The Gothic Game - A Brief History

The Gothic Game was invented in 1966 by Robert Wynne-Simmons and Nigel Andrews on a lazy weekend in Surrey, England, and was first played later that year in the basement of a convent in Assisi, Italy. Using the board design of a crumbling castle, with rooms and squared corridors, it looked back to games such as Cluedo, and forwards towards role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons.

It is a game of elimination, like Monopoly, but much faster, and set in a dangerous environment where fortunes can suddenly change and death lurks around each corner.
With its “gothic” content, and the possibility of “murder” by many different means, it openly gives full rein to the hidden aggression behind the competitiveness of all board games, and allows the players to enact their own nightmares. In the end such obvious savagery produces less spite and more laughter.

The game was played privately on hand-made boards for many years, until a professional board was designed in 1992 by Angela White, who also designed the logo for the London Dungeon, and the game was marketed in a limited edition.

A life-size adaptation was played in castles around England.

Later it provided inspiration for a story based on its characters, which became a musical (see “Music”). Sample songs below.

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Compendia [Greenwich]

Listen to Gothic Game Musical samples

Cooking Granny

Darkness Before The Dawn

The Devil Has... Best Tunes

The Gothic Game

 Original hand-drawing of board design
Early promotion of Gothic Game
Original hand drawn label
 design by visualeze, london