Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The original Gloom, with a hint of Wheaton

During the poker craze of the early 2000s, I used to enjoy watching Celebrity Poker Showdown. Poker is an interesting game, but I appreciate it more for the interactions between the players than for the actual game play, and celebrities tend to have much more outgoing personalities than professional poker players.

When I first heard about Wil Wheaton's TableTop YouTube show, I thought "great! Celebrity Poker with board games!" Which is pretty much what it is. Wheaton's guests are a bit more obscure, but still interesting, and I'm much more interested in what's going on with the games themselves. I've bought a couple of games based on their appearances on the show (Tsuro and Smash Up).

Last year Wil Wheaton and TableTop's co-creator Felicia Day sponsored a worldwide TableTop Day, designed to encourage table top gaming and make a media event out of it. We participated at our local game store last year, and we're planning on doing the same for the second annual TableTop Day, coming up in April.

What does any of this have to do with Gloom? Well, we already played and reviewed Cthulhu Gloom earlier in the list, and the games are more or less identical to the point that it's not really worth owning both of them. However, at TableTop Day last year they gave out a special pack of promotional cards for Gloom featuring characters and situations from TableTop, so we bought a copy of the original game to go with them.

The TableTop cards are fun, with Story cards "The Loser's Couch" that lets you play additional cards on dead characters, and the "Table Top Trophy of Awesome" which gives you an extra card play on your turn. "Wil Wheaton, Notable Nerd" and "Felicia Day, Guild Goddess" move from player to player, offering game play advantages, and cards like "Bumped the Board" and "Distracted Dr. Hannah" commemorate notable events from the show.

Rating: 3 (out of 5) I like the Cthulhu version a little better, but the TableTop cards make this one pretty fun too.

  • Gloom official website
  • Gloom on BoardGameGeek.com

Date played: February 1, 2014

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