Our preview post below was published on October 3.
I tend to appreciate it when designers put out games with unusual themes, so even though Gods of Metal: The Chosen looks tacky, I decided to give it a chance. After all, tacky can be fun. The artwork isn't grim-dark like the necromantic dreamscapes of Cave Evil or Cryptic Explorers but rather akin to the style of bands like Iron Maiden. Metal fans may find it appealing. I found the illustration of the monsters palatable, and worked my way from there.
And that's where the interesting part ends for this game, unfortunately. The rulebook for the PnP does not explain the rules sufficiently, so in my first playthrough I stumbled on issues I didn't know how to resolve. I had to watch a video to understand what to do, and that is never a good start. The game plays like a standard deck builder with a twist. You choose two band members for solo (a singer, guitar player, drummer, etc.) with their own deck of cards, then try to buy cards from the market. Your goal is to defeat the evil Overlord, but in order to do that, you have to perform songs. The songs allow you to hit the Overlord with decibels until his ears bleed.
At the beginning of each turn, you also have to face one or multiple demons. This is doable at first, but as the game progresses, the demons pile up and it becomes more and more difficult to deal with their nastiness. When characters run out of life points they don't die, but the demon track goes up. If the track goes above four, the game is over, and it's party-time in hell.
My playthrough began relatively well but soon turned sour. The song mechanism is problematic, because you need to draw a beginning, a middle, and an end part of the lyrics. It may take multiple wasted turns until you find these three cards, and you don't want to spend precious decibel tokens to redraw. The Overlord takes more than one song to be defeated, but good luck trying to form a second song. Some games are fun despite being difficult to win, but in this case I found the mechanisms unfair. The characters have a stashing limit to their decibels, cannot easily buy cards from the market, and when they do, the demons snatch cards out of their hands and drain their life points. Sure, easy wins aren't fun either but I suspect that this could be designed differently to give the player a better chance.
Gods of Metal is launching on Kickstarter on October 21, after an unsuccessful first launch last February. If the novelty of the theme appeals to you, I'd say grab a beer, print out the files, and sing in a high pitched voice:
Whips of razored thorns cut fast and deep/Pain fills your life but you refuse to weep.