The thrilling horrors of A Touch of Evil continue to threaten the mortal world in the riveting new expansion, The Coast. From Flying Frog Productions, AToE is a board game with adaptive play based on cards drawn by the characters. It takes the form of storytelling alongside strategy as players look to defeat great evil by collecting items and allies while facing adventures. The Coast gives it a new realm to play as a tide of evil washes in.
The game may be cooperative or competitive with all the players out for themselves. Either way pits the characters against a single evil force that is gathering power and will eventually destroy the world, a countdown marked by the Shadow Track that ends the game. Players face adventures as they visit locations, drawing cards that could be very beneficial, such as a new ally or item, or very bleak, such as facing a vicious foe in a sudden fight.
As with all of Flying Frog’s games, there is excellent production value. The art reflects well on the setting, the dawn of the 19th Century, a crossroads of superstition and science with rich and vibrant flavor in the text. Photography makes the characters and the more human villains realistic, while superb art brings to life the things that cannot be photographed. The storytelling features of the game draw in the players beyond the mechanics of moving to destinations and dice-rolling.
A nautical theme distinguishes The Coast from the original game and its earlier board expansion, Something Wicked. One of the characters is a smuggler with special powers used to get around the board faster, and the villains take forms such as a Ghost Ship with cursed gold and an undying crew; Sirens of Greek mythology; and the Sunken Seven, a band of angry spirits bent on vengeance toward the town that drowned them to stop an evil blight. In addition to villains, two roving entities may be faced, a Lost Ship and the fierce Kraken that cannot be killed, making for more adventure for players willing to gamble. The board features new stops with corner locations referencing smugglers, a shipwreck, and a lighthouse as well as an additional town center to gain equipment and bonuses. The overall feel of darkness and mystery in the game continues seamlessly in the expansion.
The Coast is a game for two to 12 players ages 12 and up. It can last from one hour to two, depending upon the number of players and whether the game is cooperative in its battle against evil or if each player seeks the honor of slaying the villain him- or her-self. The game requires the base set of A Touch of Evil to play, which itself is a solid game and looks to find many more expansion packs in the future.