Tides of Madness – Game of the Week
I really love card drafting games. From lighter fare like Sushi Go! to the big daddy of them all 7 Wonders, I just can’t get enough of the “pick and pass” style of game play. Maybe it’s because I enjoy getting a new selection of cards to look at every round. It combines planning, anticipation, and surprise all in one, fun little package.
Tides of Madness
One of the big draw backs in card drafting games is that you almost always want/need at least 3 players to have an effective game. This is usually due to needing people to pull cards out of the hand to create suspense and extra people also ensures variety in the amount of cards you have access to. So when you only have 2, it’s rarely as good of a gaming experience.
However our newest Game of the Week has figured out a way to make a two player only card drafting game not only successful, but also really fun to play. Enter Tides of Madness, a beautiful looking followup to the hit card game Tides of Time from Portal Games.
What is the Game?
In Tides of Madness, players are trying to collect sets of suits to earn victory points. Each round, players will select one card and pass the remaining cards to their opponent. After five cards have been chosen, scores are added up. Repeat for two more rounds and the most points wins. It’s easy to learn, plays quick, and a very clever take on the card drafting genre.
What Should You Play It?
Tides of Madness borrows a lot of mechanics from its older brother Tides of Time. However it adds in a couple of wrinkles that not only helps it to stand on its own, but surpass the original in my opinion. This is in no small part due to the madness tokens. Many cards in Tides of Madness will earn the player who chose the card a madness token. If a player collects too many of these, they immediately go insane and lose the game. No scoring, do not pass go, do not collect $200. This little mechanic added a nice extra level of strategy to the game that really helps it to shine. In more than one game, I’ve force fed my opponent madness cards to cause them to immediately lose the game. It’s a very satisfying way to win.
Tides of Madness is inexpensive, has beautiful artwork, and can be played in about 10 minutes. This one belongs in every gamer’s collection.