We return to the worlds of Lovecraft for our second best game of all time, Mansions of Madness. The first edition of this game was great and was always bundles of fun. It had some drawbacks though with the requirement for one person to play a dungeon master role as well as the set up being a bit of a bear. Not only was set up difficult if it was done wrong it could throw the entire scenario out of whack!
Even with all of the issues the first edition had it still would have made it on the Top 100 because it was one of the most immersive story games that we had. Sometimes I do miss being the dungeon master role because it was great watching people unfold my evil plans! However, recently Fantasy Flight games released a second edition which helped this game reached almost to the top of our Top 100!
The new edition made the game fully cooperative by having the evils of the scenario operated by an app for either your smartphone, tablet, or computer. So now there is no way for the set up to be wrong and everyone gets to join in the fun of figuring out the mystery or being driven insane by the scenario. The app provides lots of flavor text and background music to draw the players deeper into the occult dealings.
While the app simplified some of the aspects of the game they didn’t get rid of some of the best parts from the original game. There are still little puzzles that need solving (although now they are in the app) and you still roll the dice to see if succeed in the task. Although not knowing how many you need adds to the mystery and the tension of the game.
Being in the Lovecraft universe this game is probably not for those players who are relatively young but for those of us who are advanced in years and love cooperation, exploration, and mystery in the their games owe it to themselves to give Mansions of Madness 2nd edition a try.