Friday, September 30, 2011

The Labyrinth: A Mansion filled with flights of Madness!

Creepy bats swooping through the darkness.
Leaves drifting to the dirt around a creepy cemetery.
Ghosts drifting between the clouds on a starry night.
Flight is the theme ladies and gentlefolk!
But creepy is the coming month...why not combine them I say?

It's a dual post today as there is an upcoming event in the store as well as a gameeeee revieeeewww!
It's a good game and an interesting event so read both!
I double dog dare you.

The event coming up is our 3rd group art show!
I already mentioned it briefly in a previous blog but we've had a few new people not involved with the last show come into the store and mention that they hadn't seen anything on the blog yet about the upcoming art show.
This, to be frank,...SHOCKED me!
Not because they hadn't noticed the post but that people read this blog ?!? :P
What's up with that?!

But no in all seriousness
The theme is Flight!
The first two I'm pleased to say were smashing successes each with larger #'s of submitted pieces than the last and a range of mediums and themes that all fell within the last themes of robots and under the sea.
This coming month in Oct. it will be Flight.

This can be literally the act of flying around amongst the sky or stars but ALSO it could be something creative concerning the word like flights of haunted stairs or flights of fancy.
The sky is actually the limit here so go wild!
We of course reserve the right to pick which submissions actually fall within the criteria of the show but so far we haven't turned anyone aside that has a creative idea or twist.
The under the sea stuff is coming down as we speak so get your submissions in fast!

All submissions should be in as of the 15th of October.
The art show opening night shall be on the 19th!
Dress to impress or just come looking cheekily casual it makes little difference as it shall be a fun evening to be sure with snacks and beverages to meet and greet the artists and sign the guest canvas with a doodle or your signature.

Now on to the game!!
As mentioned in the previous post today's pick is-

Mansions of Madness

It's a game I've played once or twice so while I've had some exposure to some of the scenarios I'm by no means an expert on the game yet and am still hungry to play it a few more times outside the store or on a games night.

But some of you who have been staring at it on the shelf or asking a buddy of yours to bring it in might want a bit of a rundown on what to expect. So here we go.

House on Haunted Hill fan? Good start!
Similar to Arkhem Horror you say? It isn't without its similarities!
In fact the characters (to my knowledge) are the same in both games.
The tile style board game leans more towards the HoHH setup as shown below.

Co-operative too you hear? Sort of... players must all cooperate to solve the challenge and fight off dreaded monsters, minus the dreaded overlord who will attempt to foil you at every turn!

Mansions of madness draws upon new and old game elements to keep the creepy cthulu and moldy mansion theme fresh and new.
Similar to both Arkhem and Haunted Hill this game sports several characters with unique stats for players to choose from before the game starts.

Each of these characters will have benefits and weaknesses.
The game has plastic detailed (yet unpainted) figures both to represent you and the monsters on the game board. Some players will be ideally suited to fighting off the beasties while other characters like the old professor or the gorgeous starlet might be better suited to collecting items or solving complex puzzles.

The fighting mechanic is nothing to marvel at as it's been used many a time before but at least it's well balanced!
You have X amount of hit points to begin with, typically ranging from about 3-8 and each time you are struck by a monster in combat you take wounds appropriately. If you reach zero you die. Items can be found that heal you or give your stats bonuses and weapons can be found to increase your combat lethality.

Scattered through the house are clues that will lead to other sections of the mansion or unlock new wings. All the while monsters of varying difficulties will spawn to impede the characters. That or senses of dread, shifting walls, or sudden power outages also can occur at the game masters discretion or through the drawing of cards that will act as interesting plot points.
Ultimately each scenario will have the party fleeing from the mansion or needing to reach a boss monster in time. I recall in our group we needed only to flee and bring every party member with us before the house sank forever into the earth. We managed to all get out save one party member which left us ending in a stalemate.

The most interesting thing for me was that many of the key clues and the in game mechanic to get past locked doors, to unseal a crypt, or to get water circulating / the power back on. Based off your characters intelligence statistic you will be presented with a physical puzzle. Perhaps a series of tiles to arrange and twist about or coloured rings to be assembled. If your intelligence stat is lets say... 4. Then on your turn you can move the tiles about 4 times. This limits how fast you solve the puzzle but since they are still brain teasers there is your OWN intelligence that comes into play because you might not immediately see the solution and no one can help you solve it.

I found it a refreshing adventure game since so many others of late have left me feeling unsatisfied. I'd rank it a 7.5 out of 10 with my vote increasing to an 8/10 if all the other scenarios are as engaging as the 1s one I played.

This has been the labyrinth, and I'm Henry McCulloch. Game on!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing a great material for the knowledge of flights and airlines. Love that article... And now I am going to buy christmas gifts for dad