Sometimes you don’t need to specify which version of a game you play but other times it is absolutely vital. This one for example falls into that latter category. I can’t imagine playing this game any other way.
Prepare for the madness…
I have played the original Mansions of Madness. I have played Mansions of Madness Second Edition. I don’t see ever a reason to go back to the original unless someone has a lot of free time and you really want the GM-esque player to let you win.
The second edition, for those who don’t know, uses an app as a the GM position. It draws cards for you, has the board set up, and gives you ambiance. The game tells you how to set it up as you play. This makes it quite easy to get started, you just listen to the intro and lay out the first tile; the rest will come as you play. Very nice aspect and a plus when thinking about app driven games.
All the flavor is in the app as well as the missions. You enter in what products you have and it allows the game to have a wider selection of pieces to build the level and to fight. This means the more you have, the more likely the map design will be different every time. This adds a little more replayability with story based missions. I only have one expansion and I’ve noticed a difference in some missions. And if you had your fill of the regular stories, they give you the option to buy additional missions on the app (IAP for about $5). Some may look at this negatively but once I exhaust all the “free” missions, I’ll probably look into at least one of them.
A very cool feature is the save function. Cthulhu games can run long and all of the missions mention a run-time on them. There is at least one that says it can take up to 240 minutes. Luckily the game does have a save feature so you can pick up where you left off at another time. I have yet to try it but as far as I can tell, I’d only have to make sure I knew what items/spells I had, I am not sure if that is stored. Good think for plastic baggies!
They really nailed the app. From ease of use to telling you upfront difficulty/duration/product requirements/etc upfront on each mission, and more, I am not sure what else I’d want or need from the app. It even reads you the intro and has a few audio tracks to set the mood. One might say easy mode since the game is really hard, but you could always house rule how much damage you take/give if that is a significant issue for you.
For those who have the original, there are conversion components to let you use them with the newer game.
Mansions of Madness Second Edition
Fantasy Flight Games