When the Rat Hole launched we began the monthly tradition of looking at different expansions for Skybound Games’ runaway hit party game, Superfight. But since Skybound Games has a ton of more great party games (and games in general) we bring you Skybound Saturday. As the month of Halloween comes to close, we get spooky with the Creature Feature expansion deck for Pitchstorm! If you’ve never played Pitchstorm before, you may want to start with our review of the Core Game.
A long, long, time ago (in a galaxy far, far away… wait! Wrong genre, unless you count the prequel trilogy as a “horror”, but I digress.)
A long, long time ago I started using the phrase “semi-standalone” to describe many of the expansion decks for Superfight, and later Red Flags. I doubt I coined it, but I use it for expansion that can be played independently of its Core Game, albeit only in a very limited way. I can’t speak for the other expansions (yet), but Pitchstorm’s Creature Feature expansion certainly qualifies.
The 100 card deck roughly breaks down to 1/3 Notes cards, with 2/3 split between Character and Plot cards, leaning a bit heavier on Plot. You would probably never want to use this for a 6-12 player game, but it works just fine for a short 3-5 player game, with tons of atmosphere.
The Character cards in Pitchstorm are specifically written to be vague. There’s no way a person could walk into a room and pitch Scooby Doo, but it’s completely realistic to pitch A BUNCH OF MEDDLING KIDS INVESTIGATING A MYSTERY. No one needs a fourth version of The Thing, but A CREW OF SCIENTISTS AT AN ANTARCTIC RESEARCH STATION isn’t an unreasonable starting point.
Similarly, the Plot cards paint the screen with broad strokes. TRYING TO HUNT AND KILL FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER may be fairly specific, but it’s also ridiculously multifunctional. TRAPPED IN AN UNDERSEA LAB WITH A MYSTERIOUS MONSTER, on the other hand, is both more open in what your monster can be and more restricting in where you go. The one real issue I have with this format is with the Plot cards that end with (DRAW A RANDOM CHARACTER CARD). Because of how they are written, the majority of the Pitchstorm Character cards just feel awkward. There are only two of them in this deck, but keeping a Superfight deck, like the Horror Deck, around adds an extra layer of fun that feels more natural.
The Notes cards are expectedly quirky, rather than specifically dark. A lot of the notes have been done before, but that’s also part of the point. WHAT IF THE MAIN CHARACTER STARTED KILLING PEOPLE AND COOKING THEM INTO PIES? (Sure, but only if it’s a musical). WEREWOLVES HAVE BEEN DONE BEFORE. BUT WHAT IF WE ADDED A WERESHARK? (D&D monsters aside, yup it’s a thing.)
It’s important to remember that a single player never gets to play both the Character and the Plot card for their pitch. They draw one type, play one type, and the other half is either random (3-5 players) or played by their partner (6-12 players, or any team play).
But when the stars (or cards, rather) align there can be magic. Picture this:
A BABYSITTER HIRED BY A SINISTER WEALTHY COUPLE
RESORTS TO CANNIBALISM TO SURVIVE BEING STRANDED IN THE WILDERNESS.
ok sure, but LET’S MAKE THE VILLAIN A BABY VERSION OF WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. BABIES ARE CREEPY.
also, WHAT IF THE VILLAIN WAS ACTUALLY DRACULA?
baby… dracula… uh…
Seriously. Magic people. Magic.
If you’re looking for a little something to spice up your Halloween games night, in between trick-or-treaters, Instead of watching a horror movie, why not write your own?