Low Lands

Highly competitive, passive-aggressive, cutthroat dike building. Oh, and some sheep.

So you probably know Agricola or Fields of Arle, or any other Rosenberg’s game. Well, this is not one of those. You do heard sheep, and build buildings and features on your field, and breed the sheep, until everything is covered in wool and wooden fences. You sell sheep, to get money, to do absolutely nothing with it, apart from scoring points at the very end (ok, in a 2 player game they help a bit, but it’s not really a desirable option anyway).

But above (?) all this, there is flood, that’s coming quicker than you think. So you need to buy the dike. Here comes set collection aspect. You need 1/2/3/or 4 cards to build respectively that many ‘parts’ of the dike (in a 2p game). Once the 4th part is built, you add a block. And then you look if the tide is higher or not. If it’s not, you’re fine, and if you are the master builder, you get the money. If it is, you’re screwed and lose sheep – if you are not the master builder, with the lucky hand.

And again, with two players, there is only two of you who build the dike. And you have to ask each other for help, but you don’t have to help each other, because as far as it advances the dike, helping doesn’t give you any points. So here, build a lot of that bloody dike, and then lay back, and build buildings, and let the others suffer and drown.

Again, I understand why people like this game, and non of us is saying that it is a bad one. All we made out of it, it is not an enjoyable two player game for us.

Alicja’s Thoughts

Right, now first put some filters on : it is not a two player game and I do not particularly enjoy passive aggressive games, that punish you for poor hand. If I haven’t got the resources to build the bloody dike, I am not going to score points, therefore when the flood comes, I will lose sheep. Does Matt care? Nope, he built quite a bit, with my help (silly me…), and doesn’t give a sheep’s bum about the flood.  And so I suffered, pretty much the whole game. I think I was expecting something like Uwe, but as much as it is trying to be, it is not Uwe. However, I feel like with 3 or 4 players the game would be totally different, as more people would contribute to building the dike. Or would they?

6/10

Matt’s Thoughts

Had heard good things of this one, but none of the previews I had seen seemed to grab me. There was a lot to take in with the rules at first, but it was not too complicated once we got going. Unfortunately this one did not connect with me. I feel it would work better with more players, but at two players it feels like you both have to be constantly working on the dike otherwise one player gets way ahead on the scoring and it floods. Maybe I didn’t really understand all the nuances of the game, but for this initial playthrough, it was merely ok. Would like to try again with a full player count though.

7/10

*there super duper sheep and dog don’t come with the game, we could use them thanks to Nick at the Ludoquist!

Through the Desert

You are in charge of 5 riders, sitting on 5 different coloured camels. You are scattered through the desert, and you’re trying to form a caravan. Ideally, you want to connect Oases (palm trees), and gather some points (water holes) on the way. The game ends when the supply runs out of one of the coloured camels. You gotta be careful there, that’s what made Matt lose!

Sometimes you may find yourself completely bloked in the middle of the desert, because you focused on different colours – me. And sometimes you may somehow cut off a large bit of the map, and score all the water holes in the area – also me. At the end, the player with the most camels of one colour in the caravan gets 10 points, and that happens for each colour. Add the points from water holes and oases, and there you go, that’s your score.

It is a short review, because it is a short game. But it’s a thinky one, nothing random, if you lose, it’s simply because you didn’t make the right choices. Blame yourself, get on your camel and ride away.

Alicja’s Thoughts

To be honest, I have never heard of this game, before seeing Rahdo’s runthrough of the second edition. At first I thought – well, another camel game. And, yes, it is a camel game, but man it is fun! Quick, clever and not at all random! Everything you do, is because you came up with it. It’s your strategy, your decisions. Well, unless someone cuts you off, or finishes the game just before you were to score extra 10 points. Mean? Not really, you could have seen it coming! I’m not even gonna mention those cute, pastel-coloured camels, and for the sake of the game, I won’t rate the first edition’s board.

7,5/10

Matt’s Thoughts

A great fairly quick and tactical game. Really enjoyed trying to plot out the best routes in my head whilst anticipating my opponents’. In the game we played, I failed to see how close to the end of the game we were and so a couple of big set ups I had planned got cut short. However this didn’t feel frustrating, as it was my fault and not just random chance. There is no hidden information in this one, so it’s just a battle of wits, which I like from time to time, but might put off others. Would be interested to try out with higher play counts. We played first edition, which had good moulds for the camels/riders, however, the board and tokens are pretty low quality. The good news is that there is a new edition which has really nice components.

