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Every new board game begins with the usual ritual of punching pieces, unwrapping cards and placing a board. This custom can induce bubbling excitement or dull disappointment amongst participants as they make their first impressions. Gates of Delirium suffers from the latter as it looks very much like a bogstandard worker-placement game. That is, until you play your first turn.

Fans of Eldrich Horror, will immediately recognize the familiar Lovecraftian setting of Gates of Delirium, including mysterious monster-spewing portals, except in this case you want to summon all the horrors. Much like the monsters lurking just beneath the portal’s veil, Gates of Delirium hides its best bits right in front of you. Dual-toned cards – which can be easily mistaken for a single action – have two distinct options that can be taken during sane or insane phases of the game. This creates an immediate dilemma of which half to use at the expense of the other. Two cards are played per turn in the usual attempt to earn the most victory points.

You face a multitude of setcollection options: building maps, uncovering ancient ruins and storing lost pages from secret tomes, all of which score in different ways. You will also be attempting to gain control over sections of the world map to coincide with portal openings to score maximum points.

Gates of Delirium finds a way to lull you into a deceptive sense of simplicity when you first lay your eyes on it, but once you begin to unravel its mysteries, you’ll be enthralled by this delightfully-dark board game. At its best you may even begin to question your own sanity.


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About The Best Games of 2019

Must Plays and more in our Best Games of 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Over the next 196 pages discover all of the most positively reviewed games of the year. With a massive 181 games reviewed, this is the definitive “what to play next” guide of 2019! Games reviewed include: Wingspan Copenhagen Hellboy: The Board Game Res Arcana Lifeform Century: A New World Megacity: Oceania Pandemic: Fall of Rome Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Rough Nights & Hard Days Azul: Stained Glass of Sinatra Tapestry Letter Jam Hako Onna Everdell Battle Ravens Dune + Many more!

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