Picture from magisterrex.wordpress.com
Producer(s)– A Couple of Cowboys and many others
Price– ~$10 at http://www.ebay.com
Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 60 minutes exactly! (2 to 6 players)
TL; DR-90’s-riffic horror game on a VCR! 90%
Basics-Ready to play MY game? Nightmare is a big bowl of the early 90’s in a VHS cassette. Yes, I said a VHS cassette. Go dig in your garage and find a VCR. In Nightmare, each player takes the role of some poor damned soul ranging from a werewolf to a vampire. This is chosen by the tombstone you randomly draw from a bag. Also from this bag, you draw a number that you slot into your tombstone. You then place your character on the board on your gravestone. Next, each player then writes down their worst fear with china markers on the nightmare cards. These cards are shuffled, placed on the center space of the board, and then the game begins. Players start the VHS tape, and the Gatekeeper gives you the rules. When he’s on the TV, all play stops. When he’s not on the TV, you roll a six sided die and move. The Gatekeeper will randomly appear during the game, given random orders or outright be a pain to just one player! Players try to go around the board as fast as they can collecting chance cards, time cards, and fate cards. Chance cards are random events that might give you keys. Time cards give you specific times and an action that range from taking extra turns to yelling out loud to scare everyone to get them put in the black hole (basically jail from Monopoly). Fate cards are random cards that give you extra powers and opportunities to win keys. The goal of the game is to earn all six of your keys that grand you extra powers, move to the center of the game board exactly, and reveal to top nightmare card. If it’s yours, you instantly lose. If it’s not, you win! If the game goes sixty minutes, then the Gatekeeper wins, all the players lose, and the nightmare is just beginning!
How about a picture of the Gatekeeper?
Mechanics– This is roll to move madness. You will roll the dice as fast as you can to move your characters as quickly around the board as possible. Let’s face it, this is not modern (or good) game design. The cards that you get are completely random and might not be helpful at all. And, if you really want to remove all the fun from the game, you could easily memorize what times the Gatekeeper pops on screen and work out the math of how to win. But, that’s not fun. This game is an experience, not a Spiel des Jahres candidate. 3/5
Theme- This game is theme. From the instruction that tell you to dim the lights, to the Gatekeeper constantly messing with the players, you WILL experience some scares from this game. It’s like a haunted house in a board game. 5/5
Instructions– For as much crap as I give this game, the instructions are not bad! They leave a few holes, but overall, they teach the rules pretty well. Also, if you compulsively have to debate the rules of a franticly moving game, then this game is not for you! 4.5/5
Execution– The box looks like a coffin. That right there should set the tone. The pieces are all nice plastic. The board looks creepy. The game even comes with a felt bag to randomize the pieces. The designers went an extra mile to really put out a quality game. 5/5
Summary– This is pure, uncut nostalgia for me. I got this game for Christmas when I was 11. When I moved, it was destroyed by some flooding. I picked this game up for 8 bucks at a con, and that was the smartest move I’ve made in a while! I love this game! It’s become a tradition with my family that we now play this as the last game I play when I visit home for Christmas. Not even close to the right season for ghouls, but I don’t care. Honestly, for 10 bucks on ebay, you can’t beat this retro game! It’s the most theme you’ll get all year. And, you get awesome early 90’s special effects! Now you just have to find a VCR. 90%