28 July 2016 | Mansions of Madness

A Haunting Atmosphere

Preview the Mansions of Madness Second Edition Companion App

#MansionsofMadness

As I watched—choked by a sudden rise in the fishy odour after a short abatement—I saw a band of uncouth, crouching shapes loping and shambling in the same direction; and knew that this must be the party guarding the Ipswich road, since that highway forms an extension of Eliot Street. Two of the figures I glimpsed were in voluminous robes, and one wore a peaked diadem which glistened whitely in the moonlight. The gait of this figure was so odd that it sent a chill through me—for it seemed to me the creature was almost hopping.
   –H.P. Lovecraft, 
The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Our recently announced title, Mansions of Madness Second Edition, is distinctly shaped by its free companion app, which guides you through your arcane investigations in a revolutionary new way. The integration of an app offers a unique way to experience the game’s narrative scenarios you will play. You and your fellow investigators are able approach the game as a fully cooperative unit, set-up is gradual and ever-changing, and the puzzle system is revamped and randomized. Continue reading to uncover the mysteries of the Mansions of Madness Second Edition companion app.

Into The Unknown

In the original Mansions of Madness, one player took on the role of Keeper, inducing fear and paranoia in their opposing investigators by summoning vicious monsters and initiating supernatural events. In Mansions of Madness Second Edition, the app assumes many responsibilities previously held by a Keeper player. This includes generating the map, spawning monsters and items, triggering mythos events, and building puzzles. After you choose which objective you would like to pursue and which investigator roles you will adopt, the app generates your starting items and game board. From then on, the rooms you search, the beasts you face, the objects you stumble across, and the events that befall you are unpredictable, randomized from the game components in your collection. 

Because there is no keeper player, your gameplay opportunities are distinctly different. First, you can take on the app by yourself in a single-player game. Should you choose to brave the horrors of Arkham solo, you will control two investigators, allowing you to utilize game mechanics such as trading, using player abilities to impact multiple investigators, and take more actions than if you had just one. 

If you enter the game with other players by your side, your experience will be fully cooperative, rather than asymmetrical. Each investigator will have their own unique abilities, skills, and traits, however you will operate as a team, all with a common goal. Whether you choose to split up in order to cover more ground or stay close and fight your fears together, your ultimate objective remains the same. That is, of course, unless one of you goes insane—your mental instability may thrust you off-course, giving you an entirely new purpose, all your own.

Under Lock and Key

The presence of an app also changes the way you set up your scenarios. Drawing elements from your game collection, the app will generate one of numerous carefully designed map variations, monster spawns, mythos events, and puzzles. In the settings menu, you will select which games, from the original edition to expansions, the app should pull components from. Your map for each scenario will start with the same few tiles, but down halls and through doorways, you will often find different rooms and streets than the last time you played. With 24 double-sided map tiles, the possibilities within the core game are already vast, but each scenario will become even more varied with each piece of additional content you incorporate. 

Not only is your game map unknown to you before you begin the scenario, but also as you proceed throughout the game. As you seek respite from the horror on your heels, even more terrors hide in the shadows. When you do reach an area and endeavor to explore it, the app will guide you through setup of the space, first laying a map tile, and then placing around it tokens to indicate even more objects and information to uncover. No unopened door or unlit hallway will guarantee you any kind of quiet or rest however, as only secrets lie in the darkness. You may even come face to face with unexpected monsters, blocking your newfound path. 

In addition to heightening the uncertainty of your every move, the steady unveiling of the map makes for quick set-up. Before diving into the scenario, you will set up a small number of map tiles and tokens, as well as collecting your investigators and starting items. Before you know it, you will be immersed in the bizarre and dubious game atmosphere. Each quick set-up of a new space will expand your map, ultimately building up to a sprawling game board, filled with secrets to uncover, monsters to confront, and puzzles to solve. 

The Mind is a Powerful Tool

A favorite obstacle carried over from the first edition to this one is puzzles, which are now generated by the app. You may encounter a puzzle at any time throughout your investigation, but it is through solving these puzzles that you may gain valuable tools. Each of the three puzzle types—slide, code, and lock—may be completed in a number of steps. The amount of time it will take you to complete the puzzle will vary, depending on how complicated the puzzle is, how many chances your lore skill allows you to take at solving the puzzle, and how efficient you are with your moves. Once completed, the puzzle may reveal information, an item, or even a new area of the map. 

No Time For Relief

You and your team will have to be prepared for anything and everything as you step into the unknown that awaits. The information above may ease the minds of those with uncertainties, but all will be undone as the horrors within leave you grasping at sanity and gasping for breath. 

The free download of the Mansions of Madness Second Edition companion app will be available on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC for the game’s August 4 release. 

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