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Jaws is a board game from Prospero Hall & Ravensburger (the same company behind Horrified) based on the 1975 classic film. Across two acts, up to three players control Quint, Hooper, and Chief Brody as they work to take down one other player- the one who controls the deadly shark.

The Jaws Board Game box
The Jaws Board Game box


The Jaw's board game components laid out on a wooden table.
The various components

The game comes with a double sided game board, 4 decks of cards, 4 character boards, 4 board clips, 6 character movers, 3 dice, a pad of paper for the shark, 8 boat tiles, a rulebook, and 40 assorted tokens. Of the 40 tokens, 16 are swimmers, 8 are barrels, 6 are resurface tokens, 4 are shark power tokens, 3 are targets, 1 fish finder, 1 binoculars, and 1 beach closing token.  The four decks are Amity Event cards, Shark Ability cards, Crew Gear cards, and Resurface cards.

Two of the character movers are boats, one for Quint and one for Hooper. They are unnecessary but delightful.

The components inside of the box. The cards fit loosely in the bottom left compartments, everything else besides the character boards fits in the bottom right compartment, and the character boards sit alone in the large top compartment.
The components inside the box, without the board and rulebook
All of the components, including the board and rulebook, inside the box. There is a considerable gap between the edge of the board and the edge of the box.
All components, including rule book and game board, inside the box

I don’t fully understand the inside of the box. The insert is nice but the division of space is strange. There are three compartments, but aside from the cards and the character boards, everything can fit in one of the smaller compartments. Maybe they expect you to divide the tokens up more? The folded game board is just slightly smaller than the box, and it doesn’t look like the game needs that extra space. I think Ravensburger might just have a standard game box size that they use for all games, since my copies of other Ravensburger games are about the same size. Even so, it still feels like they didn’t use the space efficiently.

Act One Gameplay

In act one, the shark is roaming the waters of Amity Island, trying to eat as many swimmers as possible, while Quint, Hopper, and Chief Brody are trying to find the shark. The rounds move in phases. In phase 1, players draw a card from the Amity Event deck, which tells them how many swimmers to place and at which beaches, along with any other special effects. Phase 2 is the shark’s turn. The shark player may take up to three actions in secret, marking their movements from shore to shore on their notepad, and eating swimmers along the way. In phase 3, Quint, Hooper, and Brody go on the hunt. Each character plays differently. Chief Brody moves around on the island, closing beaches and using his binoculars to try and spot the shark. He also ferries barrels from the store to the docks, where they can be picked up by Quint and Hooper. Quint sails around the island in his boat, trying to launch barrels at the shark. If he guesses correctly and hits the shark, the barrel attaches. If he’s wrong, the barrel stays in the water as a motion detector. When the shark has two barrels attached to them, the game moves into act two. Hooper can’t use the barrels, but he can pass them off to Quint. He can use his fish finder to see if the shark is nearby, and his boat is faster than Quint’s so he can move two spaces for the price of one.

The Jaws board game ste up for act one.
Setup for Act One

Act Two Gameplay

In act two, Quint, Hooper, and Brody are on the boat fighting the shark. After flipping the board and setting it up for act two, the crew and the shark are given a number of gear and ability cards based on how well the shark did in act one. First, the players reveal three resurface cards, each with a possible location for the shark to strike. Then the shark chooses where to atack. Next, the crew members prepare to fight, choosing what to attack the shark with and where the shark might be. Then the shark reveals their choice and combat begins. The crew attacks first, then the shark. The shark can attack either the boat or a crew member who is in the water. Each boat space has a certain amount of damage it can take before it is damaged or destroyed. When it is damaged or destroyed, all crew members on that space are knocked off of the boat. The shark gets to roll a small bonus attack against any nearby crew members in the water, and then the next round begins. The game is over when either the shark is dead, all of the crew members are dead, or the boat is completely destroyed.

The Jaws board game set up for act two.
Setup for Act Two, except the shark’s board is flipped the wrong way and I didn’t notice until it was too late


The game is very well balanced, partly because there will always be three shark hunters versus one shark, whether you’re only playing with the minimum of two or maximum of four players. All the games we played felt very close. However, the game can feel overwhelming to new players, since there are a lot of steps and things to keep track of.

