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Subject: Just played first run of Asylum. It was ok (all spoilers hidden). rss

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Dave Neale
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So we just finished our first run of Asylum. Enjoyed it, but it wasn't that amazing. Feel quite keen to get back to it tomorrow and play the second run, but to be honest I wouldn't be that bothered if for some reason we could never play again either. The mystery and setting feels quite cartoon-like and gamey rather than dark, tense and realistic.

Right now, after one run, my verdict is: Quite enjoyable, but doesn't live up to the hype.

Of course this opinion may change once we finish the scenario, and I will post again once we do to let you now. I am sure the fact that we have yet to tackle the main puzzles and mystery means that the best stuff is ahead of us.

So I'll see what tomorrow brings.
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Chris Whitpan
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Re: Just played first run of Asylum. It was ok (no spoilers).
It can be a little like going through the motions, and doing stuff to get stuff, but Come back if you finish it. I think the payoff is well worth it. The first run, and even second are more like information gathering for the endgame.

Hope you finish it!
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Gamer D

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Re: Just played first run of Asylum. It was ok (no spoilers).
I like Time Stories but the consensus with the people I played with and myself is that the game would be more fun if it didn't have the time limit and reset mechanic and instead just let you do a single long adventure in one sitting. We felt resetting the board was a bit fiddly and redoing the same content wasn't as much fun.

Don't get me wrong, I like the story and puzzles and art, etc. It's a great game. But the reset was a minor issue with me and a major issue with some of my friends. And it's not just some fluke, I played the game once and helped moderate two other groups play it and all three groups said the same things. I'm not even sure I'll be able to get The Marcy Case to the table given how much some people disliked the game resetting.

So yeah, solid game and I liked it overall but not my Game Of The Year (that title definitely goes to Pandemic Legacy, THAT game was a blast!)
 
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Calvin Le Huray
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Re: Just played first run of Asylum. It was ok (no spoilers).
I disagree, all of the groups I taught it to liked the resetting, because it meant that they could go back and try a different way through the adventure. That was part of the game's beauty, you could make completely different decisions on your second run and find yourself doing completely different things; amazing. This game was easily my number one game of the year, Pandemic Legacy was good but not as good as TIME stories.
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Stephen Cooper
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Re: Just played first run of Asylum. It was ok (no spoilers).
I'm with Calvin, the reset/re-run aspect is the essence of the game.

My group loves the Edge of Tomorrow/Source Code style the game offers, learning from our mistakes and trying to refine the next run until we succeed.

I understand others dislike it but I don't want anything changed to the base engine, though I am looking forward to how different cases mess with it and me.
 
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Gamer D

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Re: Just played first run of Asylum. It was ok (no spoilers).
Scooperman wrote:
I'm with Calvin, the reset/re-run aspect is the essence of the game.

My group loves the Edge of Tomorrow/Source Code style the game offers, learning from our mistakes and trying to refine the next run until we succeed.

I understand others dislike it but I don't want anything changed to the base engine, though I am looking forward to how different cases mess with it and me.


I'm not disputing that the reset is a primary gimmick of the game, I'm just saying that out of twelve people I've played with none of them liked that particular mechanic. At best they were ambivalent about it. The rest of the game is great.

And I'm not saying other people can't like the resets. Some people like video games for example that require you to replay the same level over and over to get things perfectly right, and of course Time Stories is theoretically trying to capture something like the feel of old school text adventures where you replayed sections until you made the correct choices. But those mechanics aren't universally popular, some people hate that style of game, and in Time Stories case it was definitely the least popular aspect. Yes it's a core mechanic, that doesn't mean it's popular or necessarily even a good choice. I would contend that if the game had gone another direction it would be even more well received than it currently is, but that's just my opinion.

