Review

Review

Dangerous Games: 'A Touch of Evil' Board Game Review

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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?
 
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A Touch of Evil
 
Life in the countryside is tough, especially during the early 1800s. Beyond the daily struggle of feeding one's family and keeping up appearances to one's neighbors, there's also the problem of that eerie howling during every full moon. And what of all those bats that streak past the night sky, that seem to swarm and fly with menacing intent? And why have the village elders been acting so strangely lately? Well, there's nothing left to do but sharpen your pitchfork, quill a letter to your loved ones, and light your torch… it's time to face A Touch of Evil.
 
Released by Flying Frog Productions, this strategic horror board game for two to eight players pits heroes of the village against villains that hide in a lair and attempt to overthrow the town. The eight heroes range from a simple courier to a high inspector, a teacher, a soldier and more. Each hero has a different set of stats and different rankings of things like courage and honor, and they each have special abilities. The goal of the game is to strengthen your hero and help (or hinder) your comrades while finding and defeating the villain.
 
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Game Mechanics
 
This game is based on turns and has two modes of play, competitive and cooperative. At the start of a game, heroes and one of the four random villains are chosen. Each turn a player can investigate during a mystery phase. This includes healing, drawing mystery cards which progress the plot of the game, and even getting attacked. The second phase is the "Showdown Phase," and this is where you attempt to strike back at the terror that threatens your town.
 
There are tons of other aspects to the game, little bits and bobs that keep the game difficult, exciting (and sometimes confusing), and always moving forward. Maybe you're trying to figure out who on the town council has betrayed you, or maybe you're heading to a site of interest where you think the villain may be hiding. Either way, there is a lot to do in this game. Winners will vanquish the villain, save the town, and be the first to do so.
 
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Replay Value
 
Because of how differently the characters all play, this game has lots of replay value. For example, if you were to play as the playwright or the soldier, the result would be two completely different games. The four villains also completely change the game: each has its own set of stats, special abilities, and minions. The four villains are so unique, as they should be, that they're wildly different classic monster archetypes. There's the Vampire and Werewolf, of course, but also the Spectral Horseman and the Scarecrow. The different iterations of this game, and the tactics involved to win, will definitely keep players coming back.
 
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Overall Impressions
 
This is an awesome gothic horror game. If you want to really feel like Ichabod Crane, this is definitely the game for you. While the style is a little overdone and corny, the action is intense. This is not a quick, simple, "let's sit down and play" style game. It is what we call in the gaming community "crunchy," with lots of pieces, parts, turns, and rules. But if you're like me and you really want to sink your teeth into an awesome, in-depth horror game, you can do no better than A Touch of Evil. Oh, and did I mention that it comes with a soundtrack to play along with the game?
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