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Beer & Pretzel Games: Gloom

Our “Beer and Pretzels” series features a group of light, fun games that can be picked up in about five minutes in a more relaxed style. These are simple games that–combined with snacks–create an entertaining evening with friends. All these games are family appropriate and packed with laughs.

Now up is Gloom.

What is it?

Gloom is a game about family, particularly about a family’s journey through life. Many of us remember sitting around the fire, telling stories about each other and sharing the love that only a sense of family and Community can bring.

Gloom is the exact opposite of that feeling. The whole concept of Gloom is built around killing your card-based current family in the most miserable way possible! Your goal as you play is to try your best to devise the most elaborate and depressing tales of misfortune to lead your family down, while others try and bring a little happiness into their miserable lives.

The person who brings the most misery and has the most family members deceased at the end of the game wins. It’s gloomy!

Image courtesy of Board Game Family

How do we Play?

The Gloom style of play is incredibly easy and straightforward. You play the game by breaking the individual families apart by color and matching theme, then give one set to each player.

You then draw five cards from the rest of the cards. These consist of Modifiers, Events and Untimely Deaths.

Each turn consists of making two of the following plays:

Play a Modifier: These add some story and either positive or negative points to the character.

Play an Event: Events are bigger cards that may have a stronger effect on your character’s situation.

Play an Untimely Death:This card helps your character kick the bucket.

Discard your hand: Rid yourself of all your useless cards and grab a new stack.

Pass: Give the next player a go.

Once your turn is over, you replenish your hand if you’ve spent cards. You keep circling round and round until someone has caused the untimely demise of their whole family. You then calculate up all the points and the person with the most negative score wins.

Look, feel, fun?

As soon as you open the box you will notice the strikingly well-designed character cards. The clear see-through cards are not only made from a very fine plastic but are also stunningly illustrated in the most morbid Tim Burton-esque sense.

There’s a level of morbid curiosity that this game has a wonderfully pleasant way of awakening. The sensational, silly, and highly unrealistic ways in which to dispense gloom and demise to every one of your card-families is not only incredibly satisfying but morbidly hilarious.

Gloom is a fantastic bit of fun, the rules are incredibly straightforward, and simple theme promotes a sense of hilarity about impending demise.

Extra, Extra!

Not only are there five fantastically morose expansion packs to help you deal out some dark sense of injustice, there’s also a Cthulhu version of Gloom that aligns itself wonderfully with that narrative. There is also a Munchkin version of Gloom.

If Tim Burton is your director and schadenfreude tickles your funny bone, then Gloom is the card game you’re looking for. Get it here!!

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