Thursday, December 11, 2008

Review -- DOOM


So you are a fan of video games, but there are times you want to turn off the tube and face an opponent across the table for a board game. At times such as that, you might want to take a serious look at Doom: The Board game.
Designed by Kevin Wilson, “Doom” The Board Game is based on the DOOM computer game by id Software, and is published by Fantasy Flight Games (FFG), this is an interesting package. To begin with coming from FFG, you are pretty much assured of great component quality, and that is certainly the case with Doom.
The game essentially has marines battling through a secret military/research facility battling a myriad of demonic invaders in an attempt to escape. The marines, and the demons, ranging from huge spiders to truly monstrous bipedal creatures of the dark, are all cast in plastic, making the visual representation of the players and invaders excellent. If you want a little extra pizazz, paint some detail onto the miniatures and away you go.
As an added bonus the pieces can be utilized in some other games, especially for anyone into role playing games, so you get a little extra bang for your gaming dollar.
The board itself is modular, so it can be laid out in several layouts. Made of thick cardboard, they will hold up over time, and again can be utilized in a few other miniatures games if you want.
The game comes with a few pre-generated scenarios, adding to the play variety, and that's a good thing. With the modular board pieces, coming up with additional game play ideas are easy enough to.
So far so good.
Now a possible negative, or a major flaw, depending on your gaming perspective, is the actual game play. The game can be played by two to four players. One player takes control of the demon invaders, the other players taking control of one marine. The more marines involved, the more cards the demon controller gets, and the tougher the road to victory.
Did I say tougher road to victory, I meant near impossible. The first game with three marines in action we didn't get out of the first room. Three games, we had barely opened the second door. The demons come in waves. To survive it's run like mad, use well planned military tactics, and cross your fingers that your dice roll hit and the person in control of the hordes draws bad cards.
As the marines make their mad dash they can pick up ammunition, better weapons, and med kits to heal, and of course they battle demons as they crawl out of air vents, and pop into the middle of the room. You quickly feel the urgency, and near helplessness of the marines situation. It can be frustrating, but it's also very intense gaming to survive.
If the marines survive to win, it is a major, amazing victory, one to long be savoured. The game certainly favours the demons, and they are going to win the vast majority of times. That may turn a few players off, but it should also be seen as a supreme challenge in terms of board gaming.
As an overall package, if you are into a war game scenario with a futuristic, scifi feel, Doom should be an ideal fit.
If you really like the game there is an expansion which adds more demons, and scenarios to the mix.

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Oct. 15, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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