8/10

Founders of Gloomhaven

I’m sorry to break it to you, but this is not a dungeon crawler, and you really don’t need to have previously played Gloomhaven, to enjoy this one – you know, in case you’re looking for excuses not to buy it. Technically, it could be any other theme. But THANK GOD it is what it is.

Founders of Gloomhaven is a competitive co-op, if there is such a thing. You are working together to build the city of Gloomhaven, however, you compete to have the ownership of buildings and resources, because this is what scores you points.

You start with pretty much nothing, and I’m not gonna lie, the game drags a bit in the beginning. There isn’t much you can do, as you lack in money and resources, but after some time you’ll find yourself having to choose the best possible option among quite a few available. Do you build a resource, that will allow you later to build a building, or maybe you build a road, that connects your existing resource to a building, which then is delivered and scores you points? The options are a-plenty.

In a two player game (which we experienced) you get 6 starting cards, and like in Concordia, you play one on your turn, and said card determines your action. Then your opponent gets to do the follow up action, which is I’d say at least half as good as your option. If they can’t afford it, there is always a simple action, like get a coin, influence token, build a road or place a worker.

Worker placement? I would’t go that far. Each player has got 3 available workers (once they build the houses), and they allow them to do their special action (different to every race), or the action on Prestige buildings. But you may not even use them at all.

I’m not gonna go into details of each card (I’ll save that for the video), but you can choose between buildings, getting income (in a 2-player variant), recruiting helpers, trading or getting all your discarded cards back to your hand. There is an element in this game (and Dice Forge) that I really appreciate – you do get to do something even if it’s not your turn. Great stuff!

The card, that gives you back your hand, is an interesting one. That’s the one, that reminds us of Concordia. You get your discarded cards and used workers back, foe each of the remaining cards in your hand you get money/roads/white influence, and your opponents get income, and then you vote. Vote? Yes, well the prestige buildings won’t build themselves. So how does that happen? There are always three of them available, under three symbols, a circle, a square, and a triangle. When you call for a vote, everyone in secret chooses the shape, and add influence tokens if they wish so, to empower their vote, and then you reveal. The building with the most votes gets to get build by the person who had the most influence during the vote. And the vote is necessary, because different buildings are in need of different resources, and you want your ones to be delivered, to score you points. Choices!

Anyway, you are probably half way through building the city, and it looks like nothing. Two random gatherings of resources and buildings, you are running out of space in the area.. oh, didn’t I mention? You can only build one building of each type in one area, and some of the buildings can only be build on a certain terrain type. Here’s where things go wrong. Here is where you can actually get analysis paralysis.

But where is the competitiveness in this co-op? You start with the ownership of three (two in a 3 and 4 player game) resources, and to build tier 2 or tier 3 buildings, you need more resources. And guess what? The other ones are owned by your opponents. So you need to trade to get access to them, which is not going to score you any instant points, but later in the game it is going to be very useful (and will score some points to your opponents). So, again, it doesn’t have to be your go, for you to get points.

And as the city grows, and the prestige buildings’ orders are filled up, the game is nearing the end, and before you know it, someone places that last road connecting required resources to finish the last building, and boom, game over.

There is not much hidden scoring in Founders, if any really. You get extra points for red influence tokens, and money, and that’s about it. It’s awesome!

Alicja’s Thoughts

Man this is a monster of a game! I always feel a bit intimidated by big games, that offer a huge range of actions (like Feast for Odin), but this one was such a pleasant surprise! I was also worried, because the YouTube videos with rules explanation were all just soooo loooooong, and made me lose interest in the game. But Nick at the Ludoquist made it so easy and QUICK, that I just couldn’t wait to start playing. And as soon as we finished, I wanted to play it again. And you know what? We bought it. This is definitely one of the ‘try before you buy’ games, which I strongly recommend to you, seeing how many copies can be found put up for sale online.

9/10

Matt’s Thoughts 

I was apprehensive of this one at first. After watching a 45min how  to play video on YouTube, I fell asleep 30mins in and couldn’t remember much before we played. However, the Game Guru at the game cafe we went to (Ludoquist, Croydon), was able to teach us the rules in about 10 mins and off we went without too many rule clarifications needed throughout the game. After about 90mins of play, we had built a sprawling city and I had lost horrifically. However, I loved playing this game. You really do feel like you are working together to build a city and creating networks of resources. There is pretty much no luck in the game and only a little hidden information, so this could be quite a competitive game, with certain crowds. Even with more players there shouldn’t be too much down time as you get to do an action everyone’s turn, allowing you to set up things for your turn. This game had little features adapted from other games which come together to create something truly unique. Can’t wait to ply this again!

