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For centuries, brave hunters have tried to destroy the Master Vampire. So far, no one has succeeded. Now, it's your turn to try....
Turn out the lights and become part of the legend. As you creep toward the crypt and battle the unknown, the tower light will mysteriously transform your path.
Beware of the eerie blue glow of night... when villagers become werewolves, a secret passageway turns into a TRAP, and vampires appear out of thin air! Hope for the red rays of day when you may move safely around the gameboard to gather the weapons you'll need to battle the minions.
Your time is limited, so you must hunt in a hurry. If the Master's ship reaches him before you do, he'll escape, and you'll be left in the dark....
I like this game. I've been fascinated with the subject of vampires ever since I started watching 'Dark Shadows' as a child, and this game doesn't disappoint. Unlike Reiner Knizia's Vampire card game, which I also like, this game has everything to do with its vampire theme. The previous reviewer did an excellent job of setting forth the rules, so there's no need for me to go there; I'll just sing its praises. I was stuck in a storm a few nights ago, and the power went out. A game of Vampire Hunter would have been the perfect way to while away the hours in that situation, unfortunately I was not at home. While not a strategy game, it's theme and appearance alone set it above the typical 'roll and move' games. My nephew and I both enjoy this game, and it'll get a lot of play from us, whether on dark, stormy nights, or not.
Hasbro has been putting out more good games the past two years. (E.g., The Queen's Gambit, Axis & Allies: Europe and Pacific, Risk 2210 and such.)
We have over 100 games at our house and are VERY selective before buying another one...lest it become another shelf sitter.
Tha game comes with a board, a way cool castle that lights up, four plastic people, a plastic sailing ship, cards, cardboard chips that change appearance based upon the time of day, and dice that also change appearance.
The game is very simple. You travel around the board and collect a sword and a stake to drive through the Vampire's heart. You also have to have a piece of garlic, but you start the game with that. (As an optional rule, it is strongly suggested that each player place one piece of garlic on the board wherever he/she sees fit. A player can pick up any piece of garlic...not just the one he/she placed.) Whenever a person reaches the coffin, he uses the garlic, sword, and stake to attack the Vampire. (Another optional rule, each person must attack the vampire with EACH of his OWN three items to win. This helps prevent a Johnny-come-lately from winning by only applying the killing blow.) The game says ages 9+. It probably could say 7+. The only downside of this game is the simplicity. The optional rules given here and in the original rule book make it more challenging.
The best part of the game is that it MUST be played in the dark. The castle lights up: red for daytime and blue for nighttime. The different game pieces appear to be differnt things depending on the 'time of the day'. E.g., a piece may be a werewolf (harmful) at night and a villager (harmless) during the day. Another piece may be a zombie (harmful) during the day and a grave site (harmless) at night. You must fight every monster that you end your turn next to. The combat die is designed to roll hits more often during the day and hits less often during the night.
Movement depends on the time of the day, too. You move faster during the daytime. The die is designed to roll high numbers during the day and low numbers during the night.
You may ask how the same die (combat or movement) can roll two different sets of numbers. It is an optical trick. E.g., the movement die has two numbers on each side. A red number and a blue number. The red number can only be seen when the BLUE light is on. The blue number can only be seen when the RED light is on. (I am a science teacher and I could explain how this works in greater detail, but I will leave the work up to you, the student....)
It is also possible that no one wins the game and that the Vampire escapes on a ship.
Keep in mind that the game is simple. House rules could add to this game if you should so choose. The atmosphere of the game is almost automatic. It is very rare that a game comes along with this ability. What we did to really enhance the game was to play a tape with spooky music on it.
We are quite pleased with this game. The art work is Gothic. You kill the Vampire by using classical weapons: garlic, sword, and stake. Playing in the dark adds to the mood (again, it has to be dark to play this game).
I didn't give the game five stars because I reserve that for EXCEPTIONAL games that I want to play over and over and over. This is the kind of game that you play in cycles: very popular for a few days and then fads away for a bit. Also, it works super well with company over that are good friends.
Since we are keeping this game, it is truly good, IMHO.