07 April 2005

Card Game Review: Gloom

A new game in the mail today, huzzah! This one was Gloom, a card game of freakish families having miserable lives.

Sat down and played three games to see what it was like, and was pleased to find that it is fun for just two players. Rare in card games.

Anyway, you play event cards on the characters, aiming to make yours miserable and (if possible) everyone else's happy. You can also play untimely deaths, when you think someone ought to go (when really miserable for yours, or not very miserable for others). When one family is totally dead, scoring occurs but counting up miserableness of all dead characters. Most miserable family wins (something about rewards in the next life, I think).

The cards are made of transparent plastic and have a gimmicky mechanic of playing the new ones on top of the character, so they develop little piles. Only the scores you can see count, so you can play a card on top to supersede what's already there. It works well. The cards suffer a bit from having the text very small and in hard to read colours and fonts, though.

Anyway, it's fun. The characters are twisted, the events bizarre. I think that you'd want to start making up stories for what happens to get the most out of it, and we found ourselves doing this a little bit. It's also really funny that you end up getting mad at your opponent when they, for instance, make one of your people get happy married (and vice versa).

It's not a must-buy, but it's diverting and will certainly come off my shelf a bit more often than some of the games that are currently gathering dust there.

1 comment:

Luke said...

I recently bought this for Debbie and Matt. It is a fantastic card game. The game play is fairly simple but the atmosphere is great. This does mean that the level of enjoyment tends to reflect the group's overall enthusiasm.

How did you find the readability of the cards?