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?
Darkest Night (Victory Point Games, 2012)
The air is thick and foul, as usual. You hear moaning on the hillsides. As you shrink back in your hovel you can feel the chill of death. It stalks this land like a plague. Skeletons clatter down country roads, vampires sniff out fresh blood in the night, blights savaged the natural world. And it's all because of him. Lording over the ruined castle, the Necromancer watches his filth spread across the country. Will you stand up, shirk off your disguise, and save the realm? Maybe, but you'll need some help first.
Darkest Night is a fully cooperative game for one to four players. Set in a horror/fantasy realm, players choose the role of one of many different heroes attempting to win back the town. Through multiple win conditions (and plenty of lose conditions) the players attempt to sneak, fight, and steal their way to victory against the vile creature lording over the country.
The Necromancer has taken over your realm. You and three other adventurers (you control all four if you're playing solitaire) attempt to sneak around the realm under the nose of the necromancer. As he summons vile minions and puts nasty curses all over the land, you struggle to find keys needed to open holy treasure chests. Inside some of these chests you'll find relics, and you must coordinate to return these relics to the monastery before the monastery is corrupted.
With nine playable characters to choose from (composed of: Knight, Seer, Acolyte, Scholar, Druid, Priest, Rogue, Prince and Wizard) it becomes of question of how to properly balance everyone's skills. The Knight will need to fend off hordes of monsters while the Scholar searches for the holy relics. Every playable character has its own set of abilities and a deck of ability cards. By careful plotting, you and your fellow players may be able to overthrow the Necromancer, but it isn't going to be easy.
With a choice between nine different characters each play session will feel a little bit different. What will your team be comprised of this play-through? Also, because the game is made up of shuffled decks of cards, no one game session is ever going to be like another. This isn't a terribly long game, either, so playing once isn't going to drain or sour you from the experience over time.
This is, by far, one of the best solitaire games I've tried in a long time. We enjoyed it with multiple players, but playing it solo is a completely different monster. The act of juggling the abilities of four different characters adds a depth to this game that most solitaire games lack.The flavor is nice, the game components are well made, and it becomes a fun game of overrun with more players. Check it out if you like mixing your wizards with your undead.