by Virginia Jeffrey
September 03, 2019
Don’t want to leave your house because the sun and optimism of the world is too much? Don’t want to play any of the happy go lucky games where everybody’s a winner? Well there is a game for those who like to dwell in dark and spooky places, wears the smallest to most extensive amount of black, is cynical and pessimistic, and prefers to stay inside on rainy days. It’s called Gloom! The title is just a small taste of how dark and morbid this game is.
In Gloom, your objective: To be as miserable as possible and then die! You get to choose a family that has 5 character cards with a portrait of a character and a small description or harsh statement that defines the character. The families are Castle Slogar, Hemlock Hall, Dark’s Den of Deformity, and Blackwater Watch.
There are cards that have positive outcomes you can play on other characters to make them happy. Try to get the highest negative self-worth on your characters then kill them so you can gain the highest score and have the most miserable family. As soon as your or one of the other players’ family is dead, the game immediately ends. Still living characters do not count towards your total negative self-worth score. Only your dead characters can contribute to your score at the end of the game.
I enjoy this game because it’s not just about killing the families and making them miserable, it’s how you describe the stories behind each card. You don't just get to simply say how and why something happened. You have to use storytelling skills to create an entertaining story of the characters’ lives. There are many editions and expansions of Gloom and each one is unique in their styles and how to play certain cards. The cards may be the same every time you play but each player’s personality and interpretation of each card gives each game its own unique stories.
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