Losing the sound and light of “Curse”, will it still be scary as a board game?

In July, the global temperature was high, but the arrival of a movie brought a slow “cool breeze” to people. All of you here will guess that what I said was the much-anticipated “curse”.

As a traditional Chinese horror, it is to dig out everyone’s awe and fear of religion, ghosts, gods and other indescribable things. Mysterious events, weird villages, taboos, not looking directly, evil gods, if not under the premise of “curse”, what board game would you think of?

Of course, the Cthulhu series, which revolves around Lovecraft-style board game works that are well-known around the world, bring investigators into mysterious events one after another, bringing san-value feasts.

Therefore, an idea was born. If “Mantra” is expressed in the form of a board game, what will the effect be? Can you still take the player into the mysterious and eerie village and get caught up in bizarre events? Let’s dismantle the horror elements one by one from the movie to see if we can make a “bad” board game.

Bury the seeds of fear

Horror movies have always been my mood reliever and have been placed on my list for every weekend movie night, but usually horror movies are easy to cheapen and sometimes become very low IQ, after all, just looking at the ratings can tell you how far away it is. The legendary “horror movie ceiling” is far from it.

In the horror narrative, the author digs deep into our fear and anxiety about the unknown or reality, so it is very important to pass the horror elements to the audience, then it will be gradually broken down from the “curse” that everyone is concerned about. The director is How to bury the seeds of fear in the hearts of the audience from the very beginning.

“Do you believe in blessing?” and the so-called spiritual experiment, inputting the view that will can change everything to the audience, so that the audience gradually recalls some strange events they have experienced or heard, without the premise of concrete fear , the seeds of suspense have been planted.

In fact, in the early stage of the promotion of “Curse”, what brought me the most interest was that the film was adapted from real events in Kaohsiung. The film uses pseudo-documentary narrative techniques to pull the audience into its events, while increasing interactivity. The audience chanted the mantra silently together, and by constantly breaking the fourth wall, they reached the final form of fear—reality. Because it is based on a true story, the audience no longer considers the plausibility of the whole event, which creates a sense of “real people”.

“17 years ago, there was a bizarre murder case in Kaohsiung. The family of 6 Wu claimed that they were possessed by different gods and started to fight together. In order to exorcise evil spirits, they not only beat each other with the god’s main card, but also poked each other with a lot of burning incense, and even drank talismans. Water, swallowing feces. After several days and weeks of tossing, the eldest daughter died suddenly. Others thought that it was not her who died, but an evil spirit possessed by her body, and they were unwilling to be sent to the doctor. I was shocked that something was wrong, but it was too late.”

In the whole process, the audience step by step into the trap created by the protagonist, and the anger turned into by being deceived has also become a part of this movie. The sense of atmosphere and suspense, including the unknown and jump scare, have successfully shaped this horror movie, but in the hands of the designers of the board game, they also tried to use these techniques to bring players into a terrifying environment as much as possible.

what’s going on


In fact, horror board games are a major category in the board game industry. There are many horror-themed board games, but few of them can reach the level of sleepless nights after playing. Maybe it’s because of the game environment? Basically, it all boils down to immersion.

In other forms of entertainment, including movies and electronics, try to lure you into the experience by manipulating your senses. They use all available tools, including prop scenes, CGI, sound effects and lighting. Pulls your brain into a trance-like state, allowing you to stop paying attention to your surroundings and focus entirely on the screen in front of you.

In fact, when discussing the horror board game, we also considered that if the horror board game loses a sensory manipulation, atmosphere environment, in fact, the gameplay or itself loses its horror value. So let’s put aside environmental factors for a moment and see what the key elements of a horror board game are.

One step, two steps, like minions

The board game has done quite well in terms of suspense. By rolling the dice full of inner games and turning over the next unknown card, every operation is terrifying and gives shape to the suspense in a terrifying background. It’s closer to the suspense you feel when watching a good sports game: the feeling of anticipation that builds up because something is about to happen, until the final moment of crunch.

Suspense in a horror context is about anticipating something terrible to happen, and it’s hard for board games to create an appropriate sense of fear of what might happen. Unlike other media, sensory input does not exist. Despite being immersed in a board game, it doesn’t come close to the raw emotional immersion you feel when watching a movie or playing another game.

However, as long as the board game game time is prolonged, the player and the game character will establish a connection and become attached, and the fate caused by a small wrong decision will be less tolerated. In this regard, suspense is not only used in film and television works and video games, but also in horror board games. It is also the most common method used by designers, which is reflected in many works.

The first trouble


If the classic horror movie “The Cabin in the Woods” is made into a board game, I think it will be his “Cry in the Mountain House”. “The Mountain House” can be described as the favorite of so-called horror board game lovers. A modern classic that combines traditional RPG narrative with adventure gameplay.

《山屋惊魂》 “Mountain House Horror”

On a stormy night, people of different ages and backgrounds gather in this desolate hut, explore step by step, find items and encounter various horrors, including ominous omens. This series of operations allows players and characters to grow together. The nuanced descriptions of the cards in the hand add to the immersion until one or more players become traitors and attempt to carry out their horrific plans.

