The Tower of Madness is everything you expect, but totally different

You know those days where you just want to lose your marbles?

Making the Honorable Mentions section of my Most Anticipated Games of 2018 list, Tower of Madness is close to actually being released!

It was apparently hopefully being released for Origins, but alas it was not to be.  But it is back on show at Origins, and it’s still looking great.

Looking at Tower of Madness, a lot of people can be forgiven for thinking of it as a Cthulhu themed Kerplunk.  While not unreasonable, looks can be deceiving.

At its core, Tower of Madness is closer to Elder Sign than Kerplunk.  Each player rolls 5 dice and must lock in a Gate, Heart and Mind symbol on their investigator boards.  Each turn, you must lock in at least one die, and if you can’t the investigation is failed and you pull out a tentacle from the Tower!

The Location cards. These are where the bulk of the game actually happens.

But while the tower is ‘punishment’ for failing an investigation, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.  You may cause a blue ‘Discovery’ to drop from the tower, giving victory points similar to succeeding in an investigation.  To help you in future investigations, you may also receive a white ‘Forbidden Knowledge’ marble.  This knowledge will help you in the form of spells or special abilities as you proceed.

But there are bad effects as well.  The red ‘Insane’ marbles are waiting to steal your mind.  When you collect four marbles, you become Insane and want nothing more than to bring Cthulu to Earth.  This means you don’t even worry about dice on your turn – you simply pull tentacles trying to get all three green Cthulu marbles to fall.  If you are the insane player that causes the third marble to drop – you win the game for ending the world!

The prototype Tower of Madness

While this is all the base mechanics of the game, each location has unique conditions that play with the investigation mechanics so there is always something slightly changing the game state.

This all sounds like a novel way to spend half an hour, and from the sounds of it, Tower of Madness will hopefully be another game available come August!  Keep an eye on the Board Game Geek page for more information.

Until next time,

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