Here we are again with another review of a game that might have slipped under your radar, but is definitely worth checking out to have in your collection. The game is Darkness Comes Rattling, and is a tour de force of dice chucking and some hand management card drafting and stuff like that. One thing I have to get off my chest about my “guerilla style” of writing and reviewing is I just wanna give you enough info on the game without giving away the whole farm! (laughs) I just wanna share my thoughts and feelings passionately so that you will want to get the game and hopefully share the same experience and feelings that I did. So if you feel my reviews don’t have enough details about the games, I will try and work on that aspect of my reviews. That’s the only reason I review like this and just give you enough info to tease you with the games greatness and let you discover the rest for yourself.
Now that I got that off my chest, lets dive into this little gem! Well, little gem is underselling this masterpiece of storytelling and avant-garde game. I say that because this game just comes off as weird at first to most people. First off, the art style of this game is just stunning, but a mix of Japanese anime manga, and tribal culture and mythologies. And like I mentioned before, the game is just beautiful, a piece of art in game form. Even the game insert is just stunning in its presentation and its functionality. I wont sleeve this game because I don’t want to lose the insert. (laughs) The art style and grandiosity of this game represents 4 spirits of the earth that represent the elements in 4 regions of the earth. The north, south, east and west. These spirits and the world are being attacked by this giant rattlesnake spirit that’s trying to swallow the sun and plunge the world into eternal darkness. I told you this was avant-garde stuff and just plain weird, and that is part of the greatness of this game. You now, as the players, are tribal warriors representing the different tribes of man that have to travel the world while building up their strength and power, leveling up, so that eventually you go into the snake to help rescue the sun before he swallows it completely. And this is just as hard as it sounds bizarre.
Each of the 4 spirits is also an earth element and elemental. Like north is ice and cold, east and west are those cultures, each a different force of nature. Now as you’re traveling through each of these zones, you want to make sure you don’t anger these spirits and piss them off, cuz that will add modifiers to your dice rolls in your challenges in those zones. It also works the other way too, please the spirits and you get modifiers that will help you. Its really a cool clever mechanic that goes even deeper, but you’ll have to discover that on your own, like I said before. (laughs) As you travel around this world with your tribal village being your main headquarters and base, you will be leveling up by questing, performing challenges and collecting gear, all to buff you up for your final battle with this giant snake spirit of darkness “eating” the sun. Again, its even weirder than it sounds while you’re playing this, but that just make the experience more thematic and deeper really giving you a strong feeling of this strange world. There’s no other way of describing this “alien” feeling of being a stranger in a strange land, and this is another of this brilliant games many strengths. And as strange as this game is, that’s how difficult it is. There’s a lot of custom dice rolling for a lot of the challenges, which I love, so if you’re a fan of custom dice chucking and random token pulls from a mystery bag of goodies, this game will just push all your right buttons.
Another reason I’m writing this review now is that through my love and obsession with this game, I discovered, with sheer glee, that this game had an expansion! This was so far under even my radar, and I have no idea why they would make this new content an adventure in itself to discover and acquire! You have to do a little work tracking down all of the info, manuals, and then where to buy the actual cards, but man oh man is it worth it! They actually matched and even exceeded the quality of the core games components in these new cards. It’s called “War of the Spirits” and there are like 3 custom card sizes at play here, replacing most of the original cards and components. You even have to make the new standees for your new characters and their animal spirits. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that didn’t i? (laughs) Each character has an animal ghost spirit guide that you transform into at different times during the game that adds a whole new level to the depth of this games challenges and the strategies you’re gonna have to adapt and develop to succeed in this game. It is multiplayer co-op, or solo-able co-op playing multiple characters and it is just pure fun on so many levels.
You are gonna want this game for so many reasons if you are a hardcore gamer, or even a newcomer to the hobby, discovering that games like this are out there for you to conquer. Talk about hidden gems, this game was an adventure just to find, then to acquire the expansion that makes it a whole new game that you couldn’t imagine could get any better. Its games like this that just reinforce the greatness and depth of this hobby to the uninitiated. I’m a hardcore gaming enthusiast and this game just left me dumbfounded by its subtle genius around every corner. I’ve already turned many of my friends onto this game, which made me want to take that to the next level and use this platform to enrich all of your game collections and remind you of the greatness of this hobby. I hope I continue to do this with this as a new tool and platform with which to do so. And I cant thank each and every one of you gamers for taking the time to read my words and hopefully turn you onto wonders like this that you wouldn’t know existed if it wasn’t for amazing outlets like this. Thank you all, and hopefully you’ll be thanking me even more when you play some of these games that you probably wouldn’t have known of their existence otherwise.
Sincerely and enthusiastically grateful,