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Catacomb Keeper

& Bears

To this day, Catacombs remains my preferred way to flick wooden discs around a piece of cardboard. Where most dexterity games are blink-and-you’ll-miss-them affairs, Catacombs was smart enough to take its time, chewing its band of heroes down to the gristle over hours rather than minutes.

As you might expect, this was also the great weakness of Catacombs. For a flicking game, it tended to ramble. By the time it reached its final showdown, it had begun to resemble one of those twenty-part fantasy novel epics that are probably the linchpin strategy of a shadowy organization’s plot to discourage literacy.

Enter Catacombs & Castles. This time around, designer Aron West’s goal was to harness the mighty long-winded power of Catacombs, while compressing the experience into a single battle rather than an entire campaign.

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