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Subject: Fun cooperation, whatever the theme rss

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André Nordstrand
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Imagine the worst of the worst, the most sinister of the sinisert, and you'll be pretty close to that of Cthulhu. This is a horrible being (or god) that is currently resting beyond the deep ocean. But when it returns, it will create chaos and the most horrid nightmares come true for all mankind, enslaving us all. It all comes down to a museum, where ancient and occult artifacts have been collected for a long time. These artifacts have become too close to one another, causing instability to another world. Gateways are starting to open, and the world beyond is complete terror. It is up to you to stop it.

So how do you complete such a feat? You will have to use your abilities as an i nvestigator, and approach dangerous and horrific areas. And your tools: dice! If you've ever played Arkham Horror, you'll find that they both have a similar theme. But Elder Sign is set up to be played a whole lot quicker, and is far more easier to learn. Time is against you and your companions. If you can't stop the gateways from opening, a terrible being will attack and devour you all. If the creature wins over you, the entire world will be enslaved.

Gameplay:
On your turn you may choose between at least 6 different areas of the museum. Each area comes with their own challenge, and a reward and punishment, depending on the outcome. A challenge is divided into one or more tasks. Each task has to be solved in its entirety, or else it won't be approved. To complete a task you need to collect the correct set of symbols on the dice, matching those of the task. This has to be done after a single throw of the dice. The dice consist of these symbols: 3 Magnifying glass of values 1, 2 and 3, 1 Terror symbol, 1 Scroll and 1 Skull.



If you complete a task, you may select another task, or complete the challenge if that was the last task avaliable. However, if there are more tasks, you'll have lesser dice to throw, since the other dice are locked on the previous tasks. If the challenge is complete, you may receive cards which give you special abilities, clue tokens which allows for rerolls of the dice, new monsters (it's a bad thing, but it happens), and the most valuable item: an Elder Sign. If you can collect enough of these, you'll seal up the gateway and save the world.

However, if you fail the task, you are able to make another attempt. But at a price. You must remove one of your dice, giving you less to roll later. Luckily, you may keep one of the dice from the previous result, in the hopes of getting use of it later that challenge.

After each player is done, time moves forward. There's a large clock which keeps track, and for each turn, 3 hours will pass. Whenever it strikes midnight, something horrible may happen. Monsters can appear in the rooms, and the main creature will come ever closer. The problems with monsters is that they add tasks to already difficult challenges. Some challenges require 6 dice to be completed, and if you add a monster, that monster may add additional 2 symbols. Fortunately, it's not always as bad as that with monsters.

The theme:
The theme of the game falls kind of flat. Although the game itself might be hard and sometimes feel impossible, it's all about looking at the symbols required and what you have avaliable. It's not the theme that makes it hard or feel tense, it's just the game mechanism itself. If you want that thematic feeling, go play Arkham Horror, although it's a lot harder and has a lot more stuff to it. If you want a more simple Yatzy-inspired game where you'll have several options to choose from, then this might be the game for you. And being a cooperative game, you either all win, or none of you will win.

Conclusive thoughts:
Being cooperative, I feel that this game removes the alpha leader role a bit, which is very fortunate. There is no "right way" in this game, it's all about what you feel you are able to complete of the tasks. Luck is a great factor in this game. I enjoy this game, but not if I play it alone. 2 or 3 persons is fine for this game. Any more, and you'll probably do some waiting.

However, if you do choose to purchase this game, here's a requirement from me: download the new rules from Fantasy Flight Games. The one that comes in the box will fill you with questions and feel very incomplete. That's because they are. The new rules are very well done and come with a lot of examples.

Pros:
- Easy to learn
- Relatively fast to play
- Great artwork and illustrations
- Good quality components

Cons:
- The theme might turn you off
- The theme doesn't really matter
- Doesn't scale very well with many players
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boardgamemuse
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I think the theme is a 10 personally. This is coming from someone that truly believes that our battle "is not against flesh and blood".

devil


I have had a great time playing Elder Sign game with 1 and 2 players.


Seriously, this game to me is one of the best VALUES out there laugh I have found.
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Orlando Neto
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Rio das Ostras
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Well, I think the theme is really strong here.

Quote:
It's not the theme that makes it hard or feel tense, it's just the game mechanism itself

Here the game has the true flavour of Mythos. You can relly get crazy about bad rolls of die. You might lose some real sanity points here. . .
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André Nordstrand
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topera wrote:
Well, I think the theme is really strong here.

Quote:
It's not the theme that makes it hard or feel tense, it's just the game mechanism itself

Here the game has the true flavour of Mythos. You can relly get crazy about bad rolls of die. You might lose some real sanity points here. . .


Ooh, never thought about it like that. That was brilliant
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Michael Redston
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For a more thematic game, then each time an investigator goes on an adventure you should read the adventure's title and then its flavor text. Oh, and also when you're using items/spells/allies then read their name. Likewise with monsters, as some of them have flavor texts. It makes the game longer, but much more thematic.
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Robin Reeve
Switzerland
St-Légier
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kroen wrote:
For a more thematic game, then each time an investigator goes on an adventure you should read the adventure's title and then its flavor text. Oh, and also when you're using items/spells/allies then read their name. Likewise with monsters, as some of them have flavor texts. It makes the game longer, but much more thematic.
I agree.
One must "enter the theme" to have it work on imagination.
 
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