In this updated version of the classic boardgame, the role of the Keeper is replaced by a high quality app, turning the game from a 1 vs many dynamic to a fully cooperative experience where players take the role of one of eight investigators and must work together to solve each scenario and defeat the forces of evil.
Pro Incredibly deep stories in each scenario
Each scenario begins with players on a single tile with a very limited amount of information about what is going on in that scenario. As players explore the app tells them which tiles to add next, revealing a steadily growing board that can be anything from a rambling mansion to a creepy seaside town. As the explore they also find clues and, occasionally, meet people who help reveal the mystery at the heart of each scenario. This progression from limited to knowledge to a fuller understanding of the game helps draw players into the story as they discover new twists and turns alongside their character. Then, as the scenarios draw to a close, the action picks up and players often find themselves in a desperate battle to win the scenario and beat the forces of evil as time runs out.
Pro Fully cooperative play
In the original Mansions of Madness the enemies and story elements were controlled by one of the players, called the Keeper. In the 2nd edition the Keeper was replaced by an app that handles all of the setup and guides players through the game while controlling and tracking all of the monsters in the game. Removing the Keeper role from the game not only drastically reduced setup time and errors, it also shifted the entire dynamic of the game as players are now fully invested since they are all one team.
Pro RPG experience with the ease of a single session board game
Like all of the Arkham Horror games this pulls in all of the familiar characters and antagonists from Lovecraft's mythos. Unlike the others however it's less about running around closing portals as fast as you can and more about investigating a single scenario in a series of pre-configured locations. It does require a sort of "DM" that the other players play against but it helps that person with the convoluted stuff and lets them enjoy the game as much as the other players.
Pro Lots of replayability
The base game comes with 5 scenarios that include 3 different endings each. Add to the fact that the scenario is built based on a series of multiple choice questions before setup, means no 2 games will be the same.
Also there are many expansions available which with many more scenarios.
Pro Deep RPG immersion
The win condition for the game is basically to get out of the house alive. Any other scenario where one does not get out they either die or go insane, which is what plays into the immersion of this game, it is more about story and experiencing what it has to offer than "winning".
Con Does not always result in a great experience
Depending on how many players there are, the scenario chosen and the full understanding of the game held by the players the game can often result in a non functioning experience. There are many moving parts here and they do not always congeal into a working game.