Mythos CCG

The Mythos CCG takes familiar names, places, items and monsters from not only the bulk of H.P. Lovecraft's works, but also from many of the lesser-known authors that have come after him, adding their own touch to the universe. Originally released as a Limited Edition series with booster packs, the CCG has had some subsequent releases of an Unlimited Edition and additional boosters and themepacks.

Each match of Mythos starts with players choosing their investigator, who has various degrees of Sanity, starting hand, maximum and minimum hand size. You will need to be focus on your Sanity points as going down to zero will cause you to lose. Your deck will consist of Locations, Allies, Monsters, Events, Tomes and Spells. Placing locations allows you to travel from one place to another. Locations with portals allows to player to summon one monster and you can bring in allies in color-coded regions that they are from. Bringing in allies and monsters acts as offense and defense. During a conflict between characters, both sides will send in the monsters to attack. The remaining monsters from the stronger side are sent on and allies can take the brunt of the attack. Remaining monsters directly attack the player's sanity.

Summoning monsters, casting spells and event playing certain artifacts, though, is a dicey proposition as they can cost you sanity. Players will have to balance the merits of using the arcane in their deck with the amount of sanity it will cost them. Having a few places to go and gain sanity if always essential to not falling early in Mythos.

One of the game's focus is Adventure Cards, which will give the player a list of cards they need to play during the game to earn the points from the Adventure Card. While trying to complete your own Adventures, you will have the ability to try and affect your opponent's own Adventure. Chaosium has done a wonderful job in giving the players enough variety to keep each game from falling into predictable patterns. Those who like to built custom decks with strategy should enjoy themselves.

The artistic style for the cards lends a lot to not only the concept of the game, but underlying themes in Lovecraft's stories. Many pictures are done with an excitable energy that hints at mania and wavering sanity. Character portraits range from mimicking portrait styles of the time period to psychologically charged renderings that emulate the character's mental state at the time. Monster pictures are well done and represent the monsters well. The paintings for the Great Old Ones are varied and are a nice showcase to the series. Locations, Tomes and Artifacts have been represented well. Probably some of the best illustrations are done for the Events, including Phobias, Travel and Epidemics. Players familiar with Magic the Gathering, which was mostly illustrated like a Fantasy Novel cover will find this series a fresh change of pace.

The cards themselves are laid out well, without putting too much information to overwhelm players. Players are given all the information they need in well-done layout.

I wont lie - a lot of the packs for this series are either out of print or just hard to find. But, if you're a fan of Lovecraft in general, you should at least look into the series for merely a collectors standpoint. You'll find lots of familiar names and places from the stories and the game itself is engaging.

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- - Kinderfeld

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