《Hammer Films》 “Hammer Films”

Mountain House itself is actually a tribute to Hammer’s legacy, offering players a series of cryptic endings. Those little stories on these cards may make people shake their spirits and awaken their interest in the content of the stories. As the chase goes on, the feeling of terror will be weakened. However, from the combination of the overall game reopening and the players’ unrestrained imagination , “Mountain House Cry” is a good introductory work of horror board games.

Unknown hunt

《异形》 “Alien”

As a landmark work in horror movies, the “Alien” series is still remembered to this day. Among them, the unknown cosmic creatures and the most primitive sense of hunting and hunting bring the audience into the most primitive fear of being hunted down. One of the board game works that is deeply rooted in its film has also won the hearts of followers, that is, “Nemesis”.

《复仇女神号》 The Nemesis

The same players play the roles of scientific researchers. Facing the threat of the intruder’s life, the crew members with their respective missions are all scheming. Panic and suspicion spread in the spacecraft. Who is the survivor in this undercurrent. But in the whole game experience, it is more of a sense of oppression created by the loss of rounds and various end-of-game conditions. This game itself is a stress monster.

《复仇女神号》 The Nemesis

One of the things that appeals to me is the noise markers, the increase in noise markers can lead to encounters. In the silent clips in the Alien movie, even the slightest sound can arouse the audience’s alertness. For example, in “Dead Winter”, the noise made by the player when searching for props will increase the probability of zombies appearing. The zombies in the film and television works will be attracted by the noise and gather, this is the sense of substitution.

The cabinet moved


“The Grudge”, “Ghost Calling”, “The New Pouch”, “The Wonderful Story of the World”… The fear in the same oriental background can best empathize with us. In urban legends, people on the street whispered to each other in each other’s ears, and the spirit of words turned the non-existent “hassle” into reality.

《世界奇妙物语》 “Wonderful Stories of the World”

In Jinggoku Natsuhiko’s novel “A Hundred Ghosts at Night” series “The Box of the Sprite”, the complex of the beautiful girl in the box appeared. In the luggage of passengers on the same train, a man saw a girl with no hands and feet, but she was as beautiful as a puppet. He was immediately confused by the unreal and supernatural beauty, which led to a series of tragic events. .

《箱女》 “Box Girl”

Reminds me of the board game where the protagonist is also sealed in a box – “Box Girl”, just gather 4 people to let us feel her “beauty” together. We did a pretty good job of substituting in the overall process, so I will tell you the story of the experience review.

As the only one of us who understands the rules of the game, Xiao Zhang, with his companion reading and the cooperation of the bizarre BGM, we entered the foreign mansion deep in the mountains and forests. The three gather in the lobby and the game begins. Just like the beginning of a horror movie, the three of us split up and explored the props in the mansion, being careful not to make unnecessary noises.

《箱女》 “Box Girl”

Di Bao was exploring alone on the first floor. A cool breeze swept across her face and made her shudder. The window seemed to be fixed to the space, not moving at all. Where did the cool breeze come from? Immediately, she ran to the basement, but unexpectedly encountered the debris and made a loud noise, and started the action of the box girl.

Sister Tong and I split up on the second floor. I found a part of the code on the double bed, and Sister Tong tried to find an escape from the toilet (Xiao Zhang’s malicious intent?), but in her subsequent search, she exclaimed that she had My line of sight disappeared and the doll I was looking for also fell into the darkness somewhere…

Di Bao immediately collapsed when she heard the news, and unfortunately (intentionally?) became a minion in her panic search, leaving me alone to fight with the lockbox, and finally escaped from the toilet alone… Escape from this cloud-shrouded ocean. In the hall, the warmth on the seat seemed to tell me that I was here alone… Sister Tong felt that the moment she opened the box girl, she still felt a little jump scare.

Blessed board game


So if “Curse” is made into a board game…what form will it choose? Create suspense and unknown. From the perspective of the whole board game, it will not use horror as the theme and family joy as a selling point. From the packaging, it is similar to a children’s board game, and it has become the most anticipated gift under the Christmas tree of every family. The lovely illustrations and childish language seem to bring the perfect board game night to the family.

Like a real estate tycoon, players play different roles and visit different places to complete tasks. The seemingly ordinary opportunities have hidden secrets. From time to time, they will draw blessing cards. Everyone has to shout spells and gestures together, only knowing that in the next action Luckily, there are certain stages of progress, game rules variation.

Blessing cards are inverted. From another angle, you will see strange runes. Players who find this heresy will question the board game. Discovering the whole game will be a scam. The content of the spell is printed in the cracks of the map. , the game process is a ritual, and the so-called blessings are also choreographed in the dark… The fear is no longer limited to the atmosphere, and it can make people sweat in the daytime, so that the board game will no longer become the curse itself.

Is this board game bad enough?

Start your brain, what kind of horror board game form is there?

This article is reprinted from: https://www.yystv.cn/p/9534
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