9/10

Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg

Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, or as we call it, the Quick Quack game.

We found the game in one of the best places, a Facebook group, where people sell and swap games. It cost us only £20, so the German edition issue didn’t matter too much. After all, I had 7 years of German language at school. And you know what? It was enough to translate the cards. We have downloaded the English rules, and after one read through we knew what’s what.


The artwork in this game is stunning and very detailed. It really appeals to me, feels like you’re in the middle of a medieval fairy tale, in a quirky shop, filled with bizarre ingredients. Each player has got their own cauldron, in one of the shades of silver, gold, bronze or copper, and matching markers. You set up the drop one in the middle, and the plain one on the score tracker. Then you put the yellow drop on the round tracker. Take your bag, put starting ingredients in, and you are ready. Draw a Fortune Teller card, and be amazed.

Amaze how simple, quick and fun this game is. It’s a bag building, push your luck type of thing. On your turn you will pull out the ingredients out of your bag, and place them in your cauldron, leaving spaces in between them indicated by their number -1 (number 1 doesn’t leave any spaces, number 2 leaves 1, number 3 leaves 2 ect).White ingredients, let’s just call them Bubbles, are the ones you should avoid. Funny enough, these make the most of your bag for the first couple of rounds (and you only have 9 rounds till the end of the game).  Once your Bubbles exceeded the total number of 7 (ie. 1+1+2+3) you can either stop, and claim points and ‘money’, or push your luck, and either get more of the above, or… explode. Then you only get one, points or money. And you don’t roll the dice.

Dice? Money? Points? Dice is rolled by the player, who filled their cauldron the most this turn, and gives some kind of small bonus. Money, the blue number, is how much you can spend to get more ingredients, for the maximum of 2per go. Points, the number in the square, easy – that’s  how many points you get. Is it not going well? Wait, what about the rats! Count the tails between yours and your opponent’s marker on the round tracker, and that’s how many spaces away from your drop you put the rat – it gives you a bit of a head start for the round. Add any bonuses provided by various ingredients, and maybe spend some rubies. Oh, yes, if the space you’re scoring has a ruby on it, take it. Rubies give you a magic potion, that allows you to re-draw tokens (maybe that white Bubble 3, that would make your cauldron explode?). However, once you used your potion, you need to wait till the end of the round, and spend 2 rubies to flip it back to its active side. Alternatively, two rubies move your drop one space away from the centre of your cauldron, giving you that much more of  chance to fill up quicker.

Ok, I think I made this more complicated than it should be. It is a simple game, after the first round you know what’s what. Even the extra ingredients are easy to memorize, as the iconography in this game is absolutely brilliant. Each of the ingredients, apart from pumpkins, have 4 different powers, and you only use one of them, which makes the replayability value way higher. Also, you will only use 9 cards, and the deck is bigger than that. And I think replayability is important, even for a £20 game.

So, if you fancy some randomness, stress, racing heart, shaky hands, explosions and fun – this is one to get! It’s simple (believe me), it’s gorgeous, it’s quick. It features a very unique mechanism, and has my heart for the rats, that help the player who is not doing so well. I believe we haven’t got a similar game to this one, and I am very happy with the purchase.

Overall rating 7.5/10

 

Ponura Przystań.

W lewym rogu, o wymiarach 46.2 x 34.8 x 26.2 cm, i wadze 9,7 kg, oceniona jako najlepsza gra na świecie wg. BGG –  GLOOMHAVEN… w prawym rogu, o wymiarach nieistotnych i wadze dużo większej – JA.

Wychowałam się przy komputerze, przyznaję, i widzę jaki wpływ mają na mnie gry, którymi częstował mnie tato. Diablo na ten przykład, jako jeden z ulubionych tytułów to gra, którą jako jedną z niewielu opanowałam na XBOXie. Jest powtarzalna, leveluje się dość szybko na początku i można dobrać poziom do umiejętności. Czego chcieć więcej? Może tego samego w wersji planszowej? I tu pojawia się Gloomhaven.

Nie, nie jest to gra ani tania, ani łatwa do zdobycia; tak, ma swoje minusy, o których wspomnę później, ale co najważniejsze, jest to planszowe spełnienie marzeń. I poświęcenie, oj dużo poświęcenia.

