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Tragedy Looper: New Tragedies

Tragedy Looper: New Tragedies from WizKids is a new edition that revisits the ideas in the original Tragedy Looper that was published by BakaFire Party and Z-Man Games in 2011. It's a deduction game for 2-4 players where one player is the Mastermind, trying to ensure that 'tragedies' (essentially, various murders and suicides) happen in the past, while the other player(s) are the Protagonists: time travellers trying to alter events to avert tragedies. It's playable as a 1 versus 1 two-player game but it's very much better with a full complement of four players (ie: 1 versus 3, who are working together cooperatively and discussing their emerging deductions). The breezy animé-style artwork from Sato perhaps belies the fact that this is a game with some dark themes.

Inevitably there are comparisons with Space Cowboys' TIME Stories series of games. Like TIME Stories, the Protagonists won't succeed on their first attempt: they'll fail and then loop back in time for further attempts, making use of the information they've learned from their failure(s). Unlike TIME Stories, however, there's a malevolent force at work (the Mastermind player) also able to manipulate events in the past - so there's the extra challenge for the Protagonists of both solving the logic puzzle of the scenario they are in and avoiding the efforts of the Mastermind to frustrate their success even after they've deduced what needs to be done.

If you've played the original version of Tragedy Looper you'll find this edition an improvement in most respects - particularly the cards; less so the player aids, which seemed to us to present the information more helpfully in the original game. It comes with 13 scenarios for the Mastermind to follow; more than in the original game, and mostly different. And the Mastermind can make up their own scenarios too. Given that you'll need to loop through a scenario multiple times to solve it, that's a lot of replay value - more than comparable to what you'd find in, for example, the BoardGameGeek chart-topping Pandemic Legacy (Z-Man Games). Just be warned that tho' game play is straightforward once you're up and running, Tragedy Looper can be a hard game to teach and learn - so probably not one for casual gamers.

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