The theme is implemented very well; the mechanics reflect the film and the attention to detail is great. All of the Amity event cards have art of moments from the film, along with flavor text with quotes from the film. Even the game’s insert is themed; it’s the same pattern as the mayor’s suit in the scene where Brody and Hooper are trying to convince him to close the beaches for the fourth of July weekend.

The mayor of Amity angrily points at a billboard that has been vandalized with a drawing of a shark's fin. Brody and Hooper listen in exasperation.
Honestly, it’s a look. I’d wear it.

If you don’t have time to play both acts, or if the gameplay of one act is more fun to you than the other, the game includes rules for playing each act as a standalone game. These are less necessary for act one than act two. The rules for act one are just “end the game sooner,” but the rules for act two explain how to set it up without a previous act to work from.


I give this game five out of five cthulhus. It’s a fun game that nails its theme perfectly. If you’re a fan of the film, and like board games, you should definitely give it a try. You can check it out at the Amazon links below, but remember that we are an Amazon affiliate and if you buy anything from those links we will get some $ back. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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The Last of Us: Episodes 8 and 9: The End



Sometimes life gets in the way. Maybe you watched the episodes the nights they came out, but then you got your stomach tattooed so you didn’t have the energy to type on your computer, and then you had to work nonstop for six days straight and housesit 20 miles out of town, and then you got into a hit-and-run car accident with your boyfriend (luckily you’re both okay but really very angry at the asshole that just drove away), etc. etc.. March has been a lot, but I finally rolled up my sleeves, made time for my computer and stopped procrastinating the job of writing my final review on HBO’s The Last of Us.

Here we will cover the final events of Joel and Ellie’s saga. Both episodes were directed by Ali Abassi and written by Craig Mazin and, in episode 9, Neil Druckmann. The adaptation continued to cover the story elements of the game, leaving out and/or changing most of the fighting and action scenes. This change is especially noticeable in episode 9, “Look for the Light,” but we’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s first do a recap of episode 8, “When We Are in Need.”

“When We Are in Need”

Ellie is on the hunt for food and comes across a deer, which she shoots down almost effortlessly. It is in this moment that she meets a preacher named David (Scott Shepherd) and his partner, James (Troy Baker, (Joel’s voice actor in the video games)). After a moment of hostility towards the stranger, Ellie agrees to give the deer to David in exchange for penicillin. Shortly after giving Joel the medication, Ellie has to leave again to deter David’s religious crew from hunting her and Joel. It turns out Joel killed a few of David’s men, and the preacher is out for revenge.

The religious group captures Ellie and puts her in a cell, where she discovers David has been feed them human remains. Meanwhile, Joel finally awakes and is stable enough to escape the house and search for Ellie. He tortures two men into disclosing her location, but he is almost too late. David places Ellie on a butcher block and is just about to chop her up when she narrowly escapes. The two fight until she finally has the advantage and takes him down, bludgeoning him to death with an insurmountable fury of vengeance.

“Look for the Light”

Episode 9 begins with a flashback of Ellie’s pregnant mother, Anna (Ashley Johnson, (Ellie’s voice actor in the video games). An infected bit Anna just moments before she gave birth to Ellie. Moments pass, and Marlene finds the two in a pool of blood. She is forced to take the baby and kill her friend. Fast forward 14 years, and Joel and Ellie are almost done with their journey. They finally made it to Utah. Ellie, still processing everything that happened with David, is sad and somber. Joel tries his best to cheer her up, but nothing seems to work.


Suddenly, the youth sees something and runs off to get a better look. Joel chases her until he stops and stares in awe. The camera pans from him to Ellie inches away from a giraffe. She is her old self again, cracking jokes and asking a myriad of questions. Later on, when Joel reveals that he tried to kill himself after Sarah’s death, Ellie provides him as much comfort as she can. But the fact that Joel can trust her enough to reveal such a secret means is a comfort on its own. He asks Ellie to read some puns to lighten the mood, but his moment is interrupted when a group of Fireflies knock them out.

Joel wakes up in a hospital to see Marleen, who informs him that the doctors are preparing Ellie for surgery to remove the part of her brain that makes her immune. This procedure, however, will result in Ellie’s death. No matter how hard Joel fights, Marlene won’t budge. She instead has two Firefly soldiers escort Joel out of the hospital, but he kills them and everyone else until he finds the surgery room, where he murders the doctor in cold blood. He escapes with an unconscious Ellie and makes it as far as the parking garage until Marlene stops them. The camera cuts to Joel driving a car with Ellie in the backseat.