Zaczynasz w miasteczku Gloomhaven jako jeden z sześciorga dostępnych bohaterów : Brute, Scoundrel, Tinkerer, Cragheart, Mindthief albo Spellweaver. Jak ich wybierasz? Cóż, możesz albo odebrać sobie przyjemności zaglądania do tajemniczych pudełek i kopert, przeczytać w interneach o wszystkich klasach, i po prostu wybrać tę, która najbardziej przypadła Ci do gustu. Albo możesz spojrzeć na sześć prostych symboli, i wybrać ten, który najbardziej rzucił Ci się w oczy.

Mnie przypadł Brute, z czego cieszę się niesamowicie, bo zawsze grałam „tankiem”, zawsze close-combat. Matt wybrał Mindthiefa, bo mózg i kontrola. Nie, to nie jest analogia do niczego.

Weszliśmy do Śpiącego Lwa (tawerna) i poznaliśmy kogoś. Nie powiem kogo, bo nie będę odzierać Was z niczego. Tak, ta recenzja jest spoiler-free, oraz – tak, jest tu dużo zangielszczeń, bo gram po angielsku i przyznaję, niektórych planszówkowych słów po polsku po prostu nie znam. Do rzeczy, w mieście zakupiliśmy kilka potrzebnych drobiazgów – niewiele, bo na tyle pozwala nam 30 złotych monet, i wyruszyliśmy w drogę. Tak jak w Diablo, i tutaj napotykamy na różne side questy w drodze pomiędzy głównymi celami podróży. W końcu docieramy do… nieważne dokąd, i robimy… nieważne co.

Tyle mogłabym napisać, żeby nie zepsuć niczego. Ale chyba trochę rąbka uchylę. Tak, jest to kooperacja, chociaż ma małe elementy współzawodnictwa, takie jak ukryte cele misji i kampanii oraz złoto, którym dzielić się nie można. Sprytne, prawda? A jakie irytujące, kiedy znokautuję trzech jegomościów za jednym zamachem, ale nie mogę się potem ruszyć, a mój szczurzy kompanion pozamiata wszystko co na podłodze, i skończy scenariusz na bogato. Ale to smaczki, do których łatwo się przyzwyczaić, i może zmienić taktykę?

To może trochę o tym jak przebiega runda. Bierzesz do ręki wszystkie karty, które są dostępne dla Twojego levelu, i wybierasz tyle, ile pokazuje liczba w prawym górnym rogu Twojej planszy. Karty X można zamienić z tymi, które dopasowane są do pierwszego poziomu (mają numer 1 na górnym pasku). Nigdy nie można mieć więcej kart, niż nakazuje klasa. Układamy obok stos kart modyfikacji ataku – tak, tu nie ma kości! Następnie ustawiamy znacznik życia na wskazany poziom – tak, te też się różnią między klasami, i jesteśmy gotowi. Każdy grasz w tajemnicy przed innymi wybiera dwie karty z ręki, i w głowie ustala inicjatywę. Inicjatywa to liczba pośrodku karty, która determinuje kolejność graczy w turze; im mniejsza liczba, tym szybciej będziemy mieć nasz ruch. Niestety, nasza komunikacja w grupie jest ograniczona. Wyobraźcie sobie, że jesteście na polu bitwy, nie będziecie przecież krzyczeć do siebie o całej ustalonej taktyce. Rozmawiać zatem ze sobą można, ale nie wolno wspominać o inicjatywie w liczbach. Można zatem powiedzieć „mam nadzieję, że raczej szybko przesunę się o kilka pół i zaatakuję kilka szkieletów na raz”; ale nie można powiedzieć „wyjdę z inicjatywą 11, chcę być pierwsza więc nie grajcie niżej, przesunę się o trzy pola i zaatakuję szkielety 5 i 6 atakiem 3”. Nie utrudnia to za bardzo akcji, ale przy kulawej komunikacji zdarzy się popełnić kilka błędów taktycznych. Nie jest to jednak coś, czego nie da się dopracować do perfekcji. A zatem, każdy wybiera dwie karty, jedna z tych kart będzie użyte od połowy w górę, druga od połowy w dół, ale o tym można zadecydować po tym, jak wszystkie karty, również karty potworów, będą zagrane. Wtedy rozpatrujemy inicjatywę, decydujemy o swoich ruchach, wykonujemy akcje i sprzątamy, tzn. tasujemy to, co ma być przetasowane, usuwamy znaczniki, które przestały działać, np. Immobilize, pozbywamy się kart jednorazowego użytku, i decydujemy czy będziemy brać akcję Szybkiego Odpoczynku. Szybki Odpoczynek to wolna akcja na koniec rundy, w której odzyskujemy wszystkie karty, których użyliśmy poprzednio, a które nie są jednorazowe; oprócz jednej – losowo wybranej. Możemy się zdecydować na Długi Odpoczynek, który jest akcją w zamian za normalne akcje, i ma inicjatywę 99. Oznacza to, że będziemy ostatni w kolejce, jeśli chodzi o turę, i jedyne co zrobimy, to odzyskamy karty wielorazowego użytku, za wyjątkiem jedne, tym razem wybranej przez nas; i wszystkie rzeczy, które nie są jednorazowe, a zostały użyte, mogą teraz być użyte ponownie; oraz odzyskujemy 2 punkty życia.

