The chair creaks as you settle onto it. The candlelight flickers. All around you the ravenous faces of your so-called friends twist in delight as you slowly open the box laid out on the table. Welcome to Dangerous Games! Each week, we'll feature a horror/thriller/monster tabletop game you should be playing. Don't be scared… roll the dice… what's the worst that could happen?
'Catacombs' - Sands of Time Games (2010)
You're creeping through a dank, vile catacomb. All around you the smiling faces of skulls seem to move and chatter in your torchlight. You, so called "brave" adventurer, have been sent down into these unhallowed tombs to find the vile lich, or to slay to corrupted dragon, or to kill the dreaded sorcerer. These catacombs seem to beg for your blood, can you and your friends flick your way to victory?
Yes, that's right, I said "flick your way to victory." 'Catacombs' is a game for two to five players that combines the atmosphere of a fantasy dungeon crawl with a dexterity-based flicking game. Your characters are represented by small discs, and you'll spend the game flicking them at your opponents to move and "deal damage." And if that's not enough, it's all flavored to look at feel more like horror/fantasy, rather than just a vanilla adventure.
As mentioned above, the chief mechanic in this game is disc flicking. One player will play the roll of the Overseer. He controls all the monsters, including the final boss. The other players will control one of four heroes, each of them with a special set of abilities and special moves they can do. There's the thief, the wizard, the elf and the barbarian.
As players flick their way across the board they'll earn gold from killing monsters. With that they can buy items at a set time in the game. There are multiple boards with room for obstacles built into them, and the game continues until either all the heroes are killed (and the Overseer wins) or until the heroes make it into the final room and kill the final boss (and the players win).
This is not a long game. You can play through a full adventure in under an hour. As such, it has a lot of appeal to lighter-game fans. If you like a game you can set up quickly and play in that short amount of time, you'll definitely keep coming back to 'Catacombs.' It is a lighter game, without heavy and overbearing rules, so it's a pleasure to return to.
This is one of those games that I've been staring at on the shelf of my local game shop. I finally did some research and scooped it up, and I'm really glad I did. This won all types of awards for "most innovative game" the year it came out. That's for good reason, this is an awesome, completely wild, new way to play a game. If you can find yourself a copy and you like your horror splashed with elves… check it out!