You’re stranded in the forest after a plane crash. The dark forest is filled with secrets and one of you will succumb to the curse of this dreadful place. Victim: The Cursed Forest is a cooperative game from Hexa House Games that quickly turns into a 1-vs-many where one player hunts their friends.
Players enter this horror themed game with a character that has a unique ability that will come in handy to your team. Exploring the forest will reveal pathways and secrets as the board expands. As players move, they add new hexagonal tiles to the table. There’s a lot of forest to explore as you reveal crash locations, cursed tiles and eventually the bunker. Players collect items and even complete challenges to level up each of their 4 basic abilities.
After 2 or 3 rounds (based on player count) of exploration, players will reveal a curse card. This card will determine which member of your party becomes evil. Victim comes with 6 different evil entities that could appear. Whether a player becomes The Widow, The Werewolf or The Witch, each has unique and deadly abilities.
The player who becomes evil will now work to kill the other players at the table. Ultimately the team has to find the hatch to the underground bunker and complete a math equation to get to safety. Victim keeps players exploring the forest throughout the game by hiding the bunker tile near the bottom of the two stacks of hexagonal tiles. The more forest tiles that are available, the better your chances of survival.
Victim becomes a game of cat and mouse as players try to elude the evil player on the board. Placing tiles in specific orientations and blocking pathways are great ways to stay one step ahead of your enemy. Staying in groups is a big strategy to help heal one another and make sure players aren’t eliminated from the game.
Flee to Safety
Finding the bunker tile is only one of the pieces of the puzzle that players need to find in order to survive. When the bunker is found, a number tile is pulled randomly. Players must use number and symbol tiles they found around the map in order to create a math equation that equals this number. This is an aspect of the game that I really enjoy.
As you find decoding tiles throughout the forest, players need to be dedicated to collecting a variety of numbers and symbols in order to have what they need when the bunker is found. Players with a high Intelligence ability will be leaned on during the game to use these decoder tiles. Knowing the other players strengths and weaknesses are a must when it comes to working as a team in Victim.
Throughout the forest you’ll encounter items that can be equipped, shared and used by the players. Between the items you find and completing challenges to upgrade your abilities, players can create a formidable opponent to the evil player trying to track them down.
Stuck in the Woods
If you’ve played Betrayal at the House on the Hill, you have a basic idea of how this game works. The evil player gains rage and can upgrade their own abilities. In our experience, the longer the game goes, the more likely it will be that the evil player will win.
Victim is a tense and spooky game that can be soured by really bad die rolls. Since your player abilities are linked to the number of dice you roll, upgrading your abilities are so important. Failing a roll early in the game is common due to unlucky rolls of the dice. Even in the late game, it was not uncommon to roll 3 dice and fail a task that was important to the success of the team.
The randomness of the dice and event cards that are drawn each round will have one of two effects on players. It will either add to the games tension or feel unfair. I think this is where player experiences are going to differ. I enjoyed the tension of Victim, but I’d also be lying if I didn’t mention that being a survivor seemed hopeless some times.
I really enjoy Victim: The Cursed Forest. Working to create an equation to open the bunker at the end of the game feels unique and fresh. The components in the game are a really solid quality. The artwork is instantly engaging and the dual-layered player boards work really well.
I’m not the biggest fan of the action poses that were chosen for a couple of the miniatures in the game. While I see what they were trying to accomplish, it didn’t translate well to the small plastic figure on the table. The molds for Rolita and Sean both look like the character is falling over or the plastic is warped. The miniatures in this game range from excellent to “what happened here?”.
Even with the minor issues I covered in this review, Victim: The Cursed Forest is easily going to be a go-to game when reach for a spooky game to play with friends. If you’re looking for more spooky games for your table, check out our 5 Spooktastic Games for 2021.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- Tense gameplay as the evil player hunts the rest of the party
- Excellent production quality and nice art
- Players abilities contribute to the whole team
- Turns in the first couple rounds can be really uneventful
- Miniatures are a bit disappointing