It’s a fact: Life sucks, the then you die; at least, according to the characters in Gloom, a fantastic card game by Keith Baker and Atlas Games.
in the game, you play sad and depressed families, just trying to get ahead in life, but impeded at every turn by you, the players. Your job is to make these people’s loves as miserable as possible, and then kill them.
You do this by laying down cards on top of one another to make things as awful as possible, while laying down good cards on your opponent to make the lives of their characters peachy and wonderful.
The thing that makes this game so brilliant is that the cards are clear plastic. You play cards on top of one another, and those cards will cover up previous bonuses or negatives on the cards behind them. It’s fantastically simple, but that’s what makes it so nice: you can actually see how one thing in their miserable lives impacts past experiences.
We sat down, I taught Bridget how to play, and we ran the two-person game in about 20 minutes, max.
During the course of the game, we found ourselves gravitating toward certain characters on both sides. I was bound and determined to make Bridget’s Brain in a Jar the happiest man alive, giving him all kinds of bonuses and allowing him to fall in love and saving him from succumbing to alcohol poisoning (Bridget decided to focus all alcohol-related cards on him). On my own side, I chose to make the nanny’s life a living hell. i wasn’t satisfied until I had completely driven her to the edge of madness, then drowned her life away in rye.
The game is really fun, and encourages a bit of roleplaying, too. How is it that The Twins were Bothered by Bees? And why did your character just die Free of Cares? It’s not necessary, but giving each a character a life story is incredibly entertaining.
If you’re a fan of The Addams Family or anything else with a dark sense of humor, this will definitely appeal to you. Gameplay is fast and simple, and really gets your creative juices flowing, if you’re game for it.