Mansions of Madness

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Mansions of Madness

Post  DaveB on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 08:56

Sooooo Mansions of Madness...

For those that aren't aware, the game is a Lovecraftian co-operative explore-em-up. The second edition (which we played last night) uses an app-driven "director" to handle a lot of the game book-keeping (revealing parts of the map, keeping track or progress towards objectives, handling enemy movement and actions and so on)

Each round takes place in two phases - first the investigative phase (which is when the players have their turns) and then the mythos phase (where monsters and other bad stuff happens). As a group you work together to explore the map and work towards... whatever your objective is, while trying not to die, get driven insane, or both.

Typical to an FFG game it's dripping in theme and with lots (and LOTS) of components, all of very good quality - although I have to say I wasn't enamored of the designs of the minis.

I thought the game was pretty interesting all in all. I don't have any particular interest in the Lovecraft theme but I did enjoy this more than the other FFG Lovecraft games I've played (Arkham and Eldritch horror (both of which I really did not get on with)). In saying that there were a few issues I had with the game last night.

  • The big one is that (for me) the game was completely inappropriate for a club night - to me it felt like a game that needed to play in private, maybe set the ambiance a little - playing it in a noisy crowded room just didn't work, I was often struggling to hear what Kes was saying (he was the one driving the aforementioned app).

  • I felt the game played too long for what it was, however in fairness to it there was a lot of referring to the rules - half of us hadn't played it in over a year and the other half had never played it at all.

  • I had a few issues with the app as well - it all seemed to work well enough but there were a couple of things I wasn't keen on.

    • Firstly the app was getting perilously close to the point of asking the question "do we need the board at all? Why not do everything on the iPad?"

    • Secondly the in-app content seemed a bit limited - certain flavour text kept popping up repeatedly ¬†which I found a bit disappointing.

    • Thirdly (and to be fair I don't know if the app does this) I think it would be better if the app narrated the text with appropriate voice acting - no offence to Kes but this harks back to the ambiance thing up above - this is a game that is *all* about the experience I think.

    • I'm not 100% sure about this but I suspect I'd prefer the app to be streamed to a display so everyone can see it, but then thats something I've wondered about a lot of app-driven games Smile




All in all I rather liked it. It's not one I'd ever want to play at the club again, but I'd definitely be up for another game sometime if we can control the real-world surroundings a bit!
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DaveB
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Re: Mansions of Madness

Post  Aneurin on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 19:44

DaveB wrote:the app was getting perilously close to the point of asking the question "do we need the board at all? Why not do everything on the iPad?"


My Biggest problem with v2 and why I much prefer v1 which a 1vMany game.
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Re: Mansions of Madness

Post  RikTheChief on Thu 01 Nov 2018, 16:24

I've played V2 a couple of times, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. I liked the story and the puzzles in the app.

We did play at someone's house (Evans?) and I think we only had 3 players so the problems you had probably didn't apply to us. Even though I played it twice I do remember some repeated content so that is probably a valid criticism. And the figures seemed to be quite difficult to pack away back in the box, but again it's not my game so that problem didn't apply to me.

For me it's a game I'd happily play and enjoy but it's not one that's on my purchase/want list.
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