference for board game stories, the gameplay in Claustrophobia is truly superb: challenging, tense, frustrating, engaging, and well choreographed. The level of challenge, even for the losing player, adds a lot of replay: you’ll want to do better on the scenarios you fail, and try to best your opponent in familiar scenarios by flipping sides. The new scenarios that were released each month following the game’s release, and the De Profundis expansion, all prolong the sense that this is a genuine Can’t Miss title for two players. I’ve tried this game out on more experienced and less competitive players, but each person has become strangely attached to playing one role or another in the game. It’s always an exciting game.

Another two-player game that fans of Claustrophobia will probably enjoy is Grindhouse Games’ Incursion. Completely different theme, of course, but just as challenging.

 
Player Avatar
2
I'm a Real Person
7
75 of 126 gamers found this helpful
“Beautiful game. ”

Claustrophobia is an absolutely beautiful game. The tiles and figures are very well created, and the artwork is impressive. The game comes with preset scenarios, which restricts replay value. The instruction manual was a bit convoluted and confusing, but the addition of visual clues did help.

 
Player Avatar
1
7
72 of 137 gamers found this helpful
“Fun but tough for the humans”

Super fun! It’s the perfect set up and system for a dungeon crawl. It’s fast it’s fun it has a lot of tough choices. It may be a little hard for the human side to win, but it never seems like a blow out!

 

Add a Review for "Claustrophobia"

You must be to add a review.

× Visit Your Profile