Mountains of Madness Board Game Review
Here is the review:
Another game out of the Cthulhu universe in which you play as an explorer tying to scale an Antarctic Mountain in search of the paranormal and truly weird.
Based on the Cthulhu Mythos, this is a cooperative board game involving strategy and communication. Players take control of an explorer and must work together to try and scale the mountain and escape with its secrets.
The game itself involves a game board which represents the mountain and tiles on the board are used for each encounter the party has, starting on the coast and scaling to the summit to reach the “Edge of Madness”.
The game in played in phases, with the leader changing each turn and taking charge of the expedition. A successful team will scale the mountain and be able to leave taking out important pieces of research before losing their sanity or succumbing to wounds inflicted by the harsh mountain environment.
Notably, the best part of this game is the introduction of a new mechanic known as the “Madness Card”. Unlike other Cthulhu games in which your sanity is just another “hit point” meter, in this game the madness actually affects the players themselves.
During the communication part of the turn, each player who has a madness card will have their form of communication affected in some way. This can be something as simple as a player yelling the entire time or even a player who can’t speak or make any noise at all and yet is still expected to communicate! In most cases, the madness affecting players often led to much frustration but also much hilarity at the same time.
Make no mistake, this game is not easy and in order for a team to be successful players would need to have played the game at least once in order to understand how all the mechanics work. The game is however quite basic once you understand it and the rules are easily explained to any new players.
I have played this game a total of 5 times now and only been successful once!
Having said that, this does not put me off playing again and really it’s much more about the journey and not the destination (however the win criteria might suggest otherwise).
This is a fun and light-hearted game that I believe is good value for its price considering the ability to replay this game. After 5 play throughs I am still finding there are madness cards that affect players which I have not seen and when playing with other players this makes the experience ever-changing. Being an avid board game player, the new “madness” mechanic makes this one of the best and freshest board games I have played in a while. I look forward to leading a (hopefully) successful team up to the mountain soon!