(I had this posted at another site I was experimenting with, but I think I'd rather keep it in my Blogger archives.)
Last night I got the opportunity to play Gloom. It’s a game with a super cool concept but sadly, not great execution. You can only play with four people since there are only four families unless you buy an expansion. Your goal is to get the members of your family to collect as many negative points as possible before they get killed off either by you or other players. At the same time, you are trying to give other players positive points. So, cute concept to start - you want your family to die as a horrible ugly bunch of jerks while everyone else wants you to buy girl scout cookies and hug puppies.
The other cool thing about this game is that the cards are transparent. So the points cards are see-through with bubbles on each side indicating the positive or negative points plus symbols that some “situation” cards respond to. To play a card, you lay it right on top of the family member you’re playing it on. That makes for a lot of strategy with trying to cover up bubbles you don’t want with other ones on your cards and everyone else’s.
The problem with this game? It kinda seems like the creators came up with this really cool transparent card concept but then didn’t know how to build a great game out of it. The consequences on a lot of the cards are very unbalanced vs. the point value. It’s also very hard to keep track of when cards indicate everyone gets to draw an additional card or when your own cards cause you to discard on every turn, etc.
Overall I had a lot of fun playing it, especially trying to come up with elaborate stories of what happened to the family members based on the little flavor texts on the cards. However, I feel like this is a bugged game that sadly can’t be patched.