Escape the Nightmare is a new game up on Kickstarter by 3DTotalGames, the same people who brought us 404: Law Not Found, and Wizard’s Academy. This one, however, has a much different feel than the previous two. It’s a cooperative game where players are working together to try and escape a nightmare they’re all trapped in. This is done by trading cards to make sets and defeat Wardens. On top of this, there’s a countdown that comes with the “It’s Coming” card, where the game ends if the card can’t be traded in time to reset the timer. Oh yeah, the more you trade the more your methods of communication will be restricted by the cards. You may even lose the game if you have to perform an action, or prove a fact, that you can’t do at that time.

It’s frantic, anxiety ridden, and quick.

I was going to sit down with my kids to give this one a shot, but he cards are a bit gruesome. You can leave certain sets out, as the experience is customizable, but I figured this one was best left for the adults. As an aside, when I say the cards are gruesome that doesn’t mean they’re horrible. The complete opposite. The art is beautiful and disturbing, and fits the theme of the game perfectly.

To get a full appreciation of the rules, you can check out the following video:

Escape the Nightmare can be played in around 5-10 minutes, and can get pretty loud. It’s a great filler game, or even to break in the start of a game night. The only caveat is that the art/theme of the game may not be for everyone.

3DTotalGames has a great track record, and Escape the Nightmare is no exception. It’s a fun little game that’ll grind your nerves into the ground. The theme is a bit different and darker than their previous offerings, but that’s by no means a bad thing. The best part? A $15 pledge (the only pledge level they have for the game) will guarantee you a copy when the game is funded.

A prototype version of Escape the Nightmare was provided by 3DTotalGames for this preview.