In Elder Sign, the players are investigators trying to stop an elder god from traversing a portal into the world. Failure will spell the doom of mankind.
Elder Sign is a dice-rolling game cleverly joined with a Lovecraftian horror theme. Some reviewers have complained that it is essentially Yahtzee with monsters, but we had a good time. Players will undergo missions which they complete by rolling specified combinations of the themed dice. There is strategy in that players must be careful what missions they choose. Some missions are harder than others, however you can gain rewards from easier missions that will allow you to roll more dice. You'll be able to work your way up to the harder missions. Overall, the rules are simple and one can learn to play in no time.
We won pretty easily (another complaint I read in reviews) but that is because I made a mistake and we forgot to apply one of the abilities of the elder god. Nevertheless, it was fun and we are planning to try it again this weekend.
In Elder Sign we tried to prevent the elder gods from dooming the world but in Cthulhu Gloom we wanted our characters to suffer a horrible fate.
Gloom is a card game where you win when your characters lose. You'll play cards to make your characters miserable or to cheer up your opponents. When your characters are thoroughly miserable, you kill them off with Untimely Death cards. The player with the most miserable family of characters wins. Cthulhu Gloom takes the basic premise of the original Gloom card game, but the characters, events, and deaths are given a Lovecraftian spin. It's a simple card game but the real fun comes when you create stories to explain how your characters met such misfortune.
We played this last night to get us in the mood for tonight's venture against the elder gods. I racked up a ton of Pathos points but I just could not get the cards to kill them off. I had forgotten that you can use a play to discard your entire hand. My brother-in-law actually killed all of his characters first but my wife had the most miserable family. We really got a chuckle out of the litany of woe that befell each character. For example, poor Barnabas Marsh, the anthropomorphic frog, was invited to dinner with family and friends (more frogs) where he became to main course (the death card was "eaten by frogs"). Anyway, this is another keeper for us.
This is the last game we were waiting for. We haven't played it yet but I'll provide a report when we do. My wife loves it because it features a cute panda.