The Big Book of Madness Review

Man, this game looks great!  The components are really cool!  The premise is excellent, and something that is somewhat underused!  This is going to be amazing!  We get to be Harry Potter and his friends tracking down baddies and using spells to squish them back in their book!

Except, it totally misses the mark for me.  -100 points to Grifflepuffinclaw.

The Big Book of MadnessIELLO
2-5 Players60-90 minutes
Ages 12+BGG Weight – 2.72 / 5

So here you are minding your own business at magic college, when you happen past The Big Book of Madness and its pages fly open, releasing monsters onto the campus.  Being the heroes that you are training to become, you leap into action to use your spells to reign them back into the book and save the day… hopefully before lunch in the caf.  (Purists, I know that’s not exactly the premise, take a cold shower.)

This game uses some clever mechanics, like a shared pool of spell cards that can be used on anyone’s turn to help them with their plans, deck building (which is my favorite mechanic), variable player powers, and a super-sweet book that is assembled while setting up.  The shared pool is the best part of this game.  You can send cards from your hand right into the shared pool of cards that are available to everyone on their turn, should they need them to defeat curses.  

We are no strangers to co-op games, so this was an easy win in my head.  But, for some unfathomable reason, my playmates refused to put cards into the shared pool.  Y U NO HLAP MEH, FREN??  I am almost positive that the shared pool is the key to victory, but after several plays of this game, I don’t think any of us really want to try anymore.  That being said, I have since gotten rid of this game and am excited to see what will fill its shoes as the next great-looking co-op with a shared resource pool.  Sorry IELLO, I typically love your products.

Purple Phoenix Games gives The Big Book of Madness a big ol score of 8 / 12. 


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