Gloom is published by Atlas Games, and is a quirky, cheerful and uplifting card game. No, wait, that's not right. Gloom is horrible, depressing and a ton of fun!!
Gloom is a card game for 2-4 players ages 8 and up. The average game takes about an hour. Cards for this game are unique - they are transparent plastic, so when you stack cards you can easily see what effects are still in play.
When you play Gloom you control the fate of a family of misfits and weirdoes. Your goal is simple: you want your family members to suffer the worst tragedies possible before they die. Some examples of the tragedies are Distressed by Dysentery and Terrified by Topiary. These modifiers have negative point values and lower your Self Worth, and you want each member of the family to have the lowest possible Self Worth before they die. The problem is your opponents are trying to lower their Self Worth, and raise yours - by playing modifiers that cheer you up and have positive point values (such as Wondrously Well Wed or Delighted by Ducklings).
The game ends the instant an entire family is eliminated. Each player then counts the visible points on each of their dead family members to determine the winner - the one with the lowest total score.
There are a few other types of cards as well, some that block effects, some which have immediate or ongoing special effects, etc.
I played Gloom at VCon and had fun. Adding to the atmosphere, each player should contribute an element of storytelling as they play - explain how Cousin Mordecai The Red-Headed Stepchild was Pierced by Porcupines!
Originally posted at Pretty Gamer