While you´re running through the corridors of the Asylum, you hear terrible screams everywhere. They say that you´re crazy, that there are no pigs with knifes walking around in this house, trying to slaughter you…no twins with black eyes. That the horrible clown with a balloon in his right and an axe in his left was an illusion and that the nuns are not possessed by the devil, as you can clearly see. You gotto get out of here, before they get you, and before they do this horrible thing to you….the LOBOTOMY.
This is a wonderful game! The base game shows that there is horror beyond zombies and Cthulhu (the expansion focuses completely on Lovecraft). It´s a full coop game, where you play against a timer similiar to Arkham Horror. Triggered by specific symbols on the cards, the warden will move down the insomnia track. If he reaches the end, you gotto fight him and will probably get slaughtered. So you wanna fulfill the scenario goal before that happens. Different from many modern game designs where everything is scripted, here is a lot of randomness and chaos included. Doors, lockers, monster positions, so much is randomized at the beginning of a scenario. Even the scenarios are randomly selected during the game. There are about 20 of them and they play quite different. All this makes the game often a little unfair, unbalanced and chaotic. I absolutely love this…it also guarantees a ton of replayability.
Components are great: map tiles, markers and cards are all perfect. The miniatures are awsome…lot´s of details and many crazy ideas. The artwork is also beyond complain.
There are many interesting decisions to make: the characters have some very strong special abilities, that can only be used every so many turns. So you always have to find the right time here. The weapons will get used up after a while, so again you have to choose if you wanna use a weapon or fight with your bare hands. You can take a loss of sanity to improve your odds sometimes, but that comes also with a penalty.
The heroes play all really different, monster AI is simple but sufficient.
This is definitely one of my favourites! You can see me do a playthrough here.
This expansion focuses heavily on Lovecraft. You can even play him as a character. It is now possible to explore the catacombs below the asylum, where you´ll find the Deep Ones under the command of Dagon. You could now do Rituals…some small scenarios that will reward you with powerful artifacts, valuable tools to fulfill your main goal. I´m not sure how much I like these…their abilities are fantastic, but does it make sense to find a lightsaber, the One Ring and a Star Trek uniform all in one place under the asylum? It is kind of funny, but thematically maybe a little over the top. Anyway, I do enjoy the Timescape expansion for Talisman, so I guess I will enjoy this one too.