“Last Christmas I gave you my heart” I thought was the perfect song to have in the background for this game. Opinions varied
Last Friday is a hidden movement game surprisingly close to Letters from Whitechapel. One player takes the role of the crazed maniac (guess who I played) who’s out to murder the campers in Traditional slasher movie fashion. The others play the hapless campers destined to more than likely get popped in a horrible way.
The game is split into four chapters and can be played out sequentially or as just one single chapter for a quick fix.
The main board is a nicely rendered map of camp apache with a boating pond in the middle, surrounded by a shore and further back a set of five cabins. The map is made up of a few hundred spots which can be moved around by campers and mixed in with these a hundred plus numbered spots that the manic moves. If you’ve played white chapel it’s EXACTLY the same, bar the pond in the middle that offers rapid transport across the board (if the boat token is at your pier)
While the campers move around visibly on the map the maniac moves by noting down his numbered location behind his GM screen. If the maniac comes in contact with a camper it’s bad news for one or the other. That said it does give a clue to his location if he’s murdered someone. The other clue to his location is every three turns he has to show where he was three turns ago. I’m not sure what I think of this mechanic. It works in game terms but I do prefer a hidden movement game where often the others haven’t a CLUE where the hunted is until it’s too late. It’s not by any means a deal breaker it just feels a little weird coming from a lot of Fury of Dracula plays.
To assist both parties the killer gets a set of one shot maniac tokens which allows him to do stuff like move two squares, not reveal his location when called upon to do so, take an extra turn at the very end or wield and axe to break into cabins.
On the flip side and very welcome are clue tokens that give players acute hearing (can detect the killer close by), bear trap (reveal location of killer if he walks on it, lantern (reveals killer nearby), shovel (bury bodies and reduce killers score), the best of all are running shoes that allows the camper to move two rather than the slow poke one space. In addition each camper has a special ability which is most welcome. It’s hard out there being a camper
Chapter one sees the campers starting near the lake with the manic sliding unseen in from one edge of the board. The campers aware that something is wrong have to move around and flip the tent counters over to reveal keys or possibly the remains of the owners so they can gain access to the safety of the locked cabins.
The maniac has to move around and bump them off before they can get to safety.
Chapter two sees the tables reversed with the campers hunting the killer. The one who does the deed becomes the chosen. Chapter three sees the killer back from the dead hunting just the chosen while the other campers try and defend them and chapter four the camper have had enough and try and end it once and for all
Now the chapter system I like. I’ve complained before about the new Dracula where night and day is too fast. Here you’ve got a good long stretch at being the hunter then a good long stretch being hunted. On top of this successes early on carry on into the next chapter. So a good start will see the killer with a few more maniac tokens for the next chapter and visa versa
I’d heard this game spoken highly of by some. Thematically it’s excellent. Having the manic appear suddenly beside a group of campers (don’t bunch up) is superb when it’s been too quiet for a while. Production is good. Art is not up to the standard of Fantasy Flight but it’s perfectly fine. The game is nicely presented and it doesn’t have too many fiddly components or cards
Compared to other hidden movement games it holds it’s own. It’s a match for White Chapel and being new it’s novel. I haven’t played enough of it yet to see what it’s like long term but I’m liking it so far. The chapter idea is good and being able to play as many chapters as you like means it won’t drag like Dracula.
All in all a decent, hidden movement game with a great theme. Will be demoing it at Knavecon. See what you think