“Tides of Madness”
designed by Kristian Curla, published by Portal Games
Can you conquer the bizarre world of Lovecraftian mythos in this two-player, card-drafting, engine-building game? Begin by drafting one card from your hand of five and place it into your tableau in front of you before passing your hand to your opponent. Each card scores different points based on different conditions in your tableau: maybe you will score points for the majority of a certain symbol, or simply score for each symbol of that kind you have in your tableau. Or go for the big points by drafting Nyartholep, who requires one of each of the five symbols in the game. Or you can collect madness for an end-of-round scoring bonus. But be careful, collect nine madness tokens and you automatically lose! Three rounds are played, with one card left over from the previous round to help you in the next. Most points after the three rounds wins…unless you go mad by collecting nine madness tokens! Be careful, if you leave a card with madness in front of you, things escalate pretty quickly. As I found out the hard way…twice.
Card-drafting stripped down to its purest form: with two players, players quickly know what is available and it quickly becomes almost tactical as you try to develop the best combo for your hand while trying to prevent your opponent from developing theirs.
One Line Verdict: Take this descent into madness again with this different take on the Cthulhu mythos.