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Subject: A good addition to the series with some minor drawbacks rss

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Ed Hughes
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I am a huge fan of the Gloom series, with all of it's Charles Addams/Edward Gorey creepiness, deceptively clever gameplay, innovative clear-card mechanics, and "opposite-day," "bad is good" scoring system.

Each expansion has contributed something that does much more than accomodate an additional player and add some new cards, each one has brought with it a new and game changing wrinkle that has resulted in a very deep and clever game.

Cthulhu Gloomhas the same card count as the base set, twice as many as any expansion. It has four new families; The Whatelys, Arkham Asylu, Miskatonic University, and Innsmouth. There are two new story icons; madness and magic. Both are very cool looking. The rules are basically the same, consisting of modifiers, events, and untimely deaths but the cards now have icons on them delineating whether the card is an interrupt, has a continuing effect, etc. I found this addition to be helpful, but not especially necessary, because the cards have never seemed ambiguous to me in their application. What IS helpful, however, is that modifiers with continuing effects now have illustrations on them which cover the character portrait and have a small text bubble to remind players of their effects. It's an ingenious solution, and works well. Another new mechanic are the "Story cards." Story cards behave like a cross between the mysteries from Unhappy Homes, and the guests from Unwelcome Guests. They are similar to mysteries in that they are claimed y having the right story icons, and like guests in that they move freely from player to player.

This expansion keeps up the gloom tradition of bitingly funny flavor text. The illustrations are crisper and clearer than previous editions, probably due to Atlas Games refining the clear card printing process that has been an issue in the past.

The Cthulhu theme dovetails perfectly into the gloom universe, unlike many games which have received Cthulhu expansions (Munchkin, Chez Geek, etc)

The downside is, it isn't fully backwards compatible with earlier gloom products, because the card backs are different and the are no houses to accommodate mysteries.

All in all if you are a gloom or Cthulhu fan, this is a must buy.
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Keith Baker
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Crayola, if you want to keep things simple with CG you can leave the Story Card aspect out completely; there's only a single event that becomes obsolete if they're left out.

Ed, you're absolutely right about the lack of houses - although we intentionally reused the Investigation and Horror icons from Unwelcome Guests to help compatibility there. Since CG is intended to be standalone, it would have been confusing to have four cards with no purpose in the game itself just for the compatibility. Of course, you don't actually NEED a house to have a mystery; you can just set the mystery next to your family, and pretend there's a house underneath it.

We did decide to make the card backs different, and this does mean that if you mix old and new you'll know which set an upcoming card comes from. However, in my experience that's not an insurmountable obstacle to play - though I understand the frustration. The flip side is that it makes it very easy to separate the decks afterwards - something we didn't do a great job of with the original.

Thanks for the review!
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Ed Hughes
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Keith; Would you consider making houses as a promo or perhaps include them with the next expansion? I for one would love to see your illustrator's take on Whately Manor, Arkham Asylum, Miskatonic University and Innsmouth Harbor.
-Here's a suggestion for flavor text
Innsmouth Harbor: Something smells fishy around here.

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Keith Baker
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Houses seem like a logical promo or even website item. As they are a foundational card, they don't actually need to be transparent.
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Megan Perry
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Re: A good addition to the series
I much prefer this themed version already. I don't have any problem with the cards not matching. I think the redesigned cards are a welcome improvement, and more legible than ever.

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Jonan Jello
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I saw this at a game store in Fremont. I'd definitely try the Gloom series with this Cthulhu addition. Looking at the card artwork, it looks like the art is reminiscent of Gahan Wilson. Looks great.

Thanks for the review, Ed.
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