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Tides of Madness - Dastardly Review #107

I was sifting through a table of games at Gen Con 2018 and the lady next to me said, “Get Tides of is awesome.” So I grabbed a copy.

A Bit of Background

Tides of Madness by Kristian Curla is the sequel to Tides of Time.

Tides of Madness was released in 2016. Tides is a card drafting game for 2 players that takes about 20 minutes to play.

Inside the Box

The box has great art and everything is of high quality:

  • 18 high quality taro sized cards indicate suit, action, victory points to score if an action is completed and a Madness tangle of tentacles on 8 cards.

  • 20 Madness tokens

  • Score pad and pencil

High Level Game Play

Tides has three rounds of three phases: Drafting, Scoring and Refresh.

The player with the most Victory points at the end of the third round wins.

If a player finishes any round with 9 or more Madness tokens they lose.

Players start the game with five cards in their hand.


  • Each player selects a card from their hand and plays it face up.

  • The players trade hands.

  • This continues until all cards are face up.


  • Each player takes a Madness token for each card they have with the Madness tentacles.

  • The player that took the most Madness tokens can either score 4 Victory Points or heal 1 Madness token.

  • Each player scores their face up cards.


  • Players gather up their played cards.

  • They put one face up to start the next round.

  • They discard one of the remaining cards from their hand.

  • Then deal two new cards to each player.

After Refresh the players have 6 cards in Round 2 and 7 cards in Round 3.


Tides of Madness plays smooth and is very balanced. Lots of fun.

Madness tokens provide a depth of strategy that can really influence card play.

Highly recommended for a 2 player only game. Game play consistently takes 15-20 minutes.

Tides of Madness plays a bit differently each time due to the drafting mechanic.

Give it a try!

The Good: Thank you lady-in-line for suggesting Tides of Madness!

The Bad: Watch out for Madness! They influence which cards to play and pass.

The Dastardly: When your wife thinks she has won because she has the most points but finishes the last round with 9 Madness she loses!

Thank-you Dreamlands for the win!


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