Dark Gothic Omens Point to a Rain of Flying Frogs


“The clock strikes midnight, and I hear the howl of the black winds and the rapping of twisted branches upon the window panes. The last dying embers of the hearth fire cast ghostly shadows upon the walls. Heady vapors of incense dull my earthly senses and open my mind’s eye to the occult perceptions of the darker realms of understanding. The fog lifts from the crystal of scrying, showing me prophetic visions of the times to come. I see before me a shadowy potent of dire evil, brought by the harbinger whose shape is that of a Flying Frog…” ~excerpt from the journal of Dr. V. A. Belmont

“Way to make a potion bender sound grandiose, Belmont…” ~snark, courtesy of Dr. G. A. Martin

“Silence, you!” ~Belmont

2014 is shaping up to be a great year for Flying Frog Productions. While we’ve been getting a steady stream of expansions for it’s five core games, we haven’t seen any new titles in over two years. This year, FFP is unleashing two deliciously evil theme-packed games! I’m quite excited, myself, as I have never seen Flying Frog Productions make a game I didn’t like.

Following a very successful Kickstarter campaign, Flying Frog is giving us a campaign-style dungeon crawl of horror and otherworldly travel set in the weird and wild west. Although I initially had a harsh criticism of the Kickstarter campaign, Shadows of Brimstone is looking pretty slick! Look out, Descent, 2nd Edition, you have a new contender for the title of king of the campaign dungeon-delves! I’ll be writing more about Shadows in the next coming months, but today’s article is centered upon Flying Frog’s other horror-themed surprise…


A Touch of Evil: Dark Gothic is a deck-building game based on the board game of colonial American horror, A Touch of Evil.

Ever since the advent of Dominion, the progenitor of the deck-building game model, the industry has seen a veritable tidal wave of deck-builders. Every company in the gaming industry rushes to capitalize on the new model, carelessly slapping a new  theme on Dominion and pushing it out without really making a new game. Unfortunately, this has caused a few to balk at the game model, and even I can’t help but roll my eyes at the word “deck-building.” However, every once in a while, a new spin will come to the deck-building design, giving players something fresh and new. Flying Frog’s Dark Gothic has the fortunate advantage of bucking the Dominion-clone trend.

According to Scott Hill, art director and co-founder of FFP, the Dark Gothic spin-off was “borne of their love of deck-building games, but they felt that they only wanted to join the ranks of deck-builders if they had something new to bring to the table. Dark Gothic has enough elements of similar to other deck building games to be familiar, and easy to pick up for new players, but really captures the feel of playing the A Touch of Evil board game.” Players must travel to different locations, investigating the evil, gaining equipment and allies, battling horrific creatures of the night in search of the villain; or rather, villains…PLURAL.

Dr. VanHelsing realizes that "Dark Gothic" will take some getting used to...

Dr. VanHelsing realizes that “Dark Gothic” will take some getting used to…

Dark Gothic has each player choose a specific hero to play, and like the board game, each hero has his or her own special abilities, and each has a different starting deck! Each player’s play style will, by necessity, be different, and each will have a different strategy towards winning the game. It looks like each “characteristic” from the board game is a separate card type (Strength, Cunning, Spirit, and Honor), and these cards are used to overcome challenges, locations, and villains.

Dark Gothic is both a cooperative and a competitive game. All players must work together to defeat the villains, or all lose together. However, after the villains are defeated, players will get a final score in Investigation points they’ve earned to determine the top hero.

Also counted among it’s innovations is a first for Flying Frog games – a custom die. This “Omen die” is used to determine initiative, and for different cards and abilities throughout the game. To my recollection, this would be the first deck-building game to include a die in it’s game mechanics.

Dark Gothic should be in our hands this spring, and is looking to be a great “pick up and play” game, or a nice alternative if you don’t feel like pulling out A Touch of Evil.

I’m pleased to see Flying Frog expanding their game stable with the wisdom to stick to what they know while still producing fun, unique games. For any of you folks heading over to the GAMA Trade show this year, check out Dark Gothic and other great games at Flying Frog’s booth (#411)!

Now, here’s to hoping that we might be able to pick up Shadows of Brimstone at GenCon this year…


Have a great week, and happy gaming!
~Doc Belmont

Check out Flying Frog’s fine selection of games HERE!

Posted on March 10, 2014, in Board Games, Card Games, Kickstarter, News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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