Miskatonic School for Girls

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So we were given this game for Christmas: Miskatonic School for Girls. The basic notion is that you are a student in an elite girl’s school in Arkham Massachusetts, and the kicker is that all of the faculty members, from the headmaster on down, are Lovecraftian horrors bent on driving you insane. Your goal is to retain at least some of your sanity (you won’t keep all of it) longer than the other players.

The mechanics are interesting. This is a deck-building game: you’re trying to build a deck filled with spunky, tough students, filled with stern resolve, who won’t easily be driven insane. But your opponents are trying to stack your deck with nasty demented cosmic horrors—teachers, that is—who will make your class times a horror. You start with 20 sanity points, and as your sanity declines the rules require you to cackle and gibber fiendishly.

It’s an interesting game. We’ve played it twice now, and I’m dimly beginning to work out some strategies. You can try to buy students who will give you lots of points to buy more powerful students (to defend you) or faculty (to afflict your neighors), or you can try to buy students who will do well in the classroom against the horrors that Student Was Not Meant To Know. Whether it will hold up over time, I’m not sure; it strikes me that there’s not quite enough interaction between the players.

The younger of my two sons loves to play to lose, because he really likes gibbering and acting insane. It’s kind of scary.

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