The End

Ellie wakes up and asks Joel what happens. While he lies to her that there is no cure, the camera flickers back to the parking garage scene with Marlene. He shoots her once. After listening to her begs and pleas, he kills her with a final shot.

The duo have to walk the last few miles to Tommy’s town. At the top of a waterfall, they get a spectacular view of their new home, their new futures. Before making the final trek, Ellie tells Joel about her past and how she saw her best friend die. This lead to watching Tess, Sam and Henry die because of the disease. The fact that they all had to go through such gruesome deaths, only for there not to be a cure, is too much for Ellie to handle. She makes Joel swear that he is telling the truth, and in a beat, he does.

Series Verdict

HBO’s The Last of Us is a remarkable video game adaptation that deserves all the high praise it has received the past few months. From the set design and effects to the filming, screenwriting and acting, the show is a peak example of how to do an adaptation well. It is heart-throbbing and terrifying.

A few issues with HBO’s adaptation is how much they excluded the game play scenes. Despite the world being filled with infected, they were rarely on screen. This is disappointing, especially because it increases the stakes and so much of Joel and Ellie’s relationship builds in these fight scenes. The biggest disappointment was in episode 9, in which the show completely cut out the game’s highway scene. Furthermore, there are numerous creative weapons the show could have included to illustrate Joel and Ellie’s means of survival, from molotov cocktails and nail bombs to the beloved shotgun and its shorty companion.

Despite these small quibbles, the show is arguably one of the best American video game adaptations out there. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey were the perfect casting choices for Joel and Ellie, as was the casting for all the other characters.


It will be exciting to see where Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin take The Last of Us 2. I hope they will include more gameplay (aka a little more violence), more screen time for infected, and some creative liberties with the original story while also sticking to the heart of it. We will just have to wait and see what they come up with. Until we meet again, don’t forgot to read about the other shows and games we’re loving here at HauntedMTL.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Review: A Plague Tale series



Asobo Studios A Plague Tale series consisting of Innocence (2019) and Requiem (2022) has been out for a while. Weirdly enough, I struggled to put my thoughts into words about these games until now. The way I see it, it’s impossible to talk about one without the other, so let’s dive in, shall we?

Plot and characters


The story of A Plague Tale games takes loose inspiration from the Black Plague times with a touch of the Hundred Years’ War. Amicia and Hugo are siblings on the run from soldiers while also fighting off infected rats, meeting allies along the way. A huge theme of Innocence is Amicia finding a solution for Hugo’s long-term sickness. As one would suspect, it turns out to be connected to the plague itself. Amicia also goes from being a disconnected older sister to his biggest protector throughout the game. 

Promotional poster, Amicia is facing away from the camera looking at a scenery of the river.
Source: Focus Entertainment

Hugo himself is more or less an annoying kid who wants his mother. This is frankly a realistic characterization as he actually speaks and acts as a child would act. Granted, him essentially walking into the Pope’s trap is frustrating but the climax needed to be set up somehow. I also enjoyed Lucas’s character as an alchemist apprentice as he proved to be one of the more consistent helpers to the duo. 


While Innocence ends on a hopeful note, with the characters on the verge of starting over somewhere new and the plague contained, Requiem shows this was a fake out. The sequel really puts Amicia through her paces. Her character is broken both physically and mentally to the point where she is barely recognizable. Hugo is more mature, although his insistence on this magical island that will fix the Macula issue is an immediate red flag. It’s not surprising the supposed safe haven turns into hell quite quickly. 

The generational curse where the protector and carrier story repeats itself means a tragic ending for our protagonists. This means it can feel fruitless to play the two installments as the whole point of Amecia’s journey is to protect Hugo at all costs, which proves to be impossible. Was it because of certain choices they made or just extremely unfortunate circumstances? Either way, I felt horrible for them both while playing Requiem, so at least it invoked a strong emotion in me. 



The series is a third-person stealth adventure with survival horror elements. Innocence has a clear-cut mechanic that relies on Amicia sneaking past or distracting threats with a certain number of puzzles to get past the rats. She is also extremely vulnerable, dying from one enemy hit, forcing the player to start all over. This is something Requiem updates, adding the opportunity for you to recover by running away from the enemy. 

