Thursday, September 16, 2010

In the Mail: Castle Ravenloft Board Game

Oh no! The Castle Ravenloft box threw up!

Man, this is one nice, big box o' D&D stuff. It looks like a very interesting game, and I hope to test it in the next few days and have some comments up by next week.

It also includes the worst smelling game components since the Stone Age leather dice cup. The smell dissipates after a while, which is good, because it was actually a smell worse than "Eau de Gamer". (I kid because I love.)

I'm very interested in this one because my son is heavily into D&D, but being a 42-year-old man, I don't really have the time for hours of prep and adventuring, and kids these days just don't get the finer points of RPGs. The goal of Castle Ravenloft is to provide a co-op, 1-hour-long D&D boardgame, with the game mechanics functioning as the DM.

I've read some bad reviews of this one so far, which seem to be complaining about it because ... it's a co-op, 1-hour long D&D boardgame, with the game mechanics functioning as the DM. How did they expect the designers to fit a D&D adventure into an hour with abstracting certain design elements and mechanics? Did they think every box came with a Space/Time Compression Generator?

Some commentators seem irritated because it's not Descent, which it didn't ever claim to be. I don't want to play Descent. It's a good game, but it takes too long. I wanted a dungeon crawl that could be played in a shorter amount of time. In other words: I wanted Castle Ravenloft. Let's hope it works as promised.

And I've left the best part for last: co-designer Mike Mearls has an unboxing video at the official Wizards website. It's a saucy (nay, almost provocative) undressing of the game, lacking only the thwacka-thwacka bass soundtrack. Are techies and gamers the only people who do unboxing videos? I mean, I love them too, but they just feel so wrong. So wrong ... but so very right.


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