Many fell putting an end to the reign of terror of Wu-Feng, Lord of the Nine Hells. The funerary urn housing his ashes was buried in the cemetery of a village in the Middle Empire. Years have passed, and the cursed legacy has been forgotten by the living.
Hidden away in hell, Wu-Feng has forgotten nothing. His incessant research allowed him to locate the receptacle. The shadow of his former incarnation already extends to the villagers, who are unaware of the danger threatening them.
Fortunately, the Fat-Si (Taoist priests) keep watch, guarding the border between the dead and the living. Armed with their courage, their faith, and their powers, they will try to return the reincarnation of Wu-Feng to Hell.
The game is very simple to understand, but to win, you need to fight through what seems like a never-ending onslaught of demons. On your turn you can do one of two things: move to a tile to try to exorcise a ghost, or use that tile’s special ability. Each priest starts with 4 life points (Ki tokens) and some Tao tokens. Once the Ki tokens are depleted the priest is knocked unconscious, and cannot move until he is revived.
Exorcising ghosts is relatively simple as well. You roll three dice trying to match the color on the dice to the colors on the demon card. But you don’t just have to rely on the dice! You can also ask the villagers for help, or you can use Tao tokens to help your dice stats. If you’re on a tile with another priest, you can ask for help. Team work is not only needed, but necessary to defeat Wu-Feng!
The village is made up of nine tiles, sitting 3×3, each of which represents a different area or location of the village (cemetery, temple, market, etc.) Around the village are placed the tiles for each player, where the ghosts will appear on their starting locations. Now these player tiles are double sided giving you the option of selecting one of two abilities.
Would you rather have another Tao dice, or would you like to re-roll your dice one per turn? You only get to decide once at the beginning of the game, and the wrong choice could lead to a swift demise.
As the games go on, the demons keep coming faster and faster, while you keep trying to hold them at bay. Not to mention, trying to keep the village from becoming haunted.
It takes 3 turns for a demon to reach a village tile. When it does, it becomes haunted. As soon as 3 tiles in a row are haunted, the game is over and the village is destroyed.
In order to win, the players must defeat the incarnation of Wu-Feng, who shows up at the end of the game. After being beat down by the demons all game, here is when teamwork is needed the most. You can adjust the difficulty by adding or subtracting demons, but if you choose a higher difficulty, you will have to fight multiple incarnations of Wu-Feng.
There is only one way to win, but three ways to lose: 1) Three of the village tiles are haunted. 2) The draw pile is emptied when Wu-Feng is in play. 3) All the priests are dead.
This game hates you. It hates you with all of its cardboard being.
Ghost Stories will eat all the nachos, drink your last beer, and steal your girl if you don’t stand up and punch it in the throat.
That being said, it’s probably one of my favorite games (or at least in the top 10). It fun, unforgiving and makes you think without causing too much brain burn.
And for those of you who don’t like to read, here’s the short, short version – Its like a tower defense game that makes you feel like Jack Burton.
You either know what I’m talking about, or you dont.
An iPad version is available for those of you who prefer things of a more electronic persuasion. It’s $5.99 and available in the app store. (Yes I have it too.)