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?
Nightfall (AEG, 2011)
You can't remember the last time you saw the sun. The moon rules over all now, casting its milky glow on the meek and downtrodden. But there are new leaders in town now. No sooner had the sun shrunk from the earth then creatures from nightmares began to take hold. Vampires, Werewolves, and Ghouls all struggle for power in the sunless world now, will you be able to recruit them to survive?
Nightfall is a card drafting game for two to five players. Set in a dark, dystopian horror-future, players will draft cards and try to create chains of effect while dealing damage to their opponents. Unlike many deck building or card drafting games, this is a slugfest. And the least harmed player at the end of the game wins.
Each player starts the game by drafting a set of cards that will be their personal cards to start with. The goal of the game is to play creatures, attack with those creatures, and deal damage to your opponents. You can block creatures that attack you, and in a lot of ways the combat plays like the ever-popular Magic: The Gathering.
The mechanic that really makes this game intriguing is the idea of "Chaining" effects. Each card has a featured color (that's the largest of three circles in the upper left-hand corner) and two smaller neighbor colors. When you play another card of the same color or matching color, you can chain it and get additional bonuses. This can lead to devastating combos, fun card play interactions, and lots of variability.
This game is easy to learn and full of complex variables. So once you get the basics down you'll be chaining effects, leveling the playing field, and feeling awesome. There could have been a bit more variety in the initial set, which would add to the replay value even more. But for what you get here it's really awesome and you'll probably still play it over and over, regardless of the variety. And with new expansions coming out every year, there's a lot to dig into.
Wow, this is a fun game. This is the type of game that won't blow you away while it sits on the shelf. And it may sit on the shelf of your local game store for a while before anyone picks it up. But you should get this game, for sure. Not sold yet? Try out the iOS app version of the game for three bucks.