A Touch of Evil: Dark Gothicis a Deck Building Card Game based on the colonial American gothic horror setting of the popular A Touch of Evil board game! The game allows 2-6 players to each take on the role of a unique monster-hunting Hero, collecting Allies and Gear to aid them in their journeys while they root out evil and hunt supernatural creatures back to their lairs. With a wider scope than the board game, players must hunt down a series of increasingly difficult Villains that are terrorizing the countryside before the land is consumed in shadows. Though the Heroes must generally work cooperatively as a group to stop the Villains from overwhelming the land, there can be only one top monster hunter amongst them when the dust clears and the final victory total is gathered. Dark Secrets lurk around every corner and only the most cunning and spirited hunter can prevail in the age of Dark Gothic!
Each player represents a particular monster-hunting hero in the game, and that hero determines the player's starting deck and grants a special ability. The heroes work together to some degree to defeat villains and monsters as they collectively lose the game if ten cards land in the shadows during play. That said, the game has only a single winner – the player who has the most investigation points at the end of the game. (Villains come in three levels of difficulty, and at the start of the game, you create a villain stack with one card of each difficulty level being chosen at random.)
The game uses three resources – combat (red), cunning (green) and spirit (blue) – with some cards having a silver cost that can be paid with any resource. Players can acquire cards from a row of six that are available from the main deck or from Training cards that are always available. If you fight the "Hungry Dead" – an always available card that costs one of each color – you can remove a card from your deck or from the central row.
"Dark Secrets" are a special type of card that get added to your deck through various means. The card is worth negative points at the end of the game, but should you draw it during play, you remove it from the game, then draw a "Shocking Discovery" – which will affect you or all players with some kind of pernicious effect.