As you start together, one of you becomes deranged. Who will it be? A mid-range tabletop game with graphic style artwork, secret identity, deck building, modular tiles, dark fantasy survival horror, and replayability.
You and two to five of your closest friends stumble upon the deceptively quiet town of Wutburg. It seems like the perfect place to stop and dine at the taverna and rest at the hostel for the night.
However, something is lurking in the dark and inside each character. You and your fellow travelers wake up at dawn and find yourself cursed and unable to easily leave the Cursed City. Your only salvation is to work together to get rid of the curses and defeat the monsters that are taking over. Will you be one of the deranged? This is essentially the gist of the game.
Will you or another player become disturbed?
When you first open Deranged, it takes around thirty minutes to set up the modular tile board, choose one of the two cities to play in, read the roles, and place the 12 characters around the city. Deranged is a semi-cooperative adventure game in the vein of dark gothic fantasy. There are six heroes to choose from, hidden patterns and playable pieces, role cards, and health and sanity tracks.
I really like the concept of board games, but I was an only child, so I never really explored cooperative and semi-cooperative board games until I was an adult. Increasingly popular, semi-co-op board games create this game tension where you work together for one minute, but the next minute my teammate becomes deranged and stabs me.
According to the Deranged rulebook, there are two initial phases: the introduction and the full setup. Each player’s turn also triggers different game phases: the hero phase, the monster phase, and the time change phase. During each of these phases, you play different Action, Item or Reward cards.
Each Action card has symbols that correspond to the symbols and locations on the board. The complexity of the cards contributes to the replayability of the game. Sometimes specific colors on your Action cards allow you to move only to specific spaces or specific ways. You can attack your playmates or defeat monsters along the way. Oh that’s right. Monsters. As the game progresses, you face different types of characters while at the risk of becoming deranged yourself and turning on your team.
The object of the game is to survive the night by reaching the enchanted door, breaking your curses and avoiding becoming disturbed. During this time, you may lose both health and sanity points. Fortunately, you can collect elixirs and items that remedy these losses.
Deranged is a visually stunning game. Each of the heroes is beautifully designed, and everything from the double-sided board to tokens and different card games have a totally cohesive and engaging aesthetic. I would love this game if it was adapted into a video game or visual medium, based purely on the look and the story.
I’m convinced I didn’t play Deranged as planned the first time around because we all ended up surviving the game in one way or another. While the game has an option where everyone wins, I’m pretty sure we did something wrong on our first try.
It’s an enjoyable hour or two of playtime. The intro is designed to help you familiarize yourself with the mechanics of the game, and it’s good that you aren’t completely out of the game, even if your player dies.
The bottom line
Deranged would be the perfect game to play for over two hours with a group of mid-range table players. Although the game has many elements and an endless series of combinations for several gameplays, it would benefit from expansion packs.
If you like gothic fantasy, cooperative board games with elements of secret identities, and you have a group of friends ready to take on the demons of the night – Disturbs is your best bet.