Gloom – A Morbid Hilarity

Jim Jim

28 Jul 2022

Gloom is a 2-4 player card game based around misery and misfortune.

In Gloom players control the fates of a four member family. The aim is to pile heart ache, anguish and despair upon your own family until they are finally relieved of their burdens and pass on from their miserable existence into the after life. All family members have a Self Worth score and players are trying to lower there own through the use of cards like "Attacked by Tigers" or "Distressed by Dysentery". Each card will have a negative point value which is used to calculate Self Worth. Simultaneously players are playing happy event cards on opponents family members in an attempt to increase their Self Worth. The game has a nifty mechanic in the use of transparent cards. These see-through cards are stacked on top of family members adding or deducting scores as they're placed.

Where the game really shines though is in its story telling aspect. Every time a player plays a card, Gloom really encourages the player to explain the card and it's effects ie: how this family member got dysentery and so on. By the end of the game everybody's family has lived an extraordinarily miserable existence compiled of disaster after disaster. The art work of the cards really adds to the vibe of misery with beautifully morose portraits of each family member.  Although the themes of Gloom are very - well gloomy, the experience of playing is anything but. Laughter and amusement dominates the atmosphere despite the horrendous suffering inflicted upon your family.

Gloom is an excellent game for story tellers and the imaginative. Coming in a small box and relatively short games (maybe 30-45 mins) it's great for camping, dinner with friends or staring blankly into the abyss.

There is also Gloom of Thrones and Gloom - Fairy Tales for themed versions of the original.

Check it out and try to have nice day...