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Growl! Echo! Drip, Drip, Drip...

Do you make your game nights truly immersive for your gaming group or friends?

Sub Terra is one of my favourite games, if not my overall favourite game of all time if I’m being honest. There’s always a BUT! As much as I loved Sub Terra, there was room for improvement. Drawing on all of my experience as a DM, running Dungeons and Dragons, I realised what was missing. It was the fear! Fear and tension, the sense of being a caver lost in an unseen dungeon.

Moving forward, we started to play with sound effects to mimic the atmosphere of a cave. Every drip and distant echo worked to unnerve the players and to remind them, that they were not alone. Footsteps were a step too far (mind the pun, sorry)... Footsteps just didn’t work. Players were not always moving so they took us out of the experience in those tense moments of quiet where a dire decision had to be made.

The next idea came while looking through the BGG website (Board Game Geek). Someone mentioned that the board was black light compatible. True enough, the board was black light compatible and the tiles looked amazing in the dead of night, dimly light. There were a few variations of the black light idea from bulbs all the way to lamps but none really had the right ‘vibe’. Being able to see the whole board just didn’t work for the feeling that the game needs. Yes you are with a group, but on your turn, when you turn that next corner and discover your fate, you may as well be alone!

The solution came in the form of a black light torch. One big enough to light a large area of the active space without lighting the entire board. As your turn passes to the next player, you are quite literally passing the torch, the only light and safety found within the caverns.

Since we implemented these ideas into the game group, we now try to increase the immersion in all of our favourite games. This usually includes upgrading components and miniatures for a more tactile experience whilst adding specific music or sounds that match the general theme of the game. I would love to know how you make games an immersive experience for your gaming group. If you haven’t tried it yourself yet, please

do and you will see how it lifts the

experience to a new height.

If you have any ideas or thoughts, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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