" One especially nice aspect of Curse, though, and contrary to my normal gripe with these games, is that there's actually enough information on the cards and boards that you won't have to spend all day looking back in the manual "
Title: Crypt: The Pharaoh's Curse by LoS Games
Format: Collectible Trading Board Game?
Reviewing Monkey: Our Ape Masters
The Hype: We have collectible/trading cards, miniatures, pogs, and disks…so why not board games? Well, Line of Sight (LoS) games thinks you'll want to check out what it hails as the first such endeavor.
What This Monkey Thought...
Playability: Those familiar with tiled
board games (i.e. you play a tile when your character encounters it on in game)
will feel right at home with the "trading board" system Crypt offers up, and
that, so far as I'm concerned, isn't to be considered a bad thing in any way.
The premise, simply enough, is that you and the other players are trapped in
a peril filled crypt and you must escape not only the traps and monsters it
offers but also the machinations of your fellow adventures. As has become increasingly
common, Crypt offers up a number of roleplaying elements to help you on your
quest, including numerous action types, counters and dodges, special weapons
and attacks, and character statistics. Play is a combination of a collectible
card game and a "standard" roleplaying board game, with your statted character
drawing weapons and gifts from a constructed deck (called a "stack" in the game)
and using them to navigate the randomly selected map hexes which are taken from
a player created pool made up before the game.
The combination of the two elements actually work pretty darn well and the random effect of card drawing and the variable map combine with the strategy elements of deck building to make for a lot of character diversity and player control. Of course, the random element involved in the draws keep things interesting and means that you'll never really feel comfortable when you're in the lead. All this is rounded out with a rpg-esque dice rolled combat system and the end effect is actually quite a lot of fun. One especially nice aspect of Curse, though, and contrary to my normal gripe with these games, is that there's actually enough information on the cards and boards that you won't have to spend all day looking back in the manual 4 out of 5
Aesthetics: The good news is that the hex board decorations really are nice and can be quite pleasing to the eye. Lush color, reasonable detail, and just enough atmosphere to keep it all interesting fill the unfortunately small but still acceptable 2 inch square of image on each. So that's the up side. The down side, and what ends up being a not surprising effect of having all that crucial information printed everywhere, is that the maps have nice graphics but the cards have none or virtually none. And while I appreciate the effect, it's always lame when the things you end up looking at the most have the least aesthetic appeal. 3 out of 5
Value vs. Cost: A Crypt starter will run you about 13 bananas…and while that's not too bad it's worth noting that it's also not enough to play anything but a solitaire game (which, at least, is an option included in the rules). Even with 2 starters you'll find that you don't really have enough to keep things interesting, and though it is suggested that a starter and a couple of boosters (which retail for 4 bananas) is all you need to play I really don't think you'll be able to get rolling on this bad boy with less than a starter and five boosters or two starters and two boosters (which means you'll spend 25 to 35 bucks to get 2 people rolling). Which, in this day and age, certainly isn't horrible but it's not anything to get excited about either. 3.5 out of 5
|All in all, Crypt: The Pharaoh's Curse finds and fills a nice niche between casual board gaming and the collectible card market. Its design is smooth, its play is fun, and it will probably stand as a great choice for those looking for something new but still familiar.|
The Good: Fun rules with a nice balance of chaos and strategy
The Bad: Not nearly enough art and it's a bit pricey
The Overall Ugly: Give it a try…and if you don't like it blame Dungapult.
What it's Worth: Market…but try and find it on sale.