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This expansion creates more of an Arkham Horror feel to the game, as you now have to explore the streets of Arkham, but this time the cards are face down with added "at midnight effects" and a basic colour code on the card, which denotes the difficulty of the adventure. This creates more tension as not only do you flip over the card to enter the adventure environment, but you are also forced to flip certain cards over to stop the midnight effect. Gates also appear that link to other worlds, new event cards are now initially drawn before the adventure starts, these could help or hinder the investigator, also skill cards help can create helpful benefits. The museum shop has been replaced with the entrance to the streets of Arkham, this is far less helpful than the shop, which makes this expansion a lot tougher than Unseen Forces.
I love this expansion as it creates more of an adventure like theme to the game, as you feel as though you are really venturing through unexplored and mysterious locations, as apposed to the confined space of an old museum ,but saying this, I am already thinking of new ways of how to incorporate the museum cards into this expansion !
I dont think that you could memorise all the cards, as the game comes with 78, also I tried to use the gate stands, but this damage the gate markers, so I just lay them flat.
Overall, if you are into Elder Sign then just get this, you will love it :)
Although I've always been a big gaming fan I only recently started getting into the hobby seriously, after taking some time to read several reviews I decided to make Elder Sign one of the first additions to my collection - and I'm so glad I did.
Initially I was interested in Arkham Horror because I really love the theme of the game but its so huge and detailed I wanted something a bit lighter that still had the feel and atmosphere that Arkham brings, which is where Elder Sign steps in. This is set in the same Lovecraft universe as Arkham but takes that rich theme and condenses it into a 60 to 90 minute gaming experience instead of the colossal 240+ minute marathon that Arkham delivers. So obviously this makes Elder Sign a much less intimidating game for somebody who is just getting started in gaming but wants a taste of that dark horror/sci-fi vibe, also at a much lower cost.
Just in case you don't already know in Elder Sign you and the other players work together as a group of 1920's pulp investigators making your way around an old museum and completing adventures in the many different areas of the building in a collective effort to stop one of the ancient evil gods from entering our world and basically destroying everything.
Overall for me this game ticks so many boxes, firstly it sets up quickly and the various cards and components are all beautifully made with great artwork. Secondly its easy to learn and teach which makes it perfect to pick up and play in a fairly short space of time. Thirdly it plays at a good speed and doesn't ever feel boring, thanks to the fast paced dice rolling nature of the game it gets really exciting at times. And finally the whole thing is dripping with that great Lovecraftian theme, everything from the monsters and investigators right down to the items you collect - it's very satisfying going into a creepy old museum armed with The Necronomicon and a tommy gun.
So if you're interested in Arkham or Eldritch Horror but like me you want something more accessible then have a look at Elder Sign. Also even if you have no interest in these other games but want a fun cooperative game that plays quickly and has a solid theme then definitely pick this up.
This is a great game, but it has quite a lot of elements to it (8 card types, 6 token types, and 3 colours of dice) which can be a little confusing at first. The first time we played it we had to refer back to the rule book practically every round and we had to pause once or twice to check a Youtube video's explanation (not necessary at all from game 3 onwards). If you find this game confusing, check for a tutorial video online and persevere because it's super worth it. The game basically has two phases: the first part is more strategic and cooperative and the second part makes for a really great change of pace which prevents things from getting stale. It's also a really well put-together game, all the pieces are well designed and made, and the box comes with plenty of bags to store tokens and dice.
