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SUSD reviews you don't agree with

If you’re curious, their review of 1st edition is here: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-04-02-mansions-of-madness-review

When it has come up, the trouble with second edition for them seems to be that they already found the game inconsistent and the app was even more inconsistent than a human keeper when they played it. While Quinns has occasionally said something nerdy about Lovecraft’s tone in games, I think SU&SD as a whole is fine with the Shotguns and Tentacles aesthetic and rather liked the Arkham Horror LCG.

I can definitely understand the inconsistency issues for sure. The app makes things pretty unpredictable and can feel just genuinely random. But yes, their recommendation of Arkham Horror LCG is definitely one that brought me to that game so I don’t think that they’re FULLY AGAINST the Shotguns and Tentacles at all, its just one of those games I hear referenced in a throw-away fashion that’s all.

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They commented in the BGG 100 piece exactly that: Paul asked Quinns if he remembered that time they tried to play 2nd edition and the app just started spitting random nonsense at them. :stuck_out_tongue:

I am not a big fan of dice heavy ameritrash games but even I would say MoM2 is a suprisingly good game.
For me it is a great gateway game that I love to show to friends that are new to the hobby. Since the app does most of the heavy lifting you can explain just the basics and start playing right away.

About randomness: The app doesn’t really throw random stuff at you that much. The map is generated kind of randomly but only to a point where rooms are mixed up. There are some story fragments that you either have implemented in your playthrough or you don’t so that replaying a scenario isn’t boring. But most of the randomness comes down to skill check feedback. Especially when fighting. As soon as you start to fight the app actually starts spitting random nonsense at you. But everything else? Quite a nice orchestrated experience. Simple fun and still exciting due to the nature of hidden information.

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I think I would still find it too frustrating, but I do like the concept of a haunted house where everything is creepy but, you know, approachably so until you draw your pistol at the lumbering zombie at which point the house begins to split reality wildly as a defensive mechanism.

The zombie? Now it’s riding a wolf! There’s a yog-shoggoth in the toilet! The floor boards are jelly! The jelly is more zombies!

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Yeah I get that, I myself am way more into heavy euro games so liking MoM was a surprise to me.
But really, that’s not the kind of randomness you should expect. A monster or the board in general won’t be changing states randomly. When the board changes state it’s due to the passing of time or enemies doing their stuff in undiscovered locations (which can’t be done without an app or a GM). And it always follows clear rules. It basically simulates other enteties. For these reasons I’d call it an orchestrated experience that at its core never felt random. Random fluff during fighting however…pretend it’s not there :slight_smile:

(That was a joke, not a serious expectation)

Then please ignore me :upside_down_face:

My top 5 games are currently Shakespeare, Root, Scythe, Gaia Project, and Village, none of which were recommended by SU&SD.

Except Village.

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Speaking of dismissals, Quinns posting in the comments of a post that Tragedy Looper was “very bad”, never expanding the thought, then pretty much loving all other deduction games for the next 3 years has irked me to no end.

Yeah, they didn’t like Lewis and Clark, right? I played it at a board game weekend with their review in mind and ending up LOVING it. It was a really close game and we all had a great time with it.

Same with Marco Polo. It has been ages but I believe they were lukewarm on it but I thought it was a lot of fun.

I absolutely cannot stand The Mind. My first play of it was so excruciating that I doubt I would ever try it again - I would rather volunteer to set up the next game and learn the rules while other people are playing it!

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They were somewhat ambigious on Root if I am correct. They neither hated or loved it in the review and it later showed up in Quinss collection of games that he “has chosen to keep”.

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The one that really comes to mind for me is the review of the FFG Star Wars roleplaying game. They weren’t too keen on the dice mechanic or talent trees as I remember, and I know they also weren’t too big on some of the rules and the different rule books. I GMed a 6-month long campaign of EOtE mixed with a bit of AOR meeting on average once every two weeks for a 3-4 hour session, and everyone who played absolutely adored it.

I am not a big fan of DnD simply because I do not enjoy the intricacies of having to know every single spells statistics and measuring numbers against numbers, and having to try to find a very specific skill or ability to do something. That’s why I really enjoyed the system FFG uses for Star Wars. A player can effectively ask the GM “Hey, I think I’d be able to do this under this skill that I have, can I try?” And the GM can look at the skill, see if it makes sense and simply determine “How good are you at this? What might make this more difficult or easier? Does it make sense?” Then you go with it. Knowing that something being of a specific difficulty and knowing exactly how many dice that difficulty will ALWAYS be is something that I enjoy so much more than putting numbers to everything.

I get how some people get turned off by the improv aspect of it, but with my group everyone was always hoping that advantage or threat because they got to decide how the advantage played out in very creative and fun ways, and I got to decide how the threat might up the stakes even when they succeeded at something. Bartering for bonus or setback dice was almost a game in itself. I’m someone who really more enjoys his roleplaying being a story-based experience, and the narrative aspect of the system just checked off so many boxes for me. After playing something that doesn’t require me to go “What’s my skill number, what’s my base stat number, what’s the setback or bonus number I have to add into the number that I need to beat to accomplish something” it’s hard for me to go back when that kind of number crunching just takes me right out of the game. I think that this also reduced the amount of “Well, according to the numbers, I should totally be able to do this thing that breaks the game.”

They liked Marco Polo, just not enough to recommend above other similar euro games. I think that is fair although I personally adore it. It’s a good game! But I can’t recommend it ahead of Concordia unless, like me, you love games with dice in them.

Like OP, I was triggered by The Lean, Mean, Wrong Opinion Having Machine, Paul Dean, and his take on Spartacus.

It’s a game that should be forgiven for its lack of mechanical nuance - “all it is is just playing cards” - because it more than makes up for it in the exciting/fun/hilarious player interaction. My gaming group has an absolute blast whenever this comes out.

I always expect Root to be a chore, and it always takes me a few turns to settle in, but the art is so gorgeous and the play is so unusual that we almost always have a great time. Root is one of my son’s favorite games, so it’s in regular rotation. I understand all the caveats, but it’s great.