Do you have to be a fan to like the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Game? No. Sure, it helps. There’s gobs of fan-service in the game. But if you or your group is looking for a good co-operative game which is a step up from, say, Pandemic but not as taxing as Arkham Horror, this is a very good choice.
Set in the placid-yet-riddled-with-horrors town of Sunnydale, you take the role of Buffy or one of the other Scoobies. Most of the usual cooperative tropes are present: a main villain (the Big Bad) who has to be defeated, constant threats from easily-dusted vampires and demons to fend off, and the usual “do your actions, then activate baddies” turn sequence.
But Buffy the game, like the show, likes to subvert expectations. There are some cool twists, such as the fact that players can become temporarily EEEEVIL, forced to act against your own best interest. Another nice simplification is the way player damage is handled: instead of individual life points, the players take damage collectively which, along with the inevitable and gory deaths of townies, acts as the timer against the players must race to complete their mission. Finally, the location and item systems mesh thematically, so that you might want to head over to the cemetery to grab some crosses so you can defeat the Monster of the Week miniboss, which advances the action against the Big Bad but also hatches part of the plot, which is inevitably Bad and hard to dispatch.
With a very reasonable price, not to mention the new Friends and Frenemies expansion to add even more content and layers of difficulty, Buffy is worth a look. Click here to order your copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Game.