Sub Terra box, selected cards, and horror token
Sub Terra box and preview

Goin’ on down, down

The brass bands are totally playing and the feet are pounding, we’re going underground in Sub Terra.  You and your fellow spelunkers have fallen into an unknown labyrinth.  You must get to the surface before you succumb to the evils rooted there.

Different characters bring different capabilities and talents so choose your team wisely.  Or give yourself over to the luck of the draw and randomize your selections to add to the chaos.  The cave can and will swallow up anyone, after all, it just doesn’t always spit them back out…

The map evolves as you explore, so there’s no clairvoyant remembrance of the route by those who have fallen underground before.  Hunt for the exit quickly to escape with as many spelunkers as possible.  Hope for the best and try not to find yourselves in a truly Dead End. It’s only forever… it’s not that long at all.

one view of the Sub Terra game setup and evolving board
detail of evolving board setup with Meeples character tokens & hazards

Dig yourself in deeper

If you get the right tiles and don’t lose all heart, you may even pull out with the whole team.  Easy peasy.  But take the game up a notch to Medium and it’s a whole different story… because sometimes the world really is out to get you.  Crank the difficulty up yet again and discover that the world is most assuredly against you, the horse you rode in on, and your little dog too.

Scout ahead but don’t lose track of your comrades.  Danger lurks in the shadows everywhere.  If you lose sight of the Geologist studying a rock formation, he may just have the cave ceiling fall on his head and be down and out for good.  Or if the Diver gets stranded in the shallows, he really might be eaten by a Grue.

later view of the Sub Terra game setup and evolving board
board setup with Meeples character tokens & hazards

Lights Out

You have to be quick on your feet or you won’t make it out alive.  This isn’t your meandering scout troop caving trip to ooh and aah at the stalactites, there are terrifying creatures and hazards down here in the dark.  Imagine the worst underground horrors you can and there you are.  Better hope your flashlight batteries don’t go out before you do…

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

I give Sub Terra 4.5 Cthulus.  It’s a fun collaborative game that is different every time you play.  Some characters fare better than others depending on the cave system, and sometimes Lady Luck just doesn’t play nice, but that’s to be expected.  Overall, it’s pretty well balanced once you get the hang of it if you don’t get spread too thin or play it too safe.

This game by Tim Pinder hails from Inside the Box Board Games. You can learn more on their website here. Please note: I have only played the original Sub Terra game, I have not explored any of the expansions.  Unfortunately, the original game may or may not be available right now (it seems to be currently sold out), but there will soon be a release of the all-new Sub Terra II: Inferno’s Edge and it sounds like there may also be a re-release of previous editions.  You can follow along on the Kickstarter page here.

Check out more game reviews on Haunted MTL here.

About the Author

Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist residing in Kansas USA. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video and writing. You can find more of her work at:

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