Monday, February 21, 2011

Claustrophobia: Better Than Ravenloft and Ashardalon?

I've missed most of the hype surrounding the new Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon Dungeons and Dragons boardgames. I'm hearing, though, that they are quite popular, with WOTC having to do a second print run on Castle Ravenloft due to its' popularity.

During the course of my recent surfing, I came across a dungeon crawl game out of Europe called Claustrophobia. It's a dungeon crawl game, in the vein of Heroscape and the new DnD boardgames, with lots of shiny bits and playing tiles to move your heroes around on.

What I found very attractive about Claustrophobia were the troglodyte minis that came with the game, who accompany the demon the characters must kill. While they are represented by a single pose, they had a very "Sahuagin" look to them, particularly when painted up with purple paint, as they are in this photo.

The Claustrophobia game has some very interesting mechanics, which make it pretty simple to track the health of your characters. As they are wounded, you eliminate certain combat and move options each character has. Once all of those options are eliminated, the character is dead.

It reminds me a little of one of my favorite games, Magic Realm. In Magic Realm, as you become wounded or fatigued, the same basic mechanic is applied: you lose certain fight, move and spell abilities. Once all of those abilities are gone, you are dead. It makes the health of your character, and her related abilities, easy to manage, as they are represented by counters that you set aside as they are wounded or fatigued.

I'm tempted to buy Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon, along with Claustrophobia, although the price-point on all three are somewhat prohibitive.

1 comment:

Lee B said...

Everything new I see in the Ravenloft expansion should have been in the original set. Things like dungeon dressing beyond trap markers, and the full span of 4E PC classes. Board game buyers don't seem to share my "eyeroll" outrage though.