Now for something completely different: Ghost Stories – A Cooperative Boardgame
All my friends know, I love boardgames. For me they are one of the most entertaining activities you can do with friends. It’s a great way to have fun and interact beyond more automatic forms of entertainment like going to the movies or playing video games. I have a large bookshelf of games you would call “advanced” boardgames. These are more complicated than your typical Monopoly or Risk type games but even with their longer rules, more varied game pieces and game times of typically greater than an hour, they are a blast to learn and play with friends. Today, for the first time, I’ll be stepping outside of my normally “outdoors” directed blogging and about an “inside” activity. It’s all about Ghost Stories. A 4 player cooperative game I just recently got my hands on.
What is a cooperative game? Essential it means all the players are playing together with the goal of beating the ever changing game board. It means that either you all win or you all lose. Good cooperative games are hard to come by. This one is pretty darn good.
The goal of Ghost Stories to fight off ghosts haunting the village and ultimately defeat Wu-Feng, the Lord of the Nine Hells. You lose if the ghosts pretty much take over a large part of the village, all the players (Taoists) die or the deck of ghost cards run out.
The players (1 up to 4), as Taoists (don’t ask me what that even means!), have to work together to stave off the increasing intensifying appearance of ghosts while pretty much not dying. What’s really cool about this game is each player has a special power that is totally unique to that player and changes the way each person plays. This ranges from being able to fly to generating a free Tao power every turn. Don’t worry if you don’t understand what I’m talking about or how it relates to the game. Just know that it’s really awesome!
The game itself pretty much turns into a team problem solving exercise where everyone tries to decide how the current player’s turn should go. Unfortunately, just when you think you have a solution to the current onslaught of ghost haunting, the next player’s turn would start and completely throw a wrench into all your plans. Just when you thought you had ghost-busting under control, suddenly the whole village is being attacked.
The game board and pieces themselves are pretty nice looking. You even get two little Buddas! The cards have good looking artwork and everything works well together.
The game retails for $32 at amazon.com. You can also find it at your local games store (not Walmart but a specialized games store). At that price it’s a pretty good value for hours of laughter and fun.
So, although I didn’t really get into exactly how the game work or anything (it would be a “too long, didn’t read” type thing), all I can really say is… Get this game, try it out and let me know what you think. I really enjoyed it. I think you will too! I highly recommend it!