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Josh Look's Top 5 Horror Games

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01 Nov 2020 13:59 #315824 by ubarose
@Josh

I agree. Bloody Inn is more dark humor than horror. The game play itself is fairly abstract. It’s only when you use the game terms to discuss what is going on that the dark humor comes out. Such as, “Oh, crap, I have 2 bodies in my yard that I can’t get buried before morning. Guess I’ll just have kill/bribe this police officer.” If you don’t play with people that talk much, even the dark humor aspect disappears from the game.

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01 Nov 2020 14:26 #315826 by Josh Look

ChristopherMD wrote:

Josh Look wrote: I need to make this a living list.


Or a Top 10.


Or drop the ranking all together and make this list entirely about the unique criteria.
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01 Nov 2020 14:29 #315827 by Josh Look

Jackwraith wrote:

Josh Look wrote: If I'm being completely honest, as much as I love Fury of Dracula, it doesn't belong either.


I have a long-standing thing with Fury. The premise of the game is just wrong. There's really no chase scene in the original novel. Dracula flees back to Transylvania, but they know right where he's going, so there's no deduction aspect to it. The whole thing is kind of a "What if Bram Stoker decided to do THIS..." Which, I mean, is fine, but it's not really Dracula, nor is it emblematic of the themes which the novel and the earlier films portrayed. It's the same hang-up I have with the Jaws game (another deduction game) where representing the personal stories that are the best part of the film can't really come through in a board game, so it's kind of "JAWS" slapped on to a board game for the marketing impact, rather than the story. Fury is the same way. Thematically, Scotland Yard was kind of the best of the original "Find the dude" games, mostly because it was so neutral.

Don't get me wrong: I've enjoyed almost every game of Fury that I've played. I still own it and have no reason to trade it any time soon. But if we're talking about horror games, it does kind of fall short.


Fury of Dracula was meant to serve as a sequel to the novel if it had ended differently. To me it's always been like an unofficial sequel to the Hammer films. Third edition and ONLY third edition nails the atmosphere of those films.

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01 Nov 2020 16:02 #315831 by Jackwraith

Josh Look wrote: Fury of Dracula was meant to serve as a sequel to the novel if it had ended differently. To me it's always been like an unofficial sequel to the Hammer films. Third edition and ONLY third edition nails the atmosphere of those films.


I can see that, especially given that the Hammer films, by modern day standards, aren't particularly horrific. They're monster films where it's cool to see the monsters (and Peter Cushing.)

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02 Nov 2020 08:31 - 02 Nov 2020 08:35 #315841 by drewcula

Jackwraith wrote:

Josh Look wrote: If I'm being completely honest, as much as I love Fury of Dracula, it doesn't belong either.


I have a long-standing thing with Fury. The premise of the game is just wrong. There's really no chase scene in the original novel. Dracula flees back to Transylvania, but they know right where he's going, so there's no deduction aspect to it. The whole thing is kind of a "What if Bram Stoker decided to do THIS..." Which, I mean, is fine, but it's not really Dracula, nor is it emblematic of the themes which the novel and the earlier films portrayed. It's the same hang-up I have with the Jaws game (another deduction game) where representing the personal stories that are the best part of the film can't really come through in a board game, so it's kind of "JAWS" slapped on to a board game for the marketing impact, rather than the story. Fury is the same way. Thematically, Scotland Yard was kind of the best of the original "Find the dude" games, mostly because it was so neutral.

Don't get me wrong: I've enjoyed almost every game of Fury that I've played. I still own it and have no reason to trade it any time soon. But if we're talking about horror games, it does kind of fall short.


Oh boy. Them are fighting words for this Dracula batboy!
Regarding the original novel: does a chase scene need deduction? There was absolutely a chase scene in act three. The destination (Castle Dracula) may be known, but it's a race against the sun.

Regarding the game: it's presented as a 'sequel' to the book, taking place years after the events of the novel (aside, the book is a compilation of personal writings that detail events ten years earlier. Summaries of eyewitness accounts are not always reliable.)

If a FoD Dracula player is evading for the entire game, it's anticlimactic and not terribly "horrific." If the Dracula player is aggressive in the early game, attacking an unprepared Mina or Abe, then the stakes are raised. Pun intended. If the same player is maturing vampires and laying traps and thwarting the others' progression - then it's a proper fury.

To put it bluntly; if FoD is not a horror game for your collection - you're playing It incorrectly.
Last edit: 02 Nov 2020 08:35 by drewcula.

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02 Nov 2020 08:50 #315842 by Josh Look
Sorry, Drew, but it is a horror coat of paint game, no matter how you're playing it. The best of its kind, but not a horror game.

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02 Nov 2020 10:51 - 02 Nov 2020 10:52 #315845 by ubarose
Fury of Dracula does not fit the criteria Josh has established for Horror, just as the original novel "Dracula" would probably not evoke "skin-crawling terror." Neither would the novel "Frankenstein," or any of the many novels classified as Gothic Horror. The primary theme of Gothic Horror is humanity's battle against a powerful, evil, inhuman foe that typically represents some human moral failing, vice, desire or temptation. Gothic Horror typically is more about atmosphere, suspense and despair, then about terror. Fury of Dracula meets this criteria, as does Arkham/Eldritch horror, as well as many other games.

