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Subject: Nocturnes: Wickedly Fun Again and Again rss

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Denise MacIntyre
United States
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Nocturnes is a horror themed tile based game in which you try to retain your sanity while driving the other players insane. On each turn, players place a tile from the deck so that it adjoins any existing tile, thus creating the game board. Since the tiles are drawn in a different order based on shuffling and are placed by each player wherever they like, the game is different every time it is played. Each tile represents a different nightmare such as Possessed Doll, Drowning, or Zombies, and has a corresponding sanity impact number printed in the upper corner.

Next, players will play or discard one card from their hand. Typically players will have three cards in their hand, but certain tiles and cards can affect that number. For example, landing on the Flying tile allows all other players to draw an extra card. There are three types of cards: Instant, Player Impact, and Tile Modifiers and can only be played during a player’s turn (Lucid is the only exception). Instant cards can affect one or more players and the action happens immediately upon playing the card. Player Impact cards affect one specific player and the affect will last according to the instructions on the card (typically one round). Tile Modifiers are played on individual tiles and affect anyone landing on that tile for the remainder of the game.

Next, players move their game piece one or two tiles in a vertical or horizontal direction. As players move to the different tiles across the board, their sanity level will go up or down according to the number printed on each tile, which ranges from -3 to +1 and they will move the sanity marker on their player card accordingly. If the tile a player lands on includes additional text or a tile modifier, those effects will also happen at that time.

If a player’s sanity goes below 1, they are considered to have gone insane and are out of the game. The winner is the last player remaining with any sanity left. Because many of the cards mess with other players, either by stealing their sanity or moving their piece across the board, there is room for both alliances and sabotage that can be quite entertaining. The game is for 2-6 players and takes about 45 minutes on average to complete. It is rated 13+ not because it’s overly complicated, but because some of the artwork may be too much for younger eyes. The game is simple enough to learn, but includes enough variances to keep players engaged and wanting to play multiple rounds.

I rated this game a 10 because the artwork on the tiles is top notch, the game is different every time you play it which keeps it interesting time and again, and the macabre theme lends to twisted humor while playing. It would be an asset in any gamer’s collection.
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