Doctor Necreaux is holding the worlds top scientists against their will to build a Doomsday Device. Your team of adventurers head to the island to find the scientists and rescue them from his evil grasp. Adventure with up to 4 people in your team to pull off an epic rescue mission in this 50’s style pulp sci-fi game.
In this second edition of the game, changes were made to give more accessibility to a game that was originally pretty difficult. I really love the style of the game and how this theme makes it stand out from the current landscape of games. There aren’t many pulp sci-fi style games out there but Doctor Necreaux fills this void.
Up to 4 players can tackle this game and I like the cooperative gameplay that Doctor Necreaux brings. Players choose a set of 3 skills to create their unique character. With 26 skill cards, it’s possible to reconfigure a character each game to find the set of skills you enjoy most. This really adds to the replay-ability of the game.
Players only have a specified number of rounds before time runs out on the island. Each round consists of the team choosing a “speed” and then the team draws a card at a time from the “Adventure Deck”, resolving each one, until they meet the “speed” of that round. This is crucial because choosing a high speed can cause you to risk your health against traps and enemies on the island. Choosing a low speed puts you at risk of not being able to find the scientists and the escape shuttle before time runs out.
In the Adventure Deck you’ll find traps, monsters, equipment to add to your character and more. Players are working their way through the deck to find the escape shuttle and scientists before exiting the island.
I really like this mechanic of the team taking a risk all together. Players cannot rest (heal) during a round so you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew during a round. The game scales well from a solo player to up to 4 and even includes some additional variants for players to modify the game.
Finding the Right Audience
I have to be honest about my experience with The Island of Doctor Necreaux. Getting this to the table with the family has been a challenge. I say this because the game definitely has an audience but I’m not 100% sure it’s families with younger kids. The first couple sessions with this game will have you checking out the rule book, referencing the glossary and re-reading the text on the cards.
This can be a little overwhelming to younger gamers. This is what we found with our time with the game. The Island of Doctor Necreaux is a much better fit for a game night with other adults. This is in no way an entry-level game.
The game isn’t too difficult. There are just many things to pay attention to as you resolve newly drawn cards. Each play of the game will bring more familiarity with the different skills and how they can be used to your advantage.
Combat in this game is resolved by rolling dice and adding modifiers from your active skill cards. Drawing trap cards also play out in a similar way. When you take damage, you have to lose access to one of your skills or eventually lose that skill completely. I really enjoyed some of the adventure cards that give the team two different options. It has a “choose your own adventure” feel that fits perfectly with the pulp sci-fi theme.
I believe The Island of Doctor Necreaux will find a great audience. It has unique mechanics and the replay-ability is solid. The game is fast-paced and works really well once you have a couple games under your belt.
If you’re looking for a solid sci-fi cooperative adventure to tackle with your gaming group, be sure to check out The Island of Doctor Necreaux on Kickstarter before their campaign ends on April 21st.
Invisible City provided us with a prototype copy of The Island of Doctor Necreaux during their Kickstarter campaign. This in no way influenced our opinion on the game. Previews are a glimpse into an upcoming game with the pros and cons that we experienced prior to production of the game.