Deranged: A Review of a Gothic Survival Horror Game

A dark board game with a fun and frantic energy.

We sat down to play Deranged, a gothic-style horror board game from UltraPro Entertainment and Hobby World. Let’s talk about the way the game is played, the complexity of the rules, and if it is the right fit for your board game nights!

Deranged is designed for 3-6 players and takes between 90-180 minutes to play. It is designed for ages 14+, so this isn’t pastel-colored, light-hearted family fun. It is a semi-cooperative survival game. You choose to be one of a handful of characters that has a small backstory assigned to them. All of you have ended up in a town called Wutburg. What started out as a seemingly harmless rural settlement has turned dark and deadly very quickly. Now your goal is to escape within a set time limit, or become one of the town’s feral Deranged.

The game consists of four quadrants of the town that you explore. You have destinations to search, hiding spaces to run to, loot you can find, and creatures you must outrun. The game is fast-paced, despite the time it takes to complete it. Turns typically don’t take long to resolve and the pieces are ever-moving. You keep track of both your health and your sanity, so there is some “action economy” involved. What are you willing to sacrifice to get your goals? Certain actions are more powerful but they trigger the time to change. And with the game having a set time limit, you may find yourself racing to save your character.

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The game is the most fun if you get into the roleplay element of it. This definitely is not necessary, but we had a great time embodying these characters and making their choices. At the end of our first run, two characters survived and two ended up Deranged. There was a tense moment at the end when one character had to decide whether to save himself or go out in a blaze of glory while defending others.

Deranged is beautiful to look at. The art is the right mix of fun and creepy, and the miniatures are very detailed. But if there was to be a criticism about Deranged it is that there is just too much going on. The rules read a bit complicated, and set up took us a very long time. There are too many different card stacks and it left us wishing some things, like looting items, were more streamlined so we only needed one stack instead of three. That being said, what felt overwhelmingly complex at first was actually extremely simple once you start playing.

Deranged has plenty of replayability as it has a handful of scenarios to go through. It also comes with a first-play scenario to introduce you to the game without getting overly complicated.

Do we recommend Deranged? We do! It was dark and creepy fun and by the end of our first playthrough we were scrambling in panic to save ourselves.

We give Deranged and 8 on a d10! You can purchase it via the link below.

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