Gloom is a game about making your family members as miserable as possible before they die, while lifting their opponents' spirits. When your family members are serial killers, crazed circus folk, and demonically possessed sociopaths, misery comes easy.
Gloom is full of ridiculous yet tragic circumstances. Exactly how did Lord Slogar, the brain in a box, end up Shunned by Society and Devoured by Weasels? Players are encouraged to narrate their tragic family histories, although the use of live weasels is strongly discouraged.
"Gloom is a delightfully macabre game done up in an Edward Gorey-style art with an Addams family flair. You take control of one of the base game's four families and do your best to play negative events on your family members, stacking as many negative modifiers as possible before sending them to an untimely death. Each time you play an event card on a character, you must also narrate how the event takes place. But watch out! Your opponent may just place positive event cards down on your characters, messing with your miserable meddling in their lives! The first person to finish off their family ends the game, but whomever accumulated the most negative points on their dead family members wins the game, so swift deaths are not recommended. I love the darkly humorous bend of this game, as it reminds me of some of my favorite story characters (I'm a big fan of the unlikable protagonist; see Hugo from The Epicure's Lament for details). It is both silly and deadly serious at the same time and makes for a great light card game with a narrative element.
Who is this for? Anyone with a dark sense of humor. If you enjoy shows like Barry, then you'll probably enjoy this game. It also provides some surprising depth in terms of counterbalancing positive effects on happy events and negative effects on bad events. That is to say that sometimes it is pertinent to make good things happen to your characters, as those event cards also do things like increase your hand limit or allow you to draw another card, despite the fact that they put you at risk for getting behind in your plans to off your family.
Who is this not for? If the Addams family or Beetlejuice never really appealed to you, then this might be a tad overkill in terms of sinister humor. The game's theme really is the game, and if you don't enjoy that, then it is likely you won't enjoy it based on the mechanics alone."