Gloom – Perfect for Halloween

Gloom card game

Looks pretty gloomy on the outside.

If you’re looking for a great card game to accompany your Halloween celebrations this month, then pick up a copy of Gloom.

Gloom is a card game with somewhat of a macabre theme – you’re trying to make your family as gloomy as possible before they die. The more miserable they are when they pass on, the better chance you have of winning.

Just hearing the theme though, we can see how you might be turned off.
Don’t be.

Gloom card game

See-through cards = awesome!

It’s a light-hearted game with silly situations that’s a lot of fun to play and laugh along the way.

But we haven’t even mentioned one of the best parts of the game.
The thing that makes this creative card game so cool are the cards themselves!

The cards in Gloom are translucent!
They’re see-through cards and a ton of fun to play with!

Gloom card game

Pick a family to heap misfortune on.

How to play Gloom

As mentioned previously, the objective in Gloom is to have the most miserable dead family members at the end of the game. Players achieve this by stacking modifier cards on top of their character cards that add misery upon misery before playing an Untimely Death card on top of them.

And that’s where the see-through cards completely make the game!

Every player in Gloom starts with 5 members in their family played face-up in front of them. And each family member card has flavor text on the card that creates a fun/creative back story for the character.

Players are also given a hand of 5 cards to start with (mix of modifier, event, and death cards). The modifier cards are used to stack misery or happiness onto the character cards on the table. And every card has a funny story with it. So when you play a card on a character, be sure to read it out loud to weave the story of that character.

Gloom card game

Such a terrible thing to have happen.

Here are some examples of modifiers (bad and good):

  • Was cursed by the queen
  • Starved in a storm
  • Was wounded by wasps
  • Was mauled by a manatee
  • Was written out of the will
  • Was popular in parliament
  • Landed a legacy
  • Was delighted by ducklings

And some examples of untimely death cards:

  • Died without cares
  • Fell from on high
  • Was badly burned
  • Was choked by a tie
  • Drank too much rye
Gloom card game

Or add a little happiness…

On their turn, players can make 2 plays – each play choosing to play a card, discard a card, or pass.

Players can place modifier cards on any living character card they’d like – usually placing cards with happy things on their opponents and miserable things on their own characters. The modifier cards have point values on them (positive or negative) that show how happy or miserable a character is.

The points show up in 3 different spots on the cards and when cards are stacked on each other may cover up previous points. Only the points that are visible are counted. So if a character has -20 points in one spot and an opponent plays a happy situation card on it, the happy +10 points may cover up the -20 and now the character is happy as can be with that 30-point swing.

Gloom card game

One family member gone.

And as long as a character has positive/happy points, they can’t die. And in the end, only dead characters score points.

But just because you have a miserably dead character, don’t think your job is done because there are also some Event cards that can bring them back to life or mix things up in unexpected ways. Just when you think you’ll get a lot of great negative points, an opponent will play the Second Chance card – reviving your family member and adding some happy card on top.

Once one player’s family members are all deceased, the game ends. Players count up their points and the lowest (most miserable) family wins.


Gloom card game

Fan out these awesome see-through cards.

What’s so fun about Gloom?

We always have a fun time when we play Gloom. The stories that add up as you heap misfortune and other cards on yours or other’s characters is a hoot. And the swing of fortune as others mess with your characters and you mess with there’s keeps everyone watching and tallying points all the time.

There can be plenty of swings throughout the game.

And those cards!
Cards that are see-through are just so cool!


How does Gloom score on the “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

Gloom is a great game to play in October for sure. But even if it’s not Halloween season, Gloom is a fun game to play.

Gloom card gameThe length of game play however isn’t one that gets players calling for a rematch immediately after one game ends. We all have a fun time for sure. But we’ll pack it up and laugh about the wacky time we just had and look forward to the next time.

There is also a number of expansion Gloom decks – adding more families/characters, new misfortunes, and more twists and turns. Plenty of fun, gloomy play to be had!

What board games and card games do you recommend for Halloween?
With the latest craze in zombies, vampires, werewolves, and other scary stuff, there are plenty of board games with creepy themes that go well with Halloween. What games do you love to play this time of year?

Ghost Stories board game

Ghost Stories is a cooperative board game great for Halloween.

Here’s another few board games and card games to check out for Halloween:

The Board Game Family Game Ratings
Caleb: 4.0 Meeples Caleb
   Has not played Brooke
Jaden: 3.5 Meeples Jaden
Trevor: 3.5 Meeples Trevor
   Has not played Mom
Dad: 3.5 Meeples Dad
AVerage: 3.6 Meeples Average
Pick up a copy!

Buy Gloom from Amazon


Comments: 1


There are a lot of games that fit into the Halloween theme. I’ve been wanting to get Betrayal at House on the Hill myself. My wife and I plan on playing Ghost Stories, Dungeon Lords and King of Tokyo (with Halloween expansion) for Halloween. I was thinking about Small World as well.



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