Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Weekend R&R: The Doom That Came To Atlantic City
Normally, the focus of my Weekend R&R are to review a single RPG product -- be it old or new. But we all have different ways to unwind and I recently decided to shift towards the Call of Cthulhu RPG and, given that the time I can actually get a game together is surprisingly challenging due to either time restraints and scheduling, I will find other ways to occupy my leisure hours. I love a good board game and, with my current frame of mind, The Doom That Came To Atlantic City had a lot of the trappings I am currently immersing myself with as far as theme is concerned.
If you are someone who has followed various projects or gone as far as back some on Kickstarter, the title of the game may sound familiar. A Lovecraftian themed boardgame which took many cues from the classic game of Monopoly which raised over $120,000 in 2012 only to have the project cancelled and the money disappear.
Never underestimate the power of the great old ones though. Another company stepped in, secured the rights, and produced the game. They even went so far as to get backers of the original project copies of the game -- something they were not required to do but awesome nonetheless. I was never a backer though. I missed the campaign when it ran and stumbled upon it after it had already ended. With the delays and problems, I eventually secured my own copy of the game only just recently. Part of the reason I waited on it was because it's a pricey game but the components of the game and high quality and the game proved to be a light-hearted distraction.
In many ways, the game plays in a very familiar way but, it is very much 'anti-monopoly'. Your goal, as one of the elder gods, isn't to build, but rather destroy. Power (through destruction) and cultists are the currency of the game and when you have accumulated enough of both and succeed in opening the requisite amount of gates, you can bring about the end of the world and win the game.
It's a simple game and, unlock Monopoly, it will not last you hours. It is entirely possible to play a game under an hour though, I've had a couple which went on to about an hour and a half. Luck is very much a factor here too and the dice can be fickle. However, you aren't just constrained to moving around the board. You can use gates to travel to other gates and bypass sections of the board. You also can attack your opponents and steal cultists away from him as well as rain destruction and destroy homes. Each elder god also has abilities which can be swapped out with other ones with Providence Cards and then are are 'Chant' cards to assist you as well. And, because of this added dynamic, there is a bit of strategy to go along with the random luck factor of the dice.
The game is good in the sense that the style and theme of the game is actually well-thought out in a cute kind of way and doesn't feel like it's just been tacked on. But the game also manages to remain accessible. So, between that and the visuals, the game just works and will be one that will get pulled out from time to time -- especially if I'm waiting on the late arrival of a player before we can start up a Call of Cthulhu game.
Now, I was lucky as the normal retail price goes for around $75 from what I have seen. I basically was able to get it for a little more than half that price. Given the quality of the components, and the beautiful sculpts of the miniatures included in the box, it is well worth the full price of the game. Just shop around first.