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Ages Play Time Players
12+ 30 minutes 2

Designer(s): Michael Rieneck

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Kosmos

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Product Description

Count Dracula has left his home in Transylvania to travel by ship to London, where he plans to hunt for innocent victims. The famous Dr. van Helsing got wind of Dracula's plans and immediately caught the next carriage to London. It is a race against time! Van Helsing tries to find and destroy all of the vampire's coffins, while the count tries to find five victims. Will the horror end tonight or will the count's reign of terror continue?

Product Information


  • 1 game board
  • 50 cards
  • 2 figures
  • 4 barriers
  • 8 energy cubes
  • 1 rule booklet

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.3 in 3 reviews

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by Marc
Simple Elegance.
February 07, 2004

I really enjoyed this game. The artwork (both board and cards)and Dracula/Van Helsing game tokens sets the mood in a fantastic way. I think that the elements of bluffing, memory and tactics provide enjoyable gameplay for light to medium range gammers tastes. Heavier gamers will probably be wanting more. Personally, I'm not always in the mood for an intense game of Puerto Rico, and a game like this one fits great for those 'light' quick gaming moments. Every time I've played this game it plays for around 1/2 hour. I've never heard of the author of this game before this one, but I'll be watching his name for future releases down the road. The multiple winning conditions force you to stay on your toes throughout the game. I liked it. Not the best two player game out there, but a fine piece of work that I'd recommend to others.

Sink your teeth into this one
January 05, 2004

Dont let the box art scare you! Dracula is a new addition to the Kosmos 2-player line of games, and despite its theme, it actually fairly light and friendly to play. One player takes the role of Dracula, the other is Dr. Van Helsig, vampire-hunter extraordinaire! Players are racing around London trying to foil their opponent by withholding and hiding the target cards from each other.

There are 3 different victory conditions which adds a lot to both the tactics and replayability of this game. A player wins: when his opponent spends her last life point (each player starting with 4 life cubes); when he finds all 5 of his opponents target cards; when he can prove there are no target cards in the city (on the board.)

Gameplay is fairly straightforward: Move, play action card. The action card depicts 4 pieces of info which are resolved thus: make sure movement is covered by card movement points, resolve battle (if any), place barrier, take special action on bottom of card. Quite straightforward, but it keeps decisions interesting as player try and decide the most effective time to play certain cards.

The board depicts London but is essentially a 3 x 4 grid on which 12 encounter cards are laid face-down, 6 cards from Dracula, 6 from Dr. von Helsig. On a players turn, she may move any number of spaces, each move being orthogonal, and each space she moves she may choose to look at the card or not. If, at any time during moving and looking, she finds one of her cards, she may swap that card out and replace it secretly. If she finds the card of her opponent, she must flip it over, her movement ends, and she must resolve the card. Power cards inflict damage, opponent cards bring about a fight where the active player tries to play a card more powerful than the one she revealed, and target cards become instant property of the active player, and put them that much closer to victory!

Since cards are face-down, this game has a fair bit of memory in it not burn your brain memory, but memory nevertheless. With the face-down cards comes a neat dose of bluffing and hiding trying to swap in cards cleverly trying to trick your opponent , and to use barriers to make the path to certain cards much longer. The game is much lighter than it probably sounds, and is an enjoyable 20 minutes. The different victory conditions and the face-down cards remind me quite a bit of Hera & Zeus if you like one you should like the other but the games are still quite different, and so owning both is no problem. I am happy I have both of them.

It has been said that there is nothing new under the sun. And when game manufacturers give us the same themes over and over again (castles, knights, the New World), the game that is set somewhere different gives an added boost to the enjoyment of the game. Dracula probably could have themed any number of ways, but the Dracula theme and great artwork add something to the game: beautifully illustrated cards, with a dark, dusky, dimly-lit London adding much to the feel of the game. If vampires make you queasy, I wouldnt worry too much about it. This game is fairly light, not too confrontational, and allows for clever play. A very nice addition to the Kosmos 2 player line.

I really really wanted to like this
January 01, 2004

I like most of the Kosmos 2-player games, even the ones that are pretty simple, and love the theme and artwork of this one. But it just relies too much on memory (it's really ALL about memory). And with a changing board, it just feels like work. I've heard there's some strategy there, but I didn't see it, and I'm probably not going to go through the effort of playing again to try to find it.

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