Alright, this game is a pretty recent release, and I wanted to do a quick review on it. Probably will be shorter than some since I’ve only played it once.
In Lucidity, you are playing as someone who can go through dreams. However, the dream realm is a dangerous place, so you have to stay on top of it and not push your luck too much. If you push too far into the dreams, you can end up becoming a nightmare. The concept for the game is actually pretty cool. This balance between pushing forward deeper into dreams and then balancing out different nightmares to make sure you don’t become one. Unfortunately, the styling of the game leans so heavily into the nightmare aspect that it is disappointing.
The mechanics are a little bit simple. You are trying to get power in the dream realm, and you have to go up against different nightmares to do so. To do that, you are drawing dice from a bag, putting back in two, and rolling the rest. This allows you to get rid of different colors of dice, whatever is worse for you. Each nightmare has different abilities if you roll a side that hurts you. So you roll, you resolve the dice, and then you decide if you are going to push your luck and roll again, but this time you’ll be rolling more dice.
If the a nightmare track ever fills up, you become that nightmare and are now trying to kill the other characters and take away their power while still gaining power yourself. Each nightmare seems to have it’s own abilities and flavor, so that is interesting and unique. The actual player boards themselves had minor differences, but nothing all that special on them.
So, is this a good game?
I’d lean towards no. The theme of the game was interesting, but it was all very dark. It would have worked better instead of being lucidity to be focused on the nightmares and instead of being able to go through dreams to be fighting to stay out of danger in dreams and that would have fit with the look and feel of the game.
The mechanics themselves are interesting, but as I said, I think the game itself is a bit simplistic. It is made more so by each player being fairly similar. The game is about pushing your luck and getting lucky on dice rolls. You can spend the power that you’ve gotten to reroll dice, but you get power so rarely that it doesn’t completely feel like it’s worth it. It’s probably a bit of a balance issue too that once you’ve played the first two rounds of the game, pushing your luck goes out the window because you can’t anymore without it being likely that you’ll turn into a nightmare. The game would probably work better with having a higher chance of getting power, but also having the bad things actually be worse. The game also doesn’t have a ton of interactions between players as well. Not that it really needs it, but that might have made it feel less simple had their been more.
This all said, there are going to be people who like this game quite well. It is light enough that people can pick it up pretty easily, and fiddly enough that people will feel like they are playing a heavier game. So that balance is actually quite unique. The darker theme will also draw some people in as well, and the whole idea of nightmares and dreams is actually quite cool.
For me, the biggest piece, as I’ve mentioned before, is the styling of the game for the theme it claims to have. Either remove some of the interesting dream aspect to it and make it more about the nightmares, which is what the game feels like it wants to be, or change up the artwork. Just thinking about it now, this game would actually work decently well as a Dragon Age game with the Fade and Abominations in place of the nightmare. That might actually be the ideal skin on the game and then it would make sense to have the mechanics maintain a lighter feel as with Dragon Age as the theme, you’d reach beyond the board game audience.
Overall Grade: C-
Gamer Grade: D
Casual Grade: C
Have you played Lucidity? What did you think about it?
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