Last night, library game night kicked off with Zero Hour, a card game based on the Slender Man mythos. In short, each player has a ensemble of young children, led by an older young adult with a psychic ability, that must be shepherded through a night wandering through the woods, stalked by the Slender Man, and hope to make it until the morning. Each surviving child is worth so many points, plus any interesting items they may have picked up along the way, which determines the winner at the end.
It’s a decent premise, but holy cow, the game itself is long and uninteresting. A turn consists of drawing an exploration card for each child in your charge, which is most likely to injure their sanity score, or have some other negative effect. Rolling a d6 to beat a variable target number resolves those effects. So the game is wholly luck-driven and very repetitive: draw an exploration card for a child, typically roll a die to determine success or failure, repeat for each child in your group. And as the number of players increases, so does the wait between each of your turns.
Zero Hour has an interesting theme — mainly with regard to how a deliberately invented mythos from the 2000s is slowly becoming part of our culture — but the game play itself is practically non-existent. There are few choices, and none of them felt very significant. This is the kind of game that plays around you while chatting with other players until the turn comes around, you do your business and return to chatting, waiting to be tapped on the shoulder because it’s your turn or someone’s targeted you with an effect.