Board Game On | More Spooky Seasons Games



We’re still in Spooky Season, which means yet another fantastically spooktacular pick from the one and only Games Master at The Adventure Begins. This week we’re focusing on one of my personal favorites, Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. This game is set squarely in the Lovecraft Mythos, with a motley crew of investigators delving into otherworldly scenarios revolving around cultists and monsters from beyond the stars. Will you succeed in thwarting the best laid plans, or will you fall victim to your own fragile sanity?

Mansions of Madness is a turn-based strategy game in which players work cooperatively against the game itself. Using a companion app to take the place of the Game Master, all players have an active role in working against the machinations of the lovecraftian mythos like never before. While the idea of integrating electronics into the board game world might sound strange and bizarre at first, the pros very much outweigh the cons, but more on this in a little bit.

Players alternate taking turns, using their limited actions to move around the board, combat creatures, interact with puzzles and much much more. Interestingly enough, player turn order isn’t exactly spelled out and rigid; players can take their actions at any point. The ability to act and react accordingly allows for more strategic plays from the investigators, and sometimes even greater issues when actions get taken out of order -- but then again, there is fun in failure.

Most of the Mansions of Madness set up comes from the companion app, mentioned earlier. All the particulars such as board states, investigation markers and monsters will be placed down initially depending on where exactly the companion app tells you. Likewise, interactions with various elements of the game come through the app itself, which works wonders for the various puzzles and combat elements of the game. Where normally it would require more cardboard or sealed envelopes to keep the inner workings of the game at check, the ability to house everything within the app ensures secrecy when needed and much desired elements of surprise when bad things go awry.

Mansions of Madness houses a wide extent of cardboard components, plastic miniatures (characters and monsters alike), dice, cards and more which could make set up and break down a bit of a slog. As such, Mansions of Madness is the ideal game to make the main event for your games night clocking in at 2-3 hour play time per scenario. There are also plenty of expansions which add new monsters, new scenarios and new investigators to your insane repertoire of events. The game plays best with 3-4 players with the average recommended starting age around 12 years old. If you’re big into immersive strategy games with race-against-the-clock mechanisms, Mansions of Madness will surely be a hit for you. However, if space and time are issues you can’t escape from, perhaps this one isn’t necessarily something you’ll be looking for.

While the sticker price of a game like Mansions of Madness might cause you to shriek in terror, the contents and replayability factor will keep you coming back time and time again. And, with the added expansions thrown on top of it all, you’ll have several scenarios to run through before finding yourself having to recycle old ones back into your list. Mansions of Madness is an investment for your expanding board game collection that is without a doubt worth sinking your teeth into. Until then…


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