Every year on October 31st, we like to take a few steps into the darker places of our psyche to explore our fears and anxieties. Games and stories are one of the methods we have used for generations to navigate those ominous mental labyrinths, and for this Halloween Uncle’s has a couple of titles that are not often recommended but are worth your time if you dare!
Dread is a horror-themed role-playing system that is super easy to set up and focuses on atmospheric storytelling. The rising tension found in many of our favorite spooky stories is simulated in a session of Dread through the use of a Jenga tower. When a character attempts any action beyond that character’s normal capabilities the player will make a pull from the Jenga tower. If the character successfully pulls and replaces the block, then the group has gained a temporary advantage over whatever foul nemesis stalks the players. However, if the tower falls or the player refuses to make a pull, then that player has met their end at hands of the dire antagonist or the circumstances that have arisen from their pursuit.
Dread is available from The Impossible Dream as a PDF or softcover book, and you can pick up a copy of Jenga at any of our stores.
Mountains of Madness
3-5 players, Ages 12+, 60-90 Minutes
Rob Daviau has obtained a significant amount of prestige among the board game community from his work on Heroscape to his Legacy variants of Risk and Pandemic, and his most recent creation will test the limits of your mental fortitude. Mountains of Madness is a cooperative gid movement and hand management game with some light role-playing elements that put it in a wonderfully strange place between a party game and heavier adventure game. In Mountains of Madness, you and your friends take on roles as explorers playing out the potentially ill-fated expedition described in the Lovecraft story of the same name. As players explore tiles and make their way up the mountain they must overcome the challenges detailed on those tiles by collectively playing out resource cards from their hands that match the value and type indicated on the tile. However, there is a limited amount of time to communicate which cards players have in their hand, and players’ ability to communicate may be limited by the madness cards the game has inflicted on the party. Madness cards may be as benign as requiring the player to shake hands with everyone once the timer begins or a severe as requiring the player to replace all numbers they say with the corresponding calendar month!
If you have an experienced gaming group that is looking bring something a little lighter that makes you question your friend’s weird quirks, then Mountains of Madness is a must add to your gaming collection.