The Review Board: Gloom
Gloom is a card game in which you control the fate of an awful family
of misanthropes. The goal of the game is to fill the lives of your
family members with pain, tragedy and torture. And just when it seems
like things can't get any worse, you will have to send them to their
The setup is quick and easy: each player picks one family (out of 4)
and then draws 5 cards from it to make up his starting hand.
There are three possible cards in the game:
Modifiers – affect the overall score of your family members. They can
be horrible, with negative worth – for example, Was Poisoned By
Penguins or Was Chased By Children– or cheerful ones, with positive
worth, that can be played on your opponents' characters.
Untimely death – send a family member to rest six feet under.
Event cards – cards that may change the outcome of the game. For
example, they can prevent the placement of an untimely death, remove
modifiers from a character, and so forth.
On your turn, you may play two cards. The first card can be any card,
while the second can be any card except an untimely death. When all
family members of one family are killed, players sum up the visible
points (cards are transparent, and may cover older cards) on all of
their dead family members, and the player with the lowest score wins
But what makes Gloom great and hilarious is storytelling. While the
cards themselves are funny, players are encouraged to make up stories
that will complement their cards and take the game beyond what the
cards say. Doing so will make the game more personal, and, in my
opinion, so much better.