Wednesday, November 18, 2009


As I mentioned previously, Claustrophobia is set in the Hell Dorado universe. The rulebook mentions the connection once, and there are some minor references that fans of Hell Dorado will catch - but you don't need to know anything about Hell Dorado to enjoy Claustrophobia, as they are very different games.

The basic story behind Claustrophobia is that the city of New Jerusalem is under constant attack by demons, who are attacking from the catacombs below the city.

Enter the Redeemer:


Joined by a small force of convicts, the Redeemer has been entering the catacombs, and has had some small successes at beating back the Demonic menace.


So how does it play?

Surprisingly smoothly.

Step 1: Human Initiative.
The Human player rolls as many dice as he has Warriors. Each warrior is then assigned one of the dice.


In this image, the die is a '1', so the Condemned Blade for Hire uses the top line of his stats - Movement of 1, Combat of 3, Defense of 3. If the Blade had taken damage, there would be red tokens in the holes next to the stat lines. If you assign a die tied to a damaged stat line, the character is Exhausted - that is, Move 0, Combat 0, Defense 3.

Step 2: Human Action Phase
The Human player activates each Warrior in turn. The warriors will explore the maze and fight Demons during this phase.

Step 3: Demon Threat Phase
The Demon player rolls 3 dice, and assigns them to their control board.


Each space on the board does something different. Some of them allow the Demon player to draw cards, some give them Threat Points which are used to summon Demons, and some of them temporarily modify the stats and abilities of the Demons.

During their Threat Phase, they also spend their Threat Points to summon Demons.

Step 4: Demon Player's Action Phase
During this phase, the Demons move around the board and attack the humans.

Obviously, there's more to it than that. For example, many of the rooms cause special effects - some double the damage dealt in combat, some of them slow movement down. Each Human warrior has a different skill (or skills) in addition to their ever-changing stat line.

The game is scenario based - in the first scenario (for example), the goal is for the humans to find the exit and escape. If two Human warriors escape, the Humans win. If all of the Humans die, the Demons win. Any other result is a draw. Every time the Humans reveal a room (along the side with the d10), the d10 is increased and moved to an exit on the new room (or the nearest room if the new room is a dead end). When the die reaches ten, the next tile is the exit.

Each Scenario has a different reference card for the larger demon. Sure they could have used some of their Hell Dorado sculpts and included more minis - but they would have significantly increased the price and not actually added much to the game.

What does it look like in play?


In fact, I may not play this on a table very often - it's big. Very big. I have a large table, but not everyone will. So be prepared to play this on the floor.

The game is also expandable. The rulebook says to watch for new scenarios on their website. I suspect that new scenarios will have new demon reference cards.

If the game does well enough, I wouldn't be surprised to see expansions with more warriors (for both sides) and a variety of new scenarios.

I have a package waiting for me in my apartment complex's office. It contains Dungeon Twister: Prison and several other games. I'll probably get around to discussing them next week.

I've paused work on my solo cards until I get a few solo games under my belt. I want to make sure that my work plays similarly to the official version.


  1. Looks good, simple but fun. Is it a 2 player game, or more?

  2. It is a two-player only game.

    File that under "Critical Stuff I Forgot To Mention."



  3. Anonymous6:18 PM

    How many scenarios does it have out of the box?

  4. The game ships with six scenarios. There is one already on the official website, and at least one more ready to go.