P.S. To put it another way, I'm not saying Time Stories should change. I,m saying I'd like to see another game come out that works like Time Stories in terms of doing a choose your own adventure and thematic rooms, etc, but which doesn't use resets.
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Stephen Cooper
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Re: Just played first run of Asylum. It was ok (no spoilers).
Agreed, not all play styles suit all players, but then that's why we have the diversity we do in (not just) gaming.

I think we might also agree that T.I.M.E Stories has opened up a new field of possibilities in the board game world, and, for those that don't like it's time constraints, hope now that there's something the same but different on the way.
 
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Dave Neale
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Re: Just played first run of Asylum. It was ok (no spoilers).
Now finished the whole scenario and we were successful on the third run.

My opinion after completing it is pretty much the same as it was after run 1 - an enjoyable experience but not one of my best gaming experience by a long way (I rate it a 7). For us the story felt fairly obvious with no surprises. The puzzle was the most enjoyable part, and I expected the scenario to have much more of that type of stuff in it.

The system has promise and the illustrations etc are fantastic. Is it worth the money? Well be aware that if you expect a puzzle-rich, mystery-solving game you will probably be disappointed (especially if you've played Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases). However, if the idea of a route-finding optimization game with some puzzle elements and some dice-rolling combat appeals to you then this could be just your thing.

Here's my slightly more detailed opinion with mild spoilers:

Spoiler (click to reveal)

There was more combat than I expected, and we found the end to be anti-climactic. We didn't even realise we had won in fact until the card said we had. There was no real explanation for why anything had happened.


And some more detail with FULL SPOILERS:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
There was no explanation of why the doctor and professor were trying to create the temporal fault, or why they had lots of weird creatures surrounding them, or why they had a manticore and why it killed the professor. We tried to work some of this stuff out and were disappointed that there was no answer and we wasted our time doing it.

The main puzzle of the case is to decide what to do in what order. Other than that, there is only the pentacle puzzle. The second best puzzle in the game is one you might not even encounter - the maze after you kill the doctor. We never killed him and only found that after finishing and looking through what we missed. I'd have preferred if that puzzle had to be encountered to be successful.


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Jeremy Sites
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whitescar wrote:
Now finished the whole scenario and we were successful on the third run.

My opinion after completing it is pretty much the same as it was after run 1 - an enjoyable experience but not one of my best gaming experience by a long way (I rate it a 7). For us the story felt fairly obvious with no surprises. The puzzle was the most enjoyable part, and I expected the scenario to have much more of that type of stuff in it.

The system has promise and the illustrations etc are fantastic. Is it worth the money? Well be aware that if you expect a puzzle-rich, mystery-solving game you will probably be disappointed (especially if you've played Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases). However, if the idea of a route-finding optimization game with some puzzle elements and some dice-rolling combat appeals to you then this could be just your thing.

Here's my slightly more detailed opinion with mild spoilers:

Spoiler (click to reveal)

There was more combat than I expected, and we found the end to be anti-climactic. We didn't even realise we had won in fact until the card said we had. There was no real explanation for why anything had happened.


And some more detail with FULL SPOILERS:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
There was no explanation of why the doctor and professor were trying to create the temporal fault, or why they had lots of weird creatures surrounding them, or why they had a manticore and why it killed the professor. We tried to work some of this stuff out and were disappointed that there was no answer and we wasted our time doing it.

The main puzzle of the case is to decide what to do in what order. Other than that, there is only the pentacle puzzle. The second best puzzle in the game is one you might not even encounter - the maze after you kill the doctor. We never killed him and only found that after finishing and looking through what we missed. I'd have preferred if that puzzle had to be encountered to be successful.




I think we're on the same page with a lot of your points, especially that Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective does the whole puzzle/mystery aspect much better.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
And yeah, the combat rolls can get ridiculous. Easily my least favorite part of the game. The maze was pretty neat. I just wished there was more of that and less of the monster stuff.


It's an okay game, but I didn't find it to be worth the hype (or it just wasn't what I expected). Definitely not in my top 10 of the year by a long shot, but it's fine enough. I can see why people like it.
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