Dlaczego w ogóle odpoczywać? Kiedy na początku rundy nie będziemy w stanie zagrać dwóch kart, jesteśmy Wyczerpani. Nie brzmi groźnie? To może wyjaśnię. Wyczerpanie = wypad ze scenariusza. Ups, no tak, bolesne. Dlatego jest na to droga okrężna – możesz pozbyć się karty i wrócić do życia. Chyba, że gracie w systemie Perma Death, czyli jeśli się wyczerpiesz, to umierasz, na zawsze. Whoa!

Tak, czy siak. Rundy toczą się tak samo, aż do momentu kiedy a) spełnicie wymagania scenariusza, lub b) wszyscy będziecie wyczerpani. Wtedy wracamy do Gloomhaven, liczymy złoto, zbieramy doświadczenie, odwiedzamy sklep i resetujemy nasz znacznik życia i XP. Ledwo odpoczniemy, to kolejny City Event uderza nas obuchem w łeb. Choć przyznam, wydarzenia w mieście są z reguły lepsze niż te, które spotykają nas w drodze. Po tych czasem chce się płakać. Ale co nas nie zabije, to nas wzmocni? Hmm…

I tak chodzicie, od scenariusza do scenariusza. Naklejacie naklejki z nowymi lokalizacjami na mapę, zbieracie osiągnięcia globalne lub drużynowe, miasto rośnie w siłę, nowe przedmioty pojawiają się w sklepie, levelujecie i… w pewnym momencie orientujecie się, że spełniliście wszystkie wymagania karty, którą mieliście w swojej kopercie od początku. I co teraz? Zasłużona emerytura. Wasz stary dobry druch, który był z Wami od początku, odchodzi (ale nie na zawsze!), a Wy zaprzyjaźniacie się z kimś nowym. Z kimś, kto zostawił swoje logo w dolnym rogu Waszej karty. Kto to będzie? Czy się polubicie? Tego nie wie nikt.

Jak wiecie, wiele jest tajemnic w Gloomhaven. Nie tylko w miasteczku, ale i w pudełku. Wiele w nim kopert, zalakowanych, które można otworzyć tylko, kiedy spełniło się konkretne warunki, lub gdy jest się tego wartym. Ja się jeszcze nie czuję na siłach.

Gra zaskakuje mnie cały czas, mimo swojej powtarzalności. Jest historia, jest temat, są decyzje do podjęcia. Czasem nie ma złych decyzji, a czasem słono zapłacicie za obranie złej drogi. Gra wciąga, na długo, bo na tyle jest zaplanowana. Nieważne, czy grasz partia za partią, czy odstawiasz ją na miesiąc, żeby wrócić i zakochać się na nowo. Jedno jest pewne, to nie jest tylko gra. To zobowiązanie, to przeżycie, to przystań. Ponura Przystań.

A teraz o jakości komponentów. Oderwijmy się od tego fantastycznego świata na krótką chwilę, i pomówmy o tym, co tak naprawdę znajduje się w pudełku. W pudle, powinnam powiedzieć, bo jest to gigant. Pamiętam czasy, kiedy Scythe wydawało się monstrualne, potem Mechs vs. Minions, a teraz Gloomhaven. Tego to już chyba nie da się przebić, prawda?

