Thursday, March 09, 2023


My number 2 favorite game of all time is: Obsession!

Obsession says on the front of the box, "Pride, Intrigue, and Prejudice in Victorian England." And it very much lives up to that moniker. 

While Obsession's professed inspirations may be from "Pride And Prejudice" for me, it's very much, "Downton Abbey" the board game. Obsession is clearly a passion project by someone who knows the subject matter and understands how to implement it.

The theme in Obsession is perfectly realized and that means a lot. I always imagine my favorite scenes from Downton Abbey as I am having tea in the parlor or playing cricket in the yard. Obsession evokes these imaginings by infusing flavorful theme text on every card in the game, and then applying game mechanics to those cards that make sense.

Everything in Obsession just feels right. It also doesn't hurt that mechanically, Obsession is one of the tightest most engaging worker placement games that I have ever played. Yeah, it's an awesomely realized theme paired with an awesomely designed game. When I say Obsession is a great game, I mean it ... on every level.

In Obsession each player takes on the role of a family in a fictional "Victorian-ish Period" England. You aren't just any family. You are a well-to do family that has suffered a few set backs. You would like to put your family back on top. To achieve this aspiration, one of your most effective tactics is to obtain the favor of the very prestigious Fairchild family. If you can attract the attentions of the illustrious Charles and Elizabeth Fairchild your future among the most elite Gentry would be assured.

To gain said favor, you must hold events at your ailing estate. To do this you must court various gentry (wealth and/or prestigious upper class of the period)  to gain money and favor. Players invest the money that they earn back into their estate so that they can hold better and grander events. Each such event will earn you ever more money and reputation as you rise to prominence.

But, such events can't be undertaken lightly. There are protocols in place and every event requires the proper staff. Players are building up their estate to create worker placement locations that will then be populated by workers, your staff: butlers, maids, cooks, footman ... all the cast of Downton Abbey has a part to play.

After working, staff must be given time to rest. Players must plan events accordingly so that they have the staff that they need when they need it. There are also special festival events periodically during the game that if planned for can give a player a definite edge.

I can't say enough about Obsession. If you are a gamer, and a Downton Abbey fan, like I am. You owe it to yourself to get a copy of my number 2 favorite game of all time!

Coming up next ... My NUMBER ONE!!

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