Elder Sign: Omens
Is a digital dice game for one player, that I’ve played until it drained my smartphone battery, too many times.
After that, I got the PC version on Steam (that includes all DLC). And I’m planning on getting the physical version as well.
it’s a good game, but it is not a game for everyone, randomness plays a huge role, and it is often unfair and unforgiving. I’m reviewing it in order to extract useful lessons and mechanics for Rove.
When the game starts, you choose an Elder One to fight against and a team of up to four investigators, each with different stats, a special ability and starting inventory of items. Then you proceed into the Arkham Museum (Or Cairo, on The Dark Pharao Rises campaign).
The Arkham Museum, is represented by a map where you see rooms marked with icons representing various possible adventures.
Every turn, the player may send a investigator into a room, or activities such as resting or acquiring items. The dangers that await inside a room can be previewed by clicking on the name of the adventure that has been randomly placed within, so the main tactic is to fit each character to a challenge they are likely to overcome using the Investigators special ability and items.
Successfully investigating a room usually yields a couple of random items, which could be weapons, trophies, clues, magical equipment or an actual elder sign.
Collect enough elder signs and you win (Except on the Cthulu, Ithaqua and Dark Pharaoh campaigns. They have their own special win state mechanics, making the player pursue other strategies that may have not been explored otherwise)
Failing a task leads to injuries, madness or the addition of Doom tokens to the Elder God’s card. Accumulate enough Doom tokens and it’s game over.
It’s a game of firefighting. Adventures appear, many demand immediate attention because they have an ongoing negative effect for the player.
The thing that I liked the most is the campaign specific mechanics from the DLC expansions, they make certain investigators better suited for one campaign or other, and they provide a lot of variety with a very constrained set of rules.