A simply fantastic remake of the GW classic, this eliminates many of the problems of the old game such as making Dracula too hard to find unless he plays a certain way. The use of the card trail gives the hunters a fighting chance, some would say TOO much of a fighting chance.
I enjoyed playing as Dracula tremendously. Much like other games "run" by someone, it usually falls on the owner of the game to play as Dracula as he or she knows the most about the game. I've heard grumbling with four hunter players that there isn't enough to do for them, that there's a lot of downtime and if you end up away from the action your game gets quite boring. The next time we play we are going to use two hunters per player to see if that helps.
This is a lavish production--tons of cards, a nicely mounted board, thick tokens and chits, and minis for the characters and Dracula.
Things can be 'fiddly' with moving cards around, hunting down cards on your path, moving things to the catacombs, keeping track of your cards and tokens, making sure you don't "cheat" by not revealing part of your trail (just because you're keeping up with so much other stuff...)
But this is a great horror-themed game and the storyline presented is actually a very good sequel to the original novel.
Thumbs up, but this is a game that won't be for everyone, nor is it without its flaws. But it's still a lot of fun.
Near the end of Bram Stoker's classic novel, Dracula, Mina Harker tells her fellow vampire hunters "I am the train fiend" while explaining her esoteric knowledge of train schedules. This excellent board game always reminds me of this scene, as it recreates the chase across Europe in the closing section of the book.
Overall, Fury of Dracula is a great game. I've never played the original, but this version definitely has excellent components and good mechanics. There is some fiddly chrome in the rules and cards, probably a carryover from the original. And the combat is sometimes long and repetitive, and reminiscent of scissors/paper/rock. But the overall battle of wits, the strong narrative and the decent co-op element keep this game popular with my group. The main reason we don't play it every baordgame session is the upper limit of five players.
I once played with a girl who became so tense in her role as Dracula that her hands would literally start to shake whenever the hunters started closing in. It's the emotional experiences such as this, which are triggered by the mechanics and atmosphere, that make this the best board game I've ever played.