Catacombs Game Review

Catacombs

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

catacombs

Creator: Aron West, Marc Kelsey, & Ryan Amos
Publisher: Sands of Time Games (March 2010)
# of Players: 2 – 5
Language: English
Target Age Group: 12 and up
Average Game Play: 30 – 60 minutes
Type of Game: Board Game
My Rating:4/5 stars

Synopsis:

“Catacombs is an action/dexterity based adventure board game. One player controls the Overseer, controlling the monsters of the catacombs. The other player(s) control the four heroes who cooperatively try to defeat the monsters and eventually the Catacomb Lord.  Each of the heroes have special abilities that must also be used effectively if they are to prevail.

“The main mechanic of Catacombs is for the players to flick wooden discs representing the monsters and the heroes. Contact with an opposing piece inflicts damage but missiles, spells, and other special abilities can cause other effects. When all of the monsters of a room have been cleared, the heroes can move further into the catacomb.   Items and equipment upgrades can be purchased from the Merchant with gold taken from fallen monsters.  The Catacomb Lord is the final danger that the heroes must defeat to win the game. Conversely, the Overseer wins if all of the heroes are defeated.  The game is designed for quick setup and fast play.”  — Sands of Time Games

Review:

I learned that I am absolutely horrible at flicking little wooden circles around on a board.  I kept hitting the black circles set up as obstacles on the board, other players, launching over people, in short, I could hit anything but the bad guys.  And that was with the medium-sized wooden circles.  Lets not even begin discussing the small, yellow circles that represent arrows and other smaller weapons!

So, my lack of dexterity aside, this was a fun game to play.  We played with 3 players – 1 player represented the Overseer, 1 player represented the wizard & the barbarian, and I represented the thief and the elf archer.  Each individual player/card has a different set of skills and a different level of life points.  A barbarian has the most with 12 life points and the thief has the fewest with 8 life points.  Along the way, you have opportunities to cast spells, purchase magical objects (cloak of invisibility, magic quiver, helm of rage, etc), and buy healing life points.  There are a total of 6 rooms to play through, each with a set of monsters/villains that the Overseer sets up where he or she likes.  The rooms are on double-sided game boards represented by cards so you could play this game multiple times and get different dynamics each time depending on which 6 cards you drew out of the deck.

This game is relatively simple, but allows for a lot of interaction between players and plenty of laughter as easy shots are missed and complicated shots are miraculously made.  There are many different permutations so each time you play the game it is going to be slightly different.  I did find that this game took a little bit more than an hour, but that might have been because it was our first time playing and we were kind of learning as we went along.  This would be a fun game to play with a group of friends or your family if you are looking for something a little bit different – just make sure no one is a really good flicker (shooting the wooden disks across the board by hitting it with your finger) so that you have a level playing field for everyone before you start.

Game Pieces:

68 wooden pieces, 3 double-sided game boards, 72 cards, and more.

Content:

You are playing against fantasy monsters in this game, but the pictures are pretty generic and nothing too explicit.  The game boards are generic scenes and so this game is appropriate for anyone to watch.  My cousin had his 7-year-old play a room with him and he had a really fun time aiming against the monsters.  So you can play this game with younger kids, but they will have a little bit more difficulty using the spells, the alternate skills and understanding the single & double hits by the villains against the health of the heroes.  Recommended for ages 12 and up.

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