It can be frustrating to have to restart a whole section because of one mistake. However, it does make the player think methodically about what the best approach is. I found the challenges a tad repetitive which stopped me from binge-playing the game, but that’s just my opinion. 

Overall thoughts


After taking this time to digest my feelings towards A Plague Tale games, I can still vouch for the amazing experience. The historical aspects are endearing, and the graphics are beautiful, as is the score. The scriptwriters knew what kind of emotional punches would hit the players just right and the voice actors really gave it all. It’s obvious a lot of love went into this project and I am grateful to have played it. 

Amicia is holding Hugo's hand and they are walking towards a foggy village.
Source: Steam

Regardless, there were certain aspects of the story that for me personally, did not sit right. I am not a massive fan of a tragedy that ends, well, in tragedy, especially with hints history will repeat itself again. The entire concept of the ‘greater good’ and the main characters sacrificing their happiness has been done before and while I can understand why they went that way, it also left me feeling a bit empty. 


4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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The Last of Us: Episode 7: Left Behind



The Last of Us series is winding down with only three episodes left. Directed by Liza Johnson and written by Neil Druckmann, “Left Behind” adapts the video game’s DLC story of the same name. Ellie and Joel are hiding out in a basement, and Joel is suffering greatly from his stabbing. He orders Ellie to go back to Tommy and leave him behind, but she’s reluctant. The episode cuts to a flashback of the events that happened before Ellie and Joel met, thus beginning the sweet, tragic backstory of our young protagonist.

First Love

Ellie is stuck in a FEDRA boarding school in Boston. Her best friend and roommate, Riley, ran away a few weeks back and Ellie has been grieving the loss. She gets into fights with classmates and even sends one girl to the infirmary to get 15 stitches. Everything changes when Riley suddenly returns and reveals she joined the Fireflies, the organization FEDRA is training students to fight and kill.


Ellie disapproves of her friend’s choices, but there isn’t anything she can say that will change Riley’s mind. However, as a sort of apology for leaving without saying goodbye, Riley asks Ellie to sneak out for a few hours and join her on a little adventure. Ellie reluctantly agrees.

The two sneak into an abandoned mall that was once used to hoard infected. Now it is filled with wonders and surprises beyond the youths’ wildest dreams. The girls connect like they haven’t been separated for weeks, and their chemistry is sweet and wholesome. Riley gives Ellie an array of gifts, from a photo booth and carousel ride to an arcade with Mortal Kombat and a brand new pun book.

All Good Things End

The evening comes to a halt when Riley reveals the Fireflies are sending her to the Atlanta base and this is her last night in Boston. Ellie is furious and runs away, fully intended on returning back to her dorm room. But she only gets so far before caving into her feelings and running back to Riley. They reunite in a Halloween store, where they wear goofy wolf and clown masks (replicas of the game’s masks) and dance to Etta James’ “I Got You Babe.” They share a kiss and the moment is so delicate.

The abandoned mall

Everything is perfect until it’s not.

An infected emerges into the store and attacks the girls. Riley shoots it and Ellie stabs it to death, but neither are unscathed. The clicker bit both of them. At the moment, any and all hope has been destroyed.

The Verdict

HBO’s “Left Behind” is the show’s truest adaptation of the video game thus far. The show cuts out the parts of the video game where Ellie roams through a mall and evades hunters as she searches for a first aid kit for Joel. Instead, The Last of Us focuses on Ellie’s history with her best friend and first love, Riley.

Just as Bella Ramsey is the perfect casting for Ellie, Storm Reid is perfect as Riley. The actors’ chemistry maintains the game’s charm; their portrayal of teenagers after an apocalyptic pandemic is pure and authentic. For the first time, Ellie and Riley can act like the kids they are, not the soldiers every adult is training them to be. It is endearing to see their relationship come to life.

Ellie’s backstory mirrors Joel’s in that it emphasizes their experiences of loss and grief. The pair have formed a connection they cannot lose. It is because of this that, at the end of “Left Behind,” Ellie goes against Joel’s wishes and stays with him to help him heal. She had to leave one friend behind before and she refuses to do it again.

“Left Behind” deserves five out of five Cthulhu. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)


There are only just a few episodes left in The Last of Us. Episode 8 releases Sunday, March 5, where we should expect to meet the notorious cult leader, Dave. Until then, check out the other shows and games we’re loving here at HauntedMTL.

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