Game Review: Ancient Terrible Things

Posted by Account Deletion {Family Gamer} | 18-Dec-14 | 15 comments

Ancient Terrible Things close-up

Board & Dice Game | players: 2-4 | ages: 14+ | playtime: 1hr

Publisher: Pleasant Company Games

Ancient Terrible Things leads you down a dank jungle river to a handful of Fateful Locations where Ominous Encounters will lead you to precious resources (or ruin) while time hurls you closer and closer to the Unspeakable Event. Sound bleak? Well don’t fret… you’ve got all you need in a handful of dice and a few thoughtfully purchased pieces of Swag. Now bring on the Yawning Chasm and the Accursed Shrine!…

Read the full review >

Comments (15)

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9
Miniature Painter
Rosetta Stone
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

@ob1

So, Scrabble anyone?

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8
Canada
El Dorado
Professional Advisor
Senior

@ All

And if you continue to take words out of mouths like this you will end up only with letters 🙂

Merry Xmas

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9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

“You took the words I took out of your mouth right out of my mouth.”

I believe, but not certain, this is how poikilothermism is spread. Be careful.

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5
Video Game Fan
Explorer - Level 3
Book Lover

Thanks for all the discussion between Elder and ATT. We ended up buying Elder since it is coop. Our regular group of gamers really enjoys working together. We may still get ATT later but with the price point being quite a bit lower on Elder, it was the final push we needed in that direction. Allowed us to pick up two games instead of one. 🙂

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10
Canada
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Platinum Supporter

@BitBot You took the words I took out of your mouth right out of my mouth 😛

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6
USA
Mage Wars fan

looks good

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9
Miniature Painter
Rosetta Stone
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

@AD

For what it is worth, two different reviews on the same game did not seem awkward to me, merely notable. Both are, in my opinion, well written. I find your not-so-official review to be more of an overview and the official one to be much more comprehensive, with pretty pictures and such.

Granny hit the nail on the head for the big difference in my eyes, which I apparently glossed over while reading, that ATT is not cooperative. That alone gives it something of a different audience, regardless of the source material. I like my Lovecraft. This looks like another quality place to immerse a group into that universe.

I like AH and Elder Sign, but the setup on the former is brutal. To me, though, I always felt like when you visit a location in AH, Elder Sign is sort of what is happening behind the scenes.

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10
Canada
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Platinum Supporter

I don’t know if I would truly call one better over the other – just because they compete in the ‘Eldritch Meets Dice’ beauty pageant. That would be like comparing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Pieces. Same basic ingredients – different animals – or Oldies but Greaties as the gods may be. It really depends what you are in the mood for.

AT Things is faster, competitive, no decisions to make aside from what behooves your own personal gain most on a given turn, stream lined, just enough theme to dance on the edge of story and keep it from being merely Yahtzee and Yog-Sothoth (even though it never really gives the full The Lovecraft Nod.)

Elder Sign is co-op, slower, there are decisions to ponder, it has the standard FFG side bar mechanics which can get boggy but also give things a little more depth, and like Mssr. Lovecraft it paints theme and atmosphere in broad, broad brushstrokes. To me it simulates what happens when one visits one of those AH locations and I’m ok with that, especially since you can play it in the time it takes to set up Arkham. 🙂

And now for something completely unrelated – located in Cape Town – Pleasant Company has more of an Essen presence than Gen – but they had promos – promos to promote a forthcoming expansions – and that’s grand news indeed.

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9
I play black
Guardian Angel
Platinum Supporter
Marquis / Marchioness

@Bit – yeah, a little awkward to have two reviews up in different formats and with varying degrees of professionalism for the same game.

@Ob1 – well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

I have a few major issues with Elder Sign that ATT fixes. First, Elder Sign was always too easy for me. I think we’ve lost only once, and we had to house rule a few things just to make the game loseable (I have this posted in the “tips” section). I know some have had a harder time with it than I have, but others have found it just as easy as we did. By being a competitive game, ATT is instantly more of a challenge than a very easy coop.

I agree with you that Elder Sign devotes more words to the story than ATT… but I’ve never bought into the story with Elder Sign, and I do with ATT. With Elder Sign, I just feel like I’m rolling dice to match the necessary faces… and it’s not a matter of if I’ll get those faces, but how many of my resources I’ll have to burn to get them. Part of the blame on this definitely goes to Arkham Horror – since they are using exactly the same story with exactly the same characters, Arkham Horror gives me more of the “big picture”, and a drastically heightened sense of peril.

I don’t mean to pile on Elder Sign at all – I thought the expansion improved it greatly, and it’s a game we’re happy to play a few times a year when we have 6 to 8 people in the mood for some dice chucking. And as I implied in the “professional” review, one area where Elder Sign indisputably bests ATT is in the custom dice.

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8
Canada
El Dorado
Professional Advisor
Senior

@Bit and Bot

ATT is definitely a good game but I dont think that it is superior to Elder Sign (on a immersive point of view).

I really like Ancient Terrible Thing. It’s an easy game to teach and play and it doesn’t take to long (around 30min.) Also I like playing on a board with different location that gives powers and ressources.

ATT does a lot of thing better than Elder Sign but after playing some games I find it a bit flat and leaves me on my appetite. To me, it misses some text descriptions, ambiance, events cards and a story like Elder Sign does. When you play elder Sign you get a better feeling of adventuring. So it really depends on what you are looking for in a game.

A game that would combine the best of the two games would be awsome

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5
Video Game Fan
Explorer - Level 3
Book Lover

Funny that you should post about this game, I was just watching videos for it yesterday as I was trying to decide what games I should pick up this weekend. Definitely intriguing!

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9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

Although the themes are similar (horror), and I agree that Ancient Terrible Things is the superior game….Elder Sign is a cooperative game. Ancient Terrible Things is in no way cooperative.

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9
Miniature Painter
Rosetta Stone
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

I was going to ask after reading the official review how much it resembled Elder Sign, and then I read AD’s not-so-official review and found the answer.

I like me some Elder Sign. Stating that this is a superior game certainly has piqued my interest.

Thanks once again AD for adding more content to the site!

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9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

This game was a pleasant surprise. My only issue was length, but it is SOOOO easy to adjust this by removing cards or Terrible Thing tokens. I highly recommend this as an alternative Gateway game. It is pretty light, but provides enough choices to remain enjoyable for avid gamers.

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel

This game sounds like it’s a lot of fun. Not your normal dice game at all! looking forward to trying this one.

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