Maybe we need a separate list of Top Gothic Horror Games.
Last edit: 02 Nov 2020 10:52 by ubarose.
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02 Nov 2020 11:11 #315846 by Shellhead
If you want a more accurate simulation of Dracula as written by Bram Stoker, you should play Undead, from Steve Jackson Games. It does a good job of simulating the section of the novel where Dracula is in London. As with Fury of Dracula, Undead plays out like a potentially violent game of Hide-and-Seek. However, Undead doesn't have a good hidden movement system for Dracula, so you need a neutral referee player in addition to at least one Dracula player and one hunter player. Also, the game bogs down a bit when there is combat, as combat plays out like an rpg fight, complete with a tactical map where Dracula, hunters, and maybe a victim can move about. Any edition of Fury of Dracula is a better game than Undead, but Undead can make for a fun change of pace once in a while.
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02 Nov 2020 12:31 #315849 by Josh Look
I think a Best of the Rest list is in order. A place for Fury of Dracula, The Bloody Inn, Last Friday and Abomination, which I've grown very fond of over the last year.
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03 Nov 2020 08:19 #315881 by drewcula

Shellhead wrote: If you want a more accurate simulation of Dracula as written by Bram Stoker, you should play Undead, from Steve Jackson Games. It does a good job of simulating the section of the novel where Dracula is in London. As with Fury of Dracula, Undead plays out like a potentially violent game of Hide-and-Seek. However, Undead doesn't have a good hidden movement system for Dracula, so you need a neutral referee player in addition to at least one Dracula player and one hunter player. Also, the game bogs down a bit when there is combat, as combat plays out like an rpg fight, complete with a tactical map where Dracula, hunters, and maybe a victim can move about. Any edition of Fury of Dracula is a better game than Undead, but Undead can make for a fun change of pace once in a while.


In a similar vein (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?), TSR's ' Vampyre.'
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03 Nov 2020 08:32 #315882 by drewcula

Josh Look wrote: Sorry, Drew, but it is a horror coat of paint game, no matter how you're playing it. The best of its kind, but not a horror game.


And yet, it's in your top five horror games.

You do you man. I got mine.
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03 Nov 2020 10:20 #315886 by Shellhead

drewcula wrote:

Shellhead wrote: If you want a more accurate simulation of Dracula as written by Bram Stoker, you should play Undead, from Steve Jackson Games. It does a good job of simulating the section of the novel where Dracula is in London. As with Fury of Dracula, Undead plays out like a potentially violent game of Hide-and-Seek. However, Undead doesn't have a good hidden movement system for Dracula, so you need a neutral referee player in addition to at least one Dracula player and one hunter player. Also, the game bogs down a bit when there is combat, as combat plays out like an rpg fight, complete with a tactical map where Dracula, hunters, and maybe a victim can move about. Any edition of Fury of Dracula is a better game than Undead, but Undead can make for a fun change of pace once in a while.


In a similar vein (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?), TSR's ' Vampyre.'


I still love Vampyre, and manage to get it played at least once every few years. My original gaming group played a lot of Vampyre, so all my chits are worn at the edges. I still fondly remember when this one OCD guy in our group lost his shit when he lost his turn. He made a crucial mistake at the start of his turn during the second half the game, and the rest of us chanted together "You forgot to tick the clock."
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03 Nov 2020 10:42 #315889 by Josh Look

drewcula wrote:

Josh Look wrote: Sorry, Drew, but it is a horror coat of paint game, no matter how you're playing it. The best of its kind, but not a horror game.


And yet, it's in your top five horror games.

You do you man. I got mine.


Did you see where I said the list needs to be re-worked. Serious question.

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03 Nov 2020 11:11 - 03 Nov 2020 11:32 #315891 by drewcula

Josh Look wrote:

drewcula wrote:

Josh Look wrote: Sorry, Drew, but it is a horror coat of paint game, no matter how you're playing it. The best of its kind, but not a horror game.


And yet, it's in your top five horror games.

You do you man. I got mine.


Did you see where I said the list needs to be re-worked. Serious question.


Serious answer - yep.

"Reworking" a list where a top five horror game is now removed because it's not even considered a horror game is a bit of a editing blunder on your part, don't ya think? But your list was already shot to hell when your criteria stressed "visceral reaction" over characters and plot only to follow up with 'The Bloody Inn,' and 'Fury of Dracula.'

I don't mind busting your chops over it, because we like a lot of the same stuff. And, lists are inherently polarizing. Horror is a big genre, and there's something for all. I still like my top five, and each of them have warts.

I'll still serve you a beer if you're at my house (but I'll bury your SO in the backyard).
Last edit: 03 Nov 2020 11:32 by drewcula.
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03 Nov 2020 12:36 #315897 by Rliyen
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT IN VAMPYRE IF YOU HAVE A SILVER BULLET, YOU DO NOT NEED A GUN TO KILL A WEREWOLF.

How do I kill them with it? Insert it rectally??
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