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Necronomicon Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on November 11, 2010


Necronomicon
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Amazing Mythos inspired artwork.
  • Interesting interplay between card and board games.
  • In-game store for future expansion packs.

CONS

  • Frustrating visual bug that locks a card in front of the playing field until you force-quit the App.
  • Poor menu design and tutorial descriptions.

VERDICT

Piercing the leathery hide of Necronomicon's gameplay isn't easy and for some the rewards for persistence may be worthwhile, but it's clear that more work is needed to smooth things out.


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Like many others around the world, I have a passion for the work of H.P. Lovecraft and while his work has long since entered in to cliche for the horror genre, a giddy little shiver of glee always tingles down my spine when the Mythos is used in various media. Necronomicon by Lucidsphere Media attempts to bottle some of this blood-freezing terror in the form of a card game, however players are more likely to lose their sanity attempting to understand what to do instead of at the hands of some Elder-god.

After muting the insanely irritating background whispering in the tutorial menu, it was hard to understand the shape of Necronomicon and how it worked without blundering in to a game to learn through trial and error. Players are essentially given the task of overseeing two separate games, with the card-game acting as a method to earn points for your final score and to generate turns for the board-game. At any time a player has turns available, they can help their explorers to search the Miskatonic University for artifacts and additional adventurers to 'end' the current game. Cards are drawn one at a time and 'investigators' are pitted against the dark-spawn of the universe while tempting fate with various artifacts and treasures that can boost their psychic and physical defenses.

Conceptually, Necronomicon isn't a terribly bad game and the ability to unlock additional cards that feature amazing Mythos artwork acts as a great motivator. However the dense and confusing 'tutorial' makes learning the game harder than it should be and poor menu choices obscure things even further as you attempt to divine how to proceed.

Necronomicon is a serviceable board-game, but far from elegant and lacking in approachability, more thanks to a lack of a real tutorial and useful interface options. Mythos fans may scrape some enjoyment out of the gnarled and chitinous shell of this game, but it's unlikely to win over casual gamers at this time.

Screenshots

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