I wasnt sure what to expect when I ordered this. I have recently just got back into gaming, as an alternative to playing video games as I was finding that video games ont really excite me like they are used to. First off I have to say that the production quality is absolutely excellent. All of the tokens are sturdy, and well designed with great artwork. The same goes for the cards which definitely feel robust (although I might get sleeves for them later down the line). Elder Sign can be played with anything from 1 to 8 players. I have only played 1 and 2 player games at the moment, but would definitely like to get some more players involved. Even as a 1 player game, this really stands up well, but I roped my daughter into playing and we had a blast. The games so far have lasted 1-2 hours, with the first taking the longest as I was constantly referring to the rules, but once I had the basics down it got a lot quicker. I mainly bought this, as my daughter has recently started enjoying games, but doesnt cope well with the competitive side of things, so we play as a team. Both the games I have played have been very difficult, but we won both times. I really enjoy the fact that by shuffling and randomly dealing the demon/adventure/investgator cards you can have a completely different game every time. Although this is initially a deep game to get in to, it doesnt take long, and Im pretty much hooked already. Im already looking into the expansion packs.
For the Solo player this is incredible and is best played solo too. If your after a solo experience in the Arkham horror world get this, it is so much better than say Mansion of Madness that plays 90% on the APP in solo mode. For Solo play: Elder sign > Eldritch Horror > Arkham Horror LCG > Arkham Horror 3rd Edition > Mansion of Madness
This has quickly become a favourite in the house thanks to its easy to learn rules and quick set up.
The basic premise is that you are a group of adventurers and experts in the occult rushing around Miskatonic University trying to gather enough Elder Signs to seal the dark lord Cthulhu or one of the other Old Ones before they wake from their ancient slumber and cause a nuisance. For Lovecraft fans everything will be instantly familiar. For those new to the world, each card and token comes with a brief but atmospheric bit of text that I like to read out in an old and creaky sounding voice.
During initial setup you will lay down six adventure cards. These are rooms and events around the University that you must complete to earn rewards. The rewards will most commonly be magical or mundane items to help you clear further adventures but your main goal is to pick up Elder Signs from these cards which you will need a certain amount of to seal the current Old One you are facing off against. Fail these adventures and you will suffer the penalties which will most often reduce the players health or sanity, the two factors that keep each investigator alive. However they may also add Doom to a counter. Accumulate too much Doom and the Old One will wake up and you will be pushed into one last ditch effort to defeat the Old One as they wrack your body and mind with their ancient evil.
To resolve these adventures you will have to roll six dice. Each adventure card has a number of results you must roll. Meet the requirements with a roll and solve that portion of the card. Fail and you must discard a dice and try again. When you run out of dice you fail the adventure and suffer the penalties. There are items and mechanics within the game that can help you make this easier or harder. Like items that let you use extra dice or monsters that will lock a die until you defeat them. It adds a nice layer of strategy to what could have been a frustrating reliance on the luck of the roll.
The game is not perfect of course. It can be a bit too easy sometimes as the game really stacks the odds in your favour. Especially if you are choosing your own investigator at the start of the game, since certain combinations make you almost unstoppable. After a couple of games though it should be easy enough to tweak the experience slightly to add an extra challenge if you think it needs it.
This ranges the challenge level immensely and really does make you appreciate you are playing as something less than a speck of dust compared to the cosmic monstrosities you dare to battle! Parcel abandoned by DPD in full view on the doorstep in the rain.
An excellent expansion which adds a great deal to the original core game. The components are, as expected, very good quality and the quantity makes it well worth the money. No new mechanics - just a lot more of the original stuff + a couple of little extra items which add interest. If you love the base game this will add immeasurably to your enjoyment. A highly recommended buy.
I love Elder Sign, it is quick, portable and really good fun. But dare i say sometimes easy! This changes everything - new blessed / cursed dice, master mythos cards, tough old ones, new investigators, the list continues...
Also the expansion introduces alot more variety and choice when playing, which is a massive positive step forward.
Love the new dice and the multitude of new different adventure cards. Well done Fantasy Flight, top marks :)
Wow, just wow. I very much enjoyed the original Elder Sign, but was looking for some additional variety and challenge. Check out Tabletop for a good starting walkthrough. This expansion takes the game to a new level - they way it should be played. I still recommend you start in sequence - first the basic game, then unseen, finally move to Gates of Arkham - but once you complete the journey, you will never look back.