Gloom Review | Board Games | Zatu Games UK | Seek Your Adventure

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    Awards

    85%

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You Might Like

    • Stunning transparent cards and game mechanics.
    • Small and easy to carry.
    • Great Gothic theme.
    • Study cards and waterproof!
    • Fast pace in smaller groups.
    • Superb artwork.

    Might Not Like

    • More than four players can slow the pace.
    • The storytelling mechanic may not be for everyone.
    • Dark thematic storytelling not suitable for younger players.
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    Gloom Board Game Review

    Gloom Board Game Review

    Imagine if you will a world of monochrome and grey, leeched of all colour and vibrancy, a world full of mishaps and misadventures, of downfalls and dysentery, and, ultimately, an Untimely death, with the occasional unsightly skin disease thrown in for good measure. This my friends is the world of Gloom.

    Now this may sound at first like a rather unpleasant way to pass your time, not to mention your hard earned cash, playing a card game with all this depressing nonsense going on when you could be playing a nice fluffy happy game with Lamas in it! Well folks you’d be dead wrong, no pun intended.

    Quite the contrary, this is exactly what makes this game such a blast. Because once you get to grips with the rather simple mechanics of the transparent card laying and iconography, you are then free to let your imaginations run rampant and allow yourself to become possessed by the ghosts of Edgar Allen Poe and H. P. Lovecraft and thence free to give yourself over completely to the alchemy and insanity of the storytelling elements of this game!

    What the Devil!?

    So let’s get down to brass tacks, or should I say, sharpened stakes! The mechanics of Gloom are simple enough and after your first run through you’ll be laughing or more appropriately, crying into your cold tea if we are to keep in the spirit of the game, no time like the present to get into character.

    The game of Gloom is for 2-5 players. Each player chooses one of the four families available, if you are playing a four-player game, each player discards a family member of their choice and returns it to the box, this will stop the game going on too long. If you are playing a five-player game, the fifth player uses the discarded character cards and forms a misfit family. Each Player draws five cards form the draw pile forming their starting hand, consisting of Modifier cards, Event cards, and Untimely Death cards. This is placed in the centre of the table.

    You decide who is to be the first player by working who has suffered the worst day. Now this may lead to squabbling and re-enactments of old Monty Python sketches involving all players dissing another player’s miserable day by shouting ‘Ha! Luxury!’ eventually leading to a stalemate with no one willing to back down, if this is the case then the person who owns the game goes first. Or better still just grow up! First player starts the play continues clockwise.

    Upon your turn you have two plays, which can be; play a Modifier, play an Event, or, play an Untimely Death Card (this you can only do when a character score has (-) self worth points), you can discard your entire hand, which is best to do on your second play, and finally pass.

    You can make the same play twice; the only exception is the Untimely Death card which must be played on the first play. Some modifiers will bend this rule slightly. When playing the cards you are strategically looking to make your own character cards unhappy by giving them (-) self worth points and your opponent’s characters (+) Self worth points. This is when the transparent cards come into their own.

    For example, if an opponent places a (-) self worth points card over one of his/her characters you may get the chance to cheer them right up with a healthy dose of (+) self worth points. Ha Ha! Take that! And then say another player, seeing how happy this character is, suddenly places an Untimely Death card on it, thereby killing the character and so rendering the points worthless. The lower the self worth of your characters the better because this is ultimately how you will win.

    You must remember that to get your points towards ultimate worthlessness, only dead characters count towards you total points cost. The lower the points the better! And the more dead you have, the are the better!

    What's the Story?

    Now having thoroughly fired through a sample of how some of the rules work, I’ve missed out the best stuff, and that is the storytelling part. This is done when placing any card from your hand onto your own or opponent's character, for there are many fiendish ways to dish out devilment and death to these miserable souls.

    Say for instance Angel (from the family Blackwater Watch), the ‘Starry Eyed Serial Killer’ who has “Always had a hankerin’ to go to the big city…and kill someone”, is looking particularly low in the (-) self worth points area and you just happen to have an Untimely Death card that gives you extra bonus points when played at the right moment, and bears the legend, ‘Choked on a bone’, You make up an elaborate tale of how Angel went on a date with a vegetarian gentleman in the city and when she finally got him on her plate she was just about to congratulate herself on a job well done on her first kill when she  ‘Choked on a bone’, oh the irony! ‘At least you had a last supper’. You getting the idea?

