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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic Treasure
Gloom is, first of all, nothing like Happy Families. Having said that there are echoes of that most crap of all games in this rather wonderful game. Each player has a family of five Gothic characters and the aim is to visit as much gloom and sadness on each of your own characters as possible before killing them in a variety of strange ways. It sounds very morbid but...
Published on 31 May 2008 by Mr. I. Wilson

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost a great game
Gloom is almost a fantastic game but a couple of niggles let it down in the long run.

The basic idea is that each player is in control of a family of misfits, all lovingly realised pictorially on the cards and with a backstory in the manual. Your goal is to ensure that every member of your family leads as miserable a life as possible before dying under some...
Published 19 months ago by G. Dallimore


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic Treasure, 31 May 2008
By 
Mr. I. Wilson "Ian" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Gloom is, first of all, nothing like Happy Families. Having said that there are echoes of that most crap of all games in this rather wonderful game. Each player has a family of five Gothic characters and the aim is to visit as much gloom and sadness on each of your own characters as possible before killing them in a variety of strange ways. It sounds very morbid but worry not - its not at all serious and my 10 year old daughter, at least, just takes great relish in doling out various unlucky fates and odd deaths. For the slightly Gothically inclined it is perfect.

Game play is novel (the cards are transparent so previous cards can be seen through the more recent additions) but is also simple. Games are often quite close and strategy can get fairly complicated with the need to balance playing bad cards on your own characters with playing good cards on your opponent(s). After 3 or 4 games I have stopped giving my daughter any leeway and am, instead, struggling to win any games.

Troubles include: Fell down the well, Was tortured by toddlers, Was swindled by salesmen and Was driven to drink. Grisly deaths include Was torn limb from limb, Was devoured by weasels and Was pushed down the stairs. To raise the spirits of your opponents you can hit them with Was delighted by ducklings, Slept without sorrows or Was comforted by cocoa amongst many others.

All in all an excellent and rather different card game. The basic set will play up to 4, the expansions each add a player as well as lots of extra cards and some different types of cards to complicate things somewhat. We have tended not to use the different card types yet but they may well work well if playing with more people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game, 4 Aug 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Atlas Games Gloom Card Game (Toy)
Having seen this played on Table Top (You Tube Geek and Sundry Channel) [...] this was a must have purchase and it proved just as much fun as in the video. Highly recommended to all as it is not only a great tactical game but it encourages you to use your imagination when spinning stories around the characters and events.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew gloom could be so much fun?!, 8 Oct 2013
By 
J. Scott "JS" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Atlas Games Gloom Card Game (Toy)
Length:: 1:19 Mins

Please excuse my poor video skills, but I just wanted to give you a fair idea of what's in the package.

Playing this game can be incredibly funny - even more so than I thought when I ordered it. The rules are very simple, and can be picked up in minutes. There's also a lot of scope for using skillful tactics (and low cunning) rather than just luck.

As you see, all the cards are transparent. This means that as you add (unfortunate) modifiers to your own 'family members' and add happy events to your opponents, all the relevant info can be clearly seen.

Nice events add positive numbers, and nasty events add minus figures. The object of the game is to score more negative points than anyone else. 'Death' cards allow you to kill off characters (ideally killing a VERY unhappy character of your own or a VERY fortunate enemy). When one family has been wiped out, all players total up their score and the lowest score is the winner.

There's a definite story-telling side to the game, and with imaginative players this can become utterly hilarious. For example, here's a selection of happened to just ONE character in my most recent game:

Melissa Slogar got off to a happy start, being 'charmed at the Circus'. However it seems that something VERY untoward happened there, for she was both 'mocked by midgets' and 'chastised by The Church'. Perhaps to overcome this shameful memory, Melissa was 'diverted by drink' and cheered up a bit. But things turned bad again when she overdid it and was 'ruined by rum.' Soon after, she died because she 'drank too much rye.'

Unexpectedly however, Fate gave her 'a second chance' and it turned out that she was alive after all (maybe she'd just been in an alcohol-induced coma?) Alas, I think she must have been buried before she revived, for she promptly 'ran out of air' and died again!

Absolutely brilliant fun. I haven't tried any of the extension packs yet, but I certainly will.

Recommended without reservations, especially to those with a warped sense of humour!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun, 2 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Atlas Games Gloom Card Game (Toy)
This game is really fun. You get to interact, come up with great stories, that are really horrible. I really love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 30 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Atlas Games Gloom Card Game (Toy)
Bought this to humour the teen and was surprised to discover how entertaining it is. You need about an hour to make the most of it, a sick sense of humour helps too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoohoooooooo..........., 3 Nov 2009
By 
numpty (Great britain) - See all my reviews
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This is by far the best 'new' card game I have found!

At first glance it is only a double pack of cards... but there is a huge amount of depth in the quality of illustrations and range of characters

The characters could have come straight out of a 'Leminy Snickett' book(!) and the games-play is quirky & fun, with a good dose of strategy.

Played again with friends this Halloween! Fantastic!!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost a great game, 6 Dec 2012
By 
G. Dallimore "jegster" (Reading, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Atlas Games Gloom Card Game (Toy)
Gloom is almost a fantastic game but a couple of niggles let it down in the long run.

The basic idea is that each player is in control of a family of misfits, all lovingly realised pictorially on the cards and with a backstory in the manual. Your goal is to ensure that every member of your family leads as miserable a life as possible before dying under some tragic circumstances, while simultaneously trying to ensure that your opponents' families live happy and fulfilling lives. The more miserable each family member is when they die, the more points you get and the closer you are to winning.

Turns consist of piling cards representing life events on your or opponents' family members. These events have different levels of effects on them, mainly happiness or sadness, and a key novel aspect of the game is that the event cards are partially transparent so that you can see past events as well. Thus a chain of scores can build up, or you may be able to cancel out a previous undesirable event if the uppermost card in the pile hides the effects of an earlier card.

All of the events are tragi-comic, and another really fun aspect to the game is that you're supposed to make stories up for your characters as you play the cards, explaining the events that befall them and building up a rounded life history inspired by the starting background and the hints on the event cards. With a group of like-minded individuals, the unsusual mechanic of semi-transparent cards together with the fun of telling stories can lead to some great laughs.

The problem is, the game lasts for just too long. The novelty and humour run dry about 2/3 of the way into the average game and you get to the stage of just playing cards in an effort to kill everyone off and finish it. It doesn't help that you're regularly having to add up to 3 different numbers together from each or your 5 family members to work out your sadness score, and then comparing it to similarly complicate scores of the other players to see who's closest to winning. It just causes the game to drag a bit when it should be leaping forward.

I found one solution to that problem is to play with fewer family members, although the balance of the game seems off when doing that. A bit more playtesting and tweaking could have worked wonders for this game.

It also doesn't help that the plastic on the cards gets scratched quite easily, making them progressively less transparent and harder to see through the more you play.

Overall, Gloom is a novel, interesting and fun game to play once in a while if you've got 30 minutes to an hour free on an otherwise dull Sunday afternoon. But you won't be desperate to play two games in a row and you might find it gets left on the shelf more and more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Depressingly fun!, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Atlas Games Gloom Card Game (Toy)
Really fun game, we definitely got into the story telling part of the game!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites!, 2 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Atlas Games Gloom Card Game (Toy)
Gloom is superb! The price strikes me as a little steep, but my friends and I have had hours of fun with this game - it's one of our all-time favourites.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Imagination is key, 2 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Atlas Games Gloom Card Game (Toy)
Only one go so far and I really like it. I think the story telling aspect of this is important so approach with a primed imagination . The see- through card mechanic is as far as I can tell unique and works extremely well.
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