The game is set up with each player receiving a character and a unique item card. The map is built to the image below with a grid of five by five comprised of face-down cards from the locations deck. Players will put their player pawns in the central card and the Miasma card in the upper left corner of the grid.
Now all the players must travel to different cards and flip them over to find the four generators in the game that power the Miasma. Dismantling a generator brings you one step closer to beating the game, but it will also cause an Abomination to be spawned onto the field. Unfortunately for the players, every round the Miasma will move and delete a card from the board. Also, every time the Miasma reaches a corner and has to turn, a Storm Surge occurs. In a Storm Surge all faceup cards that do not have players present or lack the permanent siren symbol get removed from the field and are replaced by new cards. If the Miasma moves to the center of the map the game is lost.
As you prepare for your game you will have a chance to pick who you are. There are twelve characters to choose from in the game. Each character has a unique item with its own special ability. You will have a chance to find weapon buffs that can be permanently attached to your item to increase its usefulness. Your character also has a unique breakdown of stats that will help you through the game: Tenacity, Terrain, and Technology. These statistics are used in checks and will be helpful in combatting and evading certain encounters. The secret to successfully saving the city is to work together with your teammates and pick a well-balanced crew that can handle anything Bartle Haven has in store for you!
As the players move around the field they will flip cards to reveal locations underneath them. These could be any of the following:
Landmarks - These are places where a player can search for items or use a unique ability. They are impermanent locations that go away when the Miasma creates a Storm Surge.
VIPs - These are lost citizens that you can assist and recruit to join your team. They provide you with additional benefits that can turn the tide of the game.
The Corrupted - These enemies pop up, and you must defend yourself in battle! After vanquishing your foes, you will have a chance to claim loot from the respective deck.
Crisis Situation - These locations put your team in distress. You may run into a group of angry citizens, get lost in the shrouded streets, or find yourself in the lair of something horrific.
Generators - There are four of these in the game. They are searchable locations while they are on the field, but as soon as they are dismantled an Abomination is flipped up in its place, and players are forced into combat.
Abominations - These are the most feared creatures in this world. There are twelve different ones and each of them has a unique target and objective. Slaying Abominations will get rid of their negative effects and reward the vanquishers with experience tokens that increase their base damage for the rest of the game.
Running around the city you are sure to stumble upon some helpful items! Locations will have an option for you to search in one of the two item decks:
The Utility Deck - This deck is full of items that are useful in helping you get more done. From improved performance on stat checks to a temporary buff to your combat power, the items found here are essential to victory.
The Augmentation Deck - Your character's item was designed to be modified; the Augmentation deck is where you find those modifications. You could increase your damage, increase your movement, or get an additional perk that could help you better navigate the city! Keep in mind, that these upgrades, once attached, are permanent; so choose your changes wisely.
The game ends when the players are able to dismantle all four generators or the Miasma reaches the city center. Now the question that remains is who built these generators and where are these Abominations coming from? Are there more secrets hidden in the city of Bartle Haven? Only the keen will discover them all.