Well, bless my tiny heart! How quickly we’ve gotten to the halfway point of 2021. Summer is here in the northern hemisphere which means it’s time to complain about one of my favorite games to despise: Fury of Dracula.
Like a cursed monkey paw, this game promises to grant your wish for a fun game experience, but instead it twists those desires and delivers the exact opposite of what you would expect in a game where you can play as part of a team of heroes or the villain. On the surface the premise of the game appears straightforward, you and a team of hunter investigators are tasked with hunting down one of the world’s greatest villains, Dracula. To achieve your objective as the hunter, you’re presented with clues and abilities that help you travel across a large map of Europe. If you’re playing as Dracula your goal is to elude capture by using your supernatural powers to mislead your pursuers and plant various types of booby traps. Spoiler alert: you’re already the booby because you chose to play this game.
You might counter that this game “sounds like fun,” right? I bet you want to try it out. In fact so many of you have been fooled by this game that it’s currently on it’s FIFTH EDITION!!! Five iterations of a game that does not play like I just described! If a game takes five tries to deliver on its promise then it’s likely they’ll never get it right. You might be thinking, “But Chaotic Neutral, five editions means it’s super popular and has sold a ton.” Nope, I disagree. I would counter that the makers of this game are using some dark supernatural powers to keep fooling people to buy this game, play it once, then the poor suckers banish it to the back of their board game cabinet in shame.
Here’s the main problem—Dracula is too overpowered. It’s impossible to catch him because you can easily outmaneuver the investigators since Dracula ALWAYS goes first, and gets to move in secret. What do the hunters get to do? Hope they can guess correctly where Dracula is or was, but more often you’re getting stuck in traps while your frustration slowly builds into a Monopoly level of anger as Dracula gets to have all the fun. Bonus points if you have a friend that enjoys trolling as Dracula. Your game session won’t last too long and you can move on to a fun game.
Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
How do you win this game? The first way to win is by avoiding this game. Otherwise, you won’t win if you’re the hunter. Dracula gets to run out a timer while you're left guessing at locations on the map, hoping to land some damage. Your odds of winning are much better if you play the lottery, or try to get struck by lightning.
If you want to have some fun with the horror genre there are plenty of alternatives. Betrayal at House on the Hill, Arkham Horror, or Mansions of Madness offer great playthroughs if you’re looking for investigative teamwork gameplay. Just thinking about those games is already calming me down, so I’ll stop the rage posting here. There you have it board gamers, you’ve been warned...