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Pros: -Awesome detailed dynamic maps -App is very impressive and is effectively a digital dungeon master in that it creates the story -Great setting and atmosphere
Cons: -Fiddly, somewhat poorly made figurines which can be very problematic to keep on their bases -App doesn’t tell you when it’s your turn which seems like it could be an easily added feature. -App seems to suggest you place things in the wrong part of the map quite often -The scenarios seem like they would be better conveyed by one person who reads to the group, this could be suggested as a way of playing in the manual
Overall: A very engaging game with a lot of content for small groups of people who don’t mind spending some time learning the rules. It feels like if you mixed Cluedo (Clue), with Dungeons and Dragons and then put it into HP Lovecraft setting.
Expensive, but what a great game. The app (required) works well, randomising elements of the 4 different scenarios keeping each game as "fresh" as it can considering the underlining story/plot will be similar.
Tips for playing, one person really needs to be in charge of the app, which ideally you should run on a tablet (thou' it's available on Steam if you have a laptop). It just keeps it simpler that way. The only real time to pass the tablet to other players is when they are attempting puzzles. The game can go on a bit so make sure you have a power supply for your tablet. Upon saying that when we played it the whole group loved the game, and wanted to play again straight away (we didn't but would of been happy to). Oh another tip, blue tooth to speakers, because the app has some nice atmospheric music and sound effects, really adds to the game.
The only let down for this version are the models, the quality seems average at best. The wings of one of my bigger models was detached, I've re stuck it back on. They also don't stay on their bases well, again, once I've painted them I'll be sticking them to the bases. Taken the premium price of the game (and already various expansions) it is disappointing they are average.
I didn't knock a star off for it, I suppose I should have, but the gameplay itself was solid and lots of fun. I playing in a group that enjoys games like Betrayal on the house on the hill and room 25. It's a good fit, and the app runs the game wonderfully.
This is simply the best game I have ever played. My daughter (10) and I played through the first scenario and we were instantly hooked. We immediately started the second scenario. The combination of board and app enhances the experience and I didn't hold the game up with endless rule checks, which I usually have to do with new games; this tends to drive the family nuts! The game is so immersive, with opportunities to role play, if you like that sort of thing, or just have fun solving clues and fighting monsters and interviewing suspects. This game has it all. Love the Lovecraft theme so much, I even bought a collection of his stories as I couldn't get enough. I would highly recommended this game.
Mansions of Madness is what you get when you ask "What if we could play a Cthulu RPG, but have an app do the DMing for us?" which is totally worthwhile if it's pandemic lockdown and there's just the two of you to play.
Warning there's a lot of dice rolling: roll to search, roll to attack, roll to defend, roll to evade, roll for sanity check vs monster, roll for sanity check vs environment at the end of each turn. We each roll the dice about 3-4 times per turn.
Then there's guess-the-code puzzles - we mostly cheated by using more than the "allowed" guesses. The app doesn't enforce the rules.
It is a bit odd that you have this representation of the map on the table made of cards, and then you see same map and tokens in the app (minus the monster and player locations) - comes across a bit redundant.
In all, a worthwhile experiment, "what if we let the app do the DMing?" The answer is that you get an app that is *almost* the entire game in itself, while the players keep track of a few bits of state outside the app.
Do not let the price tag deter you from purchasing this game. As with all Fantasy Flight games, the components are very high quality and the rules are (almost universally) clear and concise. The main game comes with a number of scenarios which vary from an hour to 3 hours in length and leans heavily on the works of lovecraft to provide interesting and atmospheric adventures.
The app is something that many feel is an issue but now that many people have ipads/tablets or smart phones it isnt really a problem. Now it only tracks what the game is doing, not the players. This, i imagine, is to stop people playing the game solely on their tablet for free but does mean that some elements have to be run by the players. One person running the game and reading the text boxes and instructions is reccomended. It really does help that the game responds to your decisions, or appears to, and the production quality is very high. The mechanics are also very strong, with madness and spells being very thematic and fun. Now for nitpicks and there are some despite the 5 stars. At least one more short adventure, straight out of the box would have been good. Although the longer scenarios are not boring by any means, they can eat away at time and you might end up frustrated at the end of an evening when everyone is tired and the final confrontation is taking too long. The longer scenarios can also take up a lot of table space as well so be forewarned, a six by four foot playing space is advised. The mysteries envisioned in the scenarios are also not really mysteries, you simply acquire objectives and then escape or kill a monster. I understand that one scenario from the second expansion does have a genuine mystery to solve but i have yet to buy it so i cannot say to its quality.
Great game so far, based on one playthrough. Be prepared to either make your own inserts or buy one of the pre-made ones as there is a lot of stuff with little room in a suprisingly big box. The app is needed to play the game, and once you get used to it actually adds a lot of atmosphere to the game. Like the old VCR/DVD adventure boardgames of old, but a lot better. The minis are pretty good, although made of soft bendy plastic not resin ( if they were this game would be double the price i guess). They need glueing to their bases, otherwise you spend a lot of time fixing them back on. They will look better when painted anyway. Can't comment on re-playability yet, but if this gets played several times a year (especially at Halloween) then it's work here is done. Still reckon the price point is a tad high for what you get, but the accompanying App is free, so not too bad.