Enough with the trash talk on how bad this game is. It's not meant to compete with Fury of Dracula nor is it intended to be a substitute indoor activity during an afternoon delight. This is a horror game meant to play in the dark, I mean really DARK!
The premise is quite simple. Be the first pawn to reach the coffin before the ship reaches the tower. This means you and your partners only have about 6 turns each to accomplish this feat while navigating through traps, secret passages, and MONSTERS. I'm talking about vampires, werewolves, & zombies. If you fail to get a hit on them you are sent back to the starting point in the area you are exploring. Worst yet, if you haven't picked up the appropriate weapon under the advanced rules you can't even fight the monster.
All this is designed to delay your journey to the inevitable conclusion of fighting Count Darkulus while he is in his coffin. It takes 3 hits to defeat him. The one who succeeds the third hit is the winner! Huzzah.
Because this is a race against the game's system, gameplay is relatively quick, about 30 minutes. On your turn you flip a card that determines whether gameplay is occurring at night or at daytime. If daytime, you are safe and need to move as quickly as possible to find your weapons. You only need to pick 3 unique weapons, the garlic, the stake, and the sword. Any one of them can be used to attack Count Darkus, but in the advanced version the right weapon is needed to defeat the right monster.
Monsters are represented by tiles which are flipped over when you end your move adjacent to a tile. During the daytime, the tiles are pretty innocuous. If not weapons, then it's usually a villager, monument, or mist. But at night they turn into a werewolf, zombie, or vampire which can certainly slow down your journey to the crypt where Drakus lies.
Battles are simple and quick. One roll of the black die determines if you win or lose. Win and the monster tile is removed resulting in a clear passage for your fellow hunters. Lose and you end up wasting time only to go back and try again if you must.
If that was all there was to this game it would be pretty lame, but the changing tower lights is a fun novelty and it sets the atmosphere with its eerie lighting. It's even better if you play Halloween music in the background which will encourage everyone to get into their roles.
If you prefer moving cubes then this game is definitely not for you. On the other hand if you enjoy trash talking about the various monsters you bump into then go out and have a good time with this game. It has just the right blend of mechanics to keep an 8 year old entertained during a dark and stormy night.