    Final Thoughts on Gloom

    So now we have come to the end of this tale of woe and onto the pros and cons of the game.

    Pros first because we want to end this on a low point and do the cons last. Gloom has loads going for it, in particular the really cool see through card mechanic which is unique to this game and works well. The cards themselves are quite durable and hard-wearing, and are also waterproof so if there are any spills on the table while playing, fear not as you can wipe them down with aplomb! No aplomb, I said! Oh never mind!

    Cons for me, include couple of things, because of the very dark nature of the tales this may not be suitable for younger players, so discretion is advised. One more down side, but this one is in itself not an irredeemable one, and that is that the storytelling part of the tale may not be suited to all players, especially those who are not natural storytellers.

    However this is something that shouldn’t frighten these unfortunate souls who squirm at the idea of making up a story on the hoof, it is something to embrace and go with because there is much fun in breaking free of your own self-imposed restrictions. So get out there and enjoy Gloom, or should I say, go suffer and be damned till your last dying breath sounds and you have gone to meet the choir invisible…

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You Might Like

    Might Not Like

    Zatu Score

    85%

    Buy Now

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    Excellent
    08000075444
    Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
    Zatu Games is rated 4.90 based on 10165
    Reviews

    Always great service. Used Zatu multiple times and I’ve never been disappointed

    Always great service. Used Zatu multiple times and I’ve never been disappointed

    Good prices. Real Humans on the end of phone too. Delivery about 2 days.

    Good prices. Real Humans on the end of phone too. Delivery about 2 days.

    Always a good shopping experience when using Zatu. Good range of stock and competitive prices.

    Always a good shopping experience when using Zatu. Good range of stock and competitive prices.

    I called the customer service team to ask if items were in stock, had a lovely person answer the phone who was knowledgeable on the product i wanted to purchase and confirmed the item was in stock where as everywhere else was sold out! placed my order and had no hiccups navigating the website at all! Great, Great job! :)

    I called the customer service team to ask if items were in stock, had a lovely person answer the phone who was knowledgeable on the product i wanted to purchase and confirmed the item was in stock where as everywhere else was sold out! placed my order and had no hiccups navigating the website at all! Great, Great job! :)

    Enjoyed the video reviews in particular...

    Enjoyed the video reviews in particular...

    Really easy to order, love the helpful, detailed reviews. Looking forward to my games!

    Really easy to order, love the helpful, detailed reviews. Looking forward to my games!

    Fast shipping and well packaged, can't wait to get stuck in to Gloomhaven! Thanks

    Fast shipping and well packaged, can't wait to get stuck in to Gloomhaven! Thanks

    I live in Germany and was looking for Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising everywhere, but all the shops I found didn't ship to Germany or it was unreasonably expensive. Then I found Zatu Games and not only were they shipping to Germany but the shipping cost was really low and the game was available for a discounted pre-order price, so I thought I'd try Zatu Games. The game arrived in perfect condition and the customer support via Facebook messenger was really good when I had questions about when they would get their hands on the game and would start shipping out pre-orders. A very pleasant experience and I highly recommend Zatu Games to everyone ordering board games online!

    I live in Germany and was looking for Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising everywhere, but all the shops I found didn't ship to Germany or it was unreasonably expensive. Then I found Zatu Games and not only were they shipping to Germany but the shipping cost was really low and the game was available for a discounted pre-order price, so I thought I'd try Zatu Games. The game arrived in perfect condition and the customer support via Facebook messenger was really good when I had questions about when they would get their hands on the game and would start shipping out pre-orders. A very pleasant experience and I highly recommend Zatu Games to everyone ordering board games online!

    Great game, dispatched very speedily and arrived quickly in perfect condition!

    Great game, dispatched very speedily and arrived quickly in perfect condition!

    Best prices I have seen over other sites. Buying experience is very smooth.

    Best prices I have seen over other sites. Buying experience is very smooth.

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