A review of Elder sign “A Game of dice and dementia for 1-8 players” by Fantasy Flight Games.

Last night my gaming group and I played Fantasy Flight Games Elder Sign and Flying Frog Productions A Touch of Evil; we had fun and enjoyed both games.

After having played Elder Sign three times, I thought I should make a quick write up of my thoughts on the game. Elder sign is a cooperative dice game based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Arkham Horror. The game takes place with the investigators (i.e players) in a museum attempting to stave off the supernatural forces of evil as the Ancient one awakes. If the investigators locate enough Elder Signs they can seal away the Ancient ones and win the game if not the Ancient one awakes sometimes resulting in a fierce battle or simply defeat.

The game pieces are highly detailed with nice artwork and flavor text. Each adventure card contains challenges for the investigators that they must complete, in order to gain the rewards or suffer penalties if they fail.

The setup is quick and overall easy to prepare for gameplay. The box itself is also nice allowing easy storage of the pieces when it is not in play.

The first time I played Elder Sign we tried a two player game which raised the difficulty of actually completing the tasks and defeating the ancient one. Gameplay went quick and the ancient one awoke with little to no chance for us to defeat it. Evil prevailed.

The second time I played the game it was a group of four. This really made the game come alive. We strategized together attempting to collect enough Elder signs to keep the ancient one from awakening. The setup of cards was easily accessible to all the players and we each felt engaged as gameplay occurred. The gameplay went quickly and was still challenging. This time we were able to collect enough Elder signs just in time to prevent the ancient one from awakening.  Everyone genuinely enjoyed the game and looked forward to playing it again.

The third time we played with a group of seven players. Four of which played before with an understanding of the rules. The setup becomes much more difficult with more people as most cannot see the adventure cards with the small writing unless you are practically sitting on someone else. The gameplay still had a challenge element to it as the clock advances quicker filling up the doom track making less time until the ancient one awakes. The game was still fun but players were disengaged as it would take more time between turns and not everyone could see everything. In addition, we seemed to run out of clue tokens because some players were hoarding them. Overall, the game play was fun, just different with more people.

I would recommend Elder sign as a sound purchase especially at the $34.95 price point.  It is fun and easy to set up and get going without dragging on. It also has a high replay value with the random Elder Gods and investigators. The best number of players seems to be four, in my opinion, but can the game is still enjoyable with more or less players.

~ by liviasminiatures on January 7, 2012.

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