In the jungle, each step could be your last. Fantasy Flight Games aims to hammer that point home with its newly announced expansion to their H.P. Lovecraft-inspired board game Mansions of Madness, called Path of the Serpent. Mansions puts players in the role of investigators delving into the deep secrets of Lovecraft’s Mythos, including entangling encounters with Cthulhu and other dreadful elder gods and their twisted devotees. The board game, currently in its second edition, utilizes an app to help tell the story and move this fully cooperative game along.
Traditionally, the investigators in a game of Mansions are city-dwelling folk, who scour strange old towns, dilapidated mansions, mist-choked docksides, and other generally spooky places looking for clues to help them stop the eldritch terrors knocking at their door. In Path of the Serpent, players get to take a trip out of the city as they traipse through jungle locals attempting to solve strange mysteries. The expansion comes with three scenarios to tackle. First, there’s “The Jungle Awakens,” where a garden party in the city showing off artifacts from the jungle begins to twist and transform into something wilder. The second adventure, “Into the Dark,” has explorers traveling on a South American expedition where they’re warned to stay away from the dark (and must choose when and where to leave the safety of a campfire). Finally, “Lost Temple of Yig” goes all-out, sending the adventurers into a temple where snake-like creatures attempt to revive their evil god Yig.
Heading off on these perilous quests are four new adventurers for players to embody, including a hardened adventurer, an explorer, a mechanic, and an astronomer. Not a bad crew to take into the heart of the jungle. Each character has their own set of stats and a special ability that helps the team, and finding the right balance of when and where to use those abilities is one of the cornerstones of getting through a Mansions game alive.
The first edition of the game tasked one player with playing as a sort of “Game Master,” controlling the enemies and revealing clues and tokens. With the second edition, that role was handed over to an official app, which instructs players on where to place enemies, how to lay down the board game tiles, and how the story progresses. This expansion continues to play with app functionality, including a brand new twisting-ring puzzle players will have to solve (with the use of their device) while playing the board game.
Mansions of Madness – Path of the Serpent will retail for $59.95 and is set to hit retailers in the fourth quarter of 2019, and it’s currently available for preorder.