Mansions of Madness 2nd edition is a fantastic game that features cooperative exploration and mystery solving in 1920s Arkham. It’s an H.P. Lovecraft dungeon crawler that integrates an electronic app to keep the wizard behind the curtain. It’s noteworthy for the solid implementation of the application as well as the fact that it’s a splendid game which refuses to crawl off my table and get back on the shelf.
One of the issues surrounding this release is that it only shipped with four included scenarios. One of them is incredibly long, and they do stand up to some replayability which helps. Still, the stomach growls and the masses want more–gluttony be damned.
Recurring Nightmares and Suppressed Memories are here to tide you over. These two figure and tile supplements are not full blown proper expansions of new content. Rather, they seek to bring the miniatures and tiles from the first edition expansions back into the fold.
The second edition of Mansions of Madness includes a conversion kit inside the core box so that you can use your first edition content right away. But those of us who had moved on from the earlier version or maybe never picked it up were left in the dark. Thus the need for these supplement kits to get everyone up to date and share in the cosmic horror.
Each extension gives you a large number of miniatures and some excellent new tiles. The tokens to use the figures are already included in that aforementioned conversion kit so integration is swift and easy. Among the plastic are new monsters and some excellent new investigator options. Fan favorites like Ashcan Pete and Carolyn Fern return to mix it up with zombies and goatspawn.
When you pick up these boxed expansions you can go into the app and modify your collection to include them. This will open up additional options; most prominently a new scenario for each set. Suppressed Memories features a re-working of the Dunwich Horror experience that first appeared in Call of the Wild. It’s a solid inclusion and will provide a couple hours of enjoyment.
The real winner is the Hangman Hill’s Cemetary jaunt from Recurrning Nightmares. This excursion into a graveyard takes a nice twist and has a really stellar tower defense feel as you’re juggling pressure from two sides. It succeeds because it feels quite different from its peers and offers an engaging adventure. I’d easily place this in the top half of the current six available scenarios.
It’s easy to scoff at the limited amount of electronic content found within these expansions. With only a single scenario for each box, the price can seem quite hefty and the value skewed. However, those two new adventures don’t tell the whole story. The real value in these releases is in the adversaries. If you pick up both sets, you will have nearly every misshapen hideous creature Lovecraft created at your fingertips. While the miniatures are not anything special, the variety they will add to your scenarios is.
Head back and replay Cycle of Eternity or Shattered Bonds. New monstrosities will creep into the picture and mix up the challenge space. It keeps you on your toes and helps alter the feel of the experience, which is huge.
You’ll also notice that occasionally the new tiles will be used in the existing content. This means you have additional map layouts to explore and places to visit. It’s hard not to get a bump of excitement when you fire up an old favorite and see the shape of the oncoming environment shift.
One important element of evaluating this variety is to keep the future in mind. With each new scenario and expansion down the line, these supplement tile and miniature sets will provide additional value. They will further increase variability and bring you back to the table again and again to flee through all the possibilities. Ultimately, it’s worth viewing these additions as an investment in the game’s future and your experience therein.
These supplement packs certainly aren’t mandatory but they are highly recommended. If you’re all aboard the Mansions of Madness train you will not want to skip this stop. Key monsters, investigators, and tiles all make these sets an attractive package that you won’t want to miss out on.
Have you checked out Mansions of Madness yet? Are you ready for new content? Share your thoughts in the comments!
In addition to Geek & Sundry, Charlie Theel writes for Miniature Market’s The Review Corner and co-hosts the gaming podcast Ding & Dent. You can find him on twitter @CharlieTheel
All images courtesy of FFG.