Otwieramy, a tam zasady, bagatela ponad 50 stron; do tego księga scenariuszy – dużo więcej stron. Cztery kartki z naklejkami i plansza – zupełnie niepotrzebna. Mogliby dać kawałek papieru, rulon, wydrukować jak prawdziwą mapę. Planszy w ogóle podczas rozgrywki nie używamy. Zaznaczamy na niej tylko osiągnięcia i rozwój miasta. Nasza wisi na ścianie. Ale do rzeczy, następne co widzimy, to stos kartonowych plansz, z setkami elementów, dużych, małych, malutkich. Gdzie to wszystko pomieścić? Woreczki strunowe to przeszłość, straszny downtime przy rozkładaniu. Kupić piękną, drewnianą wypraskę za połowę wartości samej gry? Przy tym pomyśle czuję, jakby mój portfel kopnął mnie w krocze. Pojemniki na śrubki. Tak. Tanie, łatwo dostępne, bingo. Zmieściło się wszystko, poza dwoma bossami. Oj, jest się czego bać. Następnie mamy koperty, tekturowe, z symbolami, ułożone elegancko. Do tego pudełka, małe, z tymi samymi symbolami. Wiadomo, o co chodzi. I karty, tysiące kart. No i przecież kwadratowe plansze potworów, oraz koperty do nich, jak mogłam zapomnieć. No jak?!

Jest w pudle dużo, wszystko ledwo się mieści po domowych ulepszeniach w postaci plastikowych pudełek. Wypraska jest droga, za droga. Plansza jest niepotrzebna. Niektóre elementy, mam wrażenie, że były robione na szybko, za szybko. W niektórych miejscach puszcza klej, i powłoka ochronna odrywa się od plansz, jak skóra poparzona smoczym oddechem.

Chwila, bo ja już wracam myślami do Śpiącego Lwa, gdzie czekają na mnie, żeby wyruszyć w kolejną wyprawę. Stoimy przed nie lada decyzją, pójdę zatem. Nic o mnie beze mnie. Wybaczcie błędy, czas ucieka, a przygoda czeka.

SPECIAL game

‘Your settlement needs help!’ – does it ring a bell? Well, if you’re all over New Vegas, 3, 4 and even the Shelter app, here’s your next stop. So put your power armor on, call Dogmeat and let’s go.

The choice is not so simple, all of those characters have special abilities. No pun intended. Do you want to be a human, a ghoul or a supermutant? Who are you gonna declare your loyalty to? Where are you gonna set your story – the Commonwealth, the Pitt, the Far Harbour or the Capital Wasteland?

Whatever you do, you will level up quite quick. Same as in the video game, leveling up is based on SPECIAL system, where after you filled in a skill, you get one of the perk cards – and they are pretty damn good. Speaking of the similarities to the video game, combat is one of them. You roll dice that determine which body part of the enemy you hit. It also says how much damage you have taken.

On the bottom tracker of your player board there are red and green markers, green being radiation and red being damage. At any point if the markers meet, you get knocked out. Nope, you don’t die, you just respawn where you started, dropping the items from your inventory.

So you start off with a secret objective, which can be revealed at any point if it scores you influence points, that determine who wins the game. You explore the map, revealing tile by tile, going on quests and completing tasks. Everything, like in the game, has its consequences, so chose wisely. The game ends whenever the objective has been completed by one of the players.

Final thoughts : WOW. I mean, it really feels like something between Fallout the video game and a legacy game, in a way everything you do comes back at some point and might bite you in the arse. I love the leveling up system, the storytelling, the character building. I fell for this game from the first play, I know people that are still unsure about it, and it may take a couple of plays for them to make up they mind… or should I say, to declare their loyalty.

Down in the Cave Where Nobody Goes

Sub Terra. I’m just gonna open with the name. Strong, good name. If you’ve seen any of those horror movies where they go down the cave and die – hey, this is a board game now!

You start all together on a tile, and you can chose to stay together and explore as a group – slowly, and probably run out of time and die; OR you can spread out and reveal more tiles in a search for the exit, and likely be eaten by a monster. So, hey, what a choice!

It plays up to 6 players, but if you play with 3 you control 2 characters each. They all have special abilities, and 3 health (apart from the bodyguard, who has 6). On your turn you have two action points, some basic actions like move or reveal a tile, cost one, some – like swimming or putting a rope across a tile, cost two points.

So the cave grows before your very eyes, revealing more and more dangers – nope, there is no good things in there. Apart from the exit, which is in one of the last 6 tiles of the impressive pile. After you all had a go, there is the Cave’s turn – it can flood, gas, tremor, cave-in or release a monster to hunt you down. Then it’s back to you.

And you keep going, until one of the following happens :
1. you find the exit and run the hell out of there
2. the deck runs out = your flashlights go off = every turn you roll to see if you survive (1-3 lose health, 4-6 keep going)

We have died, 6 tiles away from the exit to be discovered. We wasted too much time trying to revive a guy, and that doomed us. Oh, didn’t I mention? You have to get as many people out as you can, not everyone has to survive.