Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
Just imagine the red offboard up here. I'll create it Real Soon Now...
Yes, I know a proper 18XX tile should have a tile number.
I will freely admit that I bought this game sight unseen, just for the theme. Use trains to deliver the souls of sinners to the proper circles of Hell? That just seemed wrong on so many levels, just the right thing to annoy the serious train gamers.
I was not impressed by the production values of this game. The card deck is thin flimsy stock that would probably get blown around if we tried to play anywhere with some air flow. The rules book was crudely and unevenly stapled together. The wells in the box insert don't quite match the components. I'll want to get some baggies to put the cardboard bits in.
Be that as it may, I've been carrying it around in my bag o' games for a few weeks, and it finally got played...
Four 18xx players sat down to play it Saturday night while we were waiting for the Colosseum game at the other table to finish up. We played with the basic rules.
As luck would have it, the brimstone tenders (draw 3 cards a turn, losing the ability to discard-and-draw) were close and available; they went quickly and seemed to be a touch unbalanced.
There wasn't a huge amount of interaction in the game. Gluttony (pull cards from other players until you have the most) came up quite a lot, and Cerberus was played 3 or 4 times, always with the algorithm of "put him on the highest-numbered occupied circle. Nobody ever actually used the boatman (leap across voids), though one player held the chip for a long time. No train ramming happened, even though one player spent the whole game with a soul catcher.
I was looking forward to rotating a tile with another player's train on it, but a closer reading of the rules showed that not to be the way that circle worked. Oh well.
Towards the end of the game anyone who fanned the flames got quickly hit with gluttony, thus increasing the power of the brimstone tenders, which let you pull cards at the beginning of your turn instead of the end. (If I play this again I'll grab a brimstone tender as fast as possible...) The chaos reigns chip also was more annoying than fun. Maybe we need a house rule that when chaos reigns, all of the Circles not in play get placed randomly before anything in play gets reused?
The game dragged on long past its amusement value, though. Towards the end there was a clear winner and we were actively trying to end it...
Yes, it might get played again... but it's nowhere near the top of my list. I'd rate it about a 5.5