Elder Sign by Fantasy Flight Games
Basics: This is a simpler version of Arkham Horror by Fantasy Flight games. Each Player takes the roll of an investigator trying to stop an elder thing enter this world.
Mechanics: Players select a location in the museum and roll dice to get combinations listed on the card. The mechanics are similar to Yahtzee while you look for combination in dice. Each card lists what occurs when you succeed or fail. The mechanics are simple yet fun. Also, the game is cooperative, simple, and goes up to eight players. All this combines to make a really great time! 5/5
Theme: Here is where the game really suffers. When you play Arkham Horror, the theme really shines through, but in this game unless you make a serious effort, the theme of the Cthulhu mythos can get lost. It’s fun, but don’t expect edge of your seat terror like you can get in Arkham Horror. Also, since the events and rooms of the game are random and you use the full deck of each for each elder thing, there is no real difference in game play for each boss monster. While each elder thing does have a small game effect, it’s not enough. I have the same complaint for Arkham Horror. 2/5
Components: Fantasy Flight games LOVES to make all kinds of components, and this game does not disappoint in that department. And, like any other Fantasy Flight game, these components do not disappoint. Great quality stuff game parts. Great art. Slightly smaller than I would like, but the game is in a small box so I understand why they are the size they are. 4.5/5
Highs: Playing a fun game with friends that can fit almost any amount of friends. Make no mistake, despite my complaints, this game is quick setup, easy to teach, and seats one to eight players.
Lows and suggestions: No real Cthulhu feel with a kind of flat delivery. The game plays quick, but it gives up story to make the speed faster. The mobile app version of Elder Sign has a more set feel with only selected places/events and a more involved narrative. In Mansions of Madness, the game is much more restricted as only some sets of cards are used for each story. A similar implementation would have really helped with this game. Now, I play this at least once every three weeks, but I would love to be more involved in a story.
Final Thoughts: It’s a great game, fun, but a slightly flawed execution. Great game, pick it up and play with your friends. Quick and fun, but don’t expect to be completely swept away by the story. 11.5/15