The exorcism at the house of Monkton Falls is the first game from designer David Tepfer published by The Screaming Brain it sits 2-4 players, plays in 60 – 90 mins and recommended from ages 10+ but you could get away with slightly younger.
This review is based on the PnP play version provided during the crowdfunding campaign, I did edit some files to be more printer friendly, not printing card backs for example.
The exorcism at the house of Monkton Falls is a cooperative game where your aim is to remove spirits from the house and you win by having collected a stack of tokens and managing to exit the house, tokens are gained by completing task cards. There are several ways for the game to beat you including running out of time.
Light Rules Overview
Setup is straight forward you build the house from a draw deck including room and locked room cards, separate various decks of cards shuffle a couple of others, setup the clock, hand out character cards, haunt the house and place your characters in their start locations and prep the spirits then you are ready to go.
Each turn can be broken down into phases:
– Reduce the timer by reducing the die value
– Haunt the house using the haunt deck and resolving the card (moving spirits and placing darkness tokens)
– Perform character actions such as, moving between rooms, purifying a room (removing darkness tokens, trading cards with other players in the same room, resolve a rooms special action, gain rewards like tool cards that are required to complete task cards.
– End turn and moving clockwise the next players turn starts
The above is a diluted breakdown of the basics there is also the opportunity for characters to be wounded however this does not take you out the game but could lead to a game loss if you’re not careful.
– Theme and Artwork, every time this hits the table it received great comments on the style
– A family friendly intro to the spooky themed game space
– The timer mechanic stops the game from spiralling out time wise.
– Can be played solo by controlling multiple characters
– Variable difficulty
Areas of opportunity:
– I think it would be neat to see an alternative rule set to allow the spirit to be player controlled to introduce an all vs 1 game mode as I think this could be an interesting twist.
– Further expansion of spirit / monsters cards – there are optional rules for them in the rule book and I think this could be built upon, perhaps with a mini expansion with additional characters / spirits introducing new abilities.*
*After looking at the campaign further it looks like this is partly covered by way of stretch goals, so that’s a win.
The exorcism at the house of Monkton Falls has been a great game to look at, it sits firmly in the gateway category of games but that’s ok, much like the heavy hitters of the co-op world it doesn’t need stacks of complexity to make it a great game. When you roll the theme the art and the mechanics together in the way The exorcism at the house of Monkton Falls has it shows that you can achieve a solid game that delivers great game play for a range of game night situations. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for The Screaming Brain.