Friday, December 16, 2011

Mansions of Madness

We got to play Mansions of Madness tonight!  If you like Arkham Horror you will love this game.  It's a co-op game where the players are all working against a single player called the Keeper.  The Keeper sets up the game based on a set of specific information.  It's a bit complex to set up, but once you have done it a few times I can imagine it wont be too bad.  The rules them self appear, at first glance, to be very overwhelming. Thankfuly, once you get into the game, it plays very smoothly and flows well.
The players then take turns moving though the mansion trying to uncover the clues to solve the mystery.  Meanwhile, the Keeper is spending Horror tokens to use event cards, summon monsters, and play injury cards to impede the players.  There is a really fun Puzzle Mechanic where the players need to use their Intelligence to solve mechanical and object orientation puzzles to open containers and doors that lock some rooms.   The players had a lot of fun with the puzzles and being terrified of all the nasty abilities the Keeper could play on them.
It was our first time playing but I would say that it feels like the Keeper has an advantage to winning.  I made lots of mistakes and had many opportunities to do some other nasty stuff, I just didn't realize it until the last two turns of the game.  Even with a bunch of actions that I wasn't taking advantage of, I won fairly easily.  The only reason it was close was that I chose to put the final bad guy close enough that the players could reach him.  I could have put him anywhere I wanted and that would have made it impossible for the players to reach him in time.

All in all, it was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to playing it again.  As much as I enjoyed Arkham Horror, there is something a bit more personal about this game that I think I like a little better.  Maybe after a few games I will have a better feel for the game and give another write up to share my thoughts.

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