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     " fter a few mediocre gaming sessions using the official rules we customized them, slimmed them down, and employed our own house version that sped up play about 3 times. "

      Title: When Darkness Comes by Twilight Creations

      Format: Horror Board Game

      Reviewing Monkey: Our Ape Masters

      The Hype: It sucks to be you. No, really. That's what it boils down to this new "variable tile" board game. Stuck in a small town when all hell breaks loose, your goal is to solve the mystery of one of several possible horrors that are occurring and get your butt out alive.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Playability: So the premise, if you haven't guessed already, for When Darkness Comes is that you as a player are in a generic small town when some manner of evil is unleashed upon the world. Whether its flesh eating zombies, vampire legions, generic creepy crawlies, or demons from hell, your goal is pretty much the same- get your ass out alive. Some times this means solving a mystery, sometimes battling your way out, or sometimes just running away. To accomplish this you employ a part board game part role-playing game set of rules that is designed to be simple but allow for a certain amount of character advancement.
          At heart, this is a great concept. Frankly, it's been long overdue in the industry and I was stoked to see it come across my desk. That's the good news. The bad news is that what should have been just a great board game, tries way to hard to employ role-playing elements. The characters and skills, test process, and the presence of a mostly powerless game master all do little to enhance the game's playability and often just stand to hinder what could be a fast paced horror board game. After a few mediocre gaming sessions using the official rules we customized them, slimmed them down, and employed our own house version that sped up play about 3 times…Which stood to be much more to our liking.
          Still, when all's said and done, it's a fun concept and a clever attempt. It just wasn't my cup of tea. 3 out of 5

      Layout and Presentation: The game itself uses what's called a "variable tile" system. What that means is that instead of a static board you have several map pieces that can be arranged in any number of fashions so the town is perpetually different. While that may seem like no big deal at first, the fact that there is no best route to memorize and an infinite number of options makes for some very fresh and cool gaming and makes it an easy game to come back to time after time. Add to that some descent art, a handful of nice minis, and a handy dandy box and you've got some great presentation- especially compared to some of the lower budget jobs we've gotten lately. 4.5 out of 5

      Value vs. Cost: At 30 bucks, the game rocks on that border from casual purchase to serious commitment. Still, when you compare it to a lot of what's offered in the same price range and factor in the nice assortment of goodies it comes with you won't feel too bad about dropping the dimes. 3.5 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       All in all, When Darkness Comes is a good, if not a little overly complicated, game. It's a great concept with a good amount of bang for the buck. I just wish they would have made it for simpler, faster game play.

      The Good: Pretty, full, and fun.

      The Bad: It kinda reminded me of trying to role-play with army men.

      The Overall Ugly: With a few rules updates this may be one for the long haul.

      What it's Worth: Get a couple of buddies together and give it a try.

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