What Did We Play Monday? A Lobotomy Board Game Review

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Happy Monday everyone! In this week’s edition of What Did We Play Monday, we discuss what we played this past weekend. We played five games: Gloomhaven, Lobotomy, Star Realms: Frontiers, Pandemic: In the Lab, and Zombicide: Green Horde with No Rest for the Wicked. We decided to pick one game to highlight and write up a quick review for you. We hope you enjoy it. Feel free to let us know y our thoughts in the comments.

Lobotomy

We have had this game for a while and just finally got around to playing it. It’s a cooperative, horror game in which you play as a mental patient (or patients) trying to escape an abandoned mental hospital. You must battle the staff, all of whom have turned evil, to escape.

The base game includes 22 different scenarios, 8 heroes (i.e., mental patients) each with their own set of phobias, conditions, skills, and mental illnesses, etc., 17 monsters representing the staff, and 10 double-sided board tiles.

Initial thoughts

The set-up for this game is time intensive especially if you are only playing one scenario. Players can choose to play one to four scenarios (it’s how you adjust the difficulty), but if you are playing only one scenario, the set-up is too much. It took us over an hour to set up the game and less than that to play it. Another issue, the game takes up a lot of space. You need a large game table to fit all the cards and components.

Gameplay and more

Overall, I have to say the theme for this game is original. We have plenty of horror games and cooperative games, but none with this theme. Also, the theme carries through. Each patient has her/his own background story about how he/she came to be institutionalized, memory cards that give her/him special skills, and certain mental illness that provide her/him with abilities during the game. In one case, the background story of the patient was so gross, I couldn’t even finish reading it. (Spiders, gross.)

The artwork is beautiful and ties in well with the game’s theme.

We played the initial scenario and then re-set the game to play two additional scenarios. The estimated time to complete the two scenarios is 90-180 minutes. It took us nearly 5 hours! This does not include set-up time. 5 hours! I understand this was our first real play through and we had to consult the rulebook and scenario guide a few times more than might normally be necessary, but 5 hours! Does that mean if we attempted to play a full four scenarios we would be playing for 10 hours!?!?!?! Yikes!

Skill cardThe game is fun, but it is HARD. The skills that each player has can’t be used each turn. You use your player’s skill and then you must wait for it to ‘cool down’ (i.e., recharge). Based on the patients we played, this can take anywhere from three to six turns provided you haven’t gone insane[1]. Additionally, you can lose your weapons throughout the game (provided you are able to get any at all).

 

The rulebook

The rulebook for the game is hit and miss. There are certain parts that are explained very thoroughly, such as the combat example. This and other examples go into great detail about what you will do during an action, how to move an enemy, and other parts of the game. However, there are parts of the rulebook that make you scratch your head as to how these errors or omissions were missed during editing. For example, on one page is a picture of a monster card. Underneath the photo, there is a list of each item on the card, but there are no corresponding numbers on the picture of the card itself to show you where the items align. Other pictures align the items and descriptions but use letters instead of numbers. It looks as if two different people wrote the same rulebook.

Thankfully, Judgement Dave at Boardgame Geek took the time to create a revised rulebook, player aids, and revised maps. If you are considering getting this game, we recommend heading over to Boardgamegeek and printing out these items.

[1] Being that you are mental patients, naturally, you can go insane. You can also choose to ‘take insanity’ to add to your offense or defense.

About NickiChris 20 Articles
We are an avid board/tabletop gaming couple from Oldsmar, FL. We want to communicate with others who enjoy our hobby and help those who are new to board gaming.

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