As you are possibly starting to see I’m a sucker for a small box card game I can have in my bag to pull out and play at the pub with a few of my mates. So when I heard Bruno Cathala (7 Wonders Duel, Shadows over Camelot & Jamaica) was doing such a game with funforge I had to check it out.
Pocket Madness is a fast-paced card game inspired by the Cthulhu mythos by H.P. Lovecraft. You play as cultists trying to evoke the powers of the Ancient Ones but making sure that you aren’t driven completely mad before the other players.
You then count 17 face down cards, flip the rest of the deck and shuffle them back in. You then lay out the deck so you can see all the cards with some of them face down. The cards in the deck are numbered 6-12 and on your turn you will do one of the following:
– take 1-3 cards from the start of the deck
– open a portal by laying down 3 or more cards of the same type and taking the corresponding portal card which gives you a one off power.
– Open an investigation by discarding 7 different cards causing all other cultists to gain madness tokens.
A round ends when the last card is taken or 1 player has discarded their entire hand. You gain madness tokens for the different portal cards in your hand.
If a player has 10 madness tokens the game ends and the player with the least tokens wins. If no one has 10 tokens you start a new round the setup and repeat the steps until a player has 10 tokens at the end of a round and the game ends.
Pocket Madness is a light fun card game with simple rules which is easy to teach to new players. If I have one problem it would be the setup time. It seems like you spend more time shuffling cards than playing them. As most games seem to take place over 3 rounds there is a lot of setup.
There is some strategy though when you are choosing when to get the portal cards for the most benefit and is a lot of fun to take them off the other players.
Overall the art is great the game is light but still offers a lot of tactical choice and a touch of take that thrown in. The theme is over done but doesn’t spoil the game at all.