Tragedy Looper: New Tragedies version comparison

June 19, 2023

by Ambie Valdés
Note: I received Tragedy Looper: New Tragedies as a review copy from WizKids. I bought the original Tragedy Looper (and expansions) myself a long time ago.

I was very excited when I heard about WizKids reprinting Tragedy Looper with new cases and an updated graphic design. I love the original game, but I had problems differentiating some of the tokens and the rulebook was pretty difficult to learn from, so I was hopeful that the new version would make the game easier to get played. When WizKids sent me Tragedy Looper: New Tragedies, I immediately opened it, combed through all the components, and read every word of the rulebook to compare it with the Z-Man games version of Tragedy Looper I have.

When I opened the box, I was initially happy with the upgraded component quality. They changed the graphic design without changing the original theme and artwork, so the tokens and cards are easier to tell apart. The Mastermind cards are also a different size so they’re super easy to tell apart, which is important since you don’t want to accidentally see them! The board is all in one piece, which makes it quicker to set up than the old version which comes in five pieces. The player aids are made out of nice cardstock instead of folded paper. It also has twelve extra characters than the original base game.

But I was disappointed when I started digging deeper into the differences. Although the player aids feel nicer, they have less information and it’s laid out less clearly, which makes gameplay more difficult. Also, the rulebook is almost exactly the same as the original (with some changes to terminology), so the difficulty in learning is still the same! I looked through all the scripts and three of them were the same as ones from the base game, but it still has 10 new scripts (13 total scripts).

So although I was hoping this version would be strictly better for playing than the old version, both have their own strengths and weaknesses. I’ve listed the differences below. You can also watch my video comparison of the two games for more information.

In all the photos below, the New Tragedies version is on the left or the bottom, and the original version is on the right or the top.

Name Changes
  • Paranoia → Unease
Main Plots
  • Murder Plan → Premeditated Murder
  • Light of the Avenger → Fire of the Avenger
  • Change of the Future → Changing the Future
  • The Hidden Freak → Lurking Psychopath
  • Unknown Factor X → Unknown Factor
  • Killer → Murderer
  • Murder → Homicide
  • Spreading → Transfer Friendship
  • Hospital Incident → Hospital Horror
  • Evil Contamination → Foul Evil
  • Informer → Informant
  • Rich Man’s Daughter → Rich Student

General Graphic Design
- Graphic design has changed (see photos)
- The art in general has brighter colors
- Goodwill, Unease, and Intrigue tokens have different shapes, symbols, and colors and are easier to tell apart
- Player action card colors are easier to tell apart
- Character art on cards is the same but zoomed in a little

Player's Handbook
- Most of the text is the same
- Some text reorganized to make clearer
- Cleaner formatting (more line breaks, paragraphs, bolding, etc)
- More pictures, but they’re just art sketches that don’t help with explanations
- Misprints from Z-Man version fixed
  • P.7 - typo from example fixed (Informant instead of School is correct)
  • Fixed “Appears in plots” for Key Person, Brain, Cultist, Friend, and Conspiracy Theorist for First Step Roles (it was copied over from Basic Tragedy before but should be different)
- P. 11 - “How to read” the plot, role, & incident list doesn’t have the numbers to point what you’re explaining
- Time Traveler ability changed from “Day End: Last Day” to “Loop End” (also in Player Aid)
- Back of book doesn’t correctly format as a heading “Leader Uses Goodwill Abilities”

Mastermind Handbook
- Game teaching guide & script creation guide are almost exactly the same
- Victory conditions for scripts are spelled out more (eg. “Killing protagonists using Hospital Incident” → “At the end of Day X, Have at least 2 intrigue on the hospital and at least X unease on this character, triggering the Hospital Horror’s Protagonist kill”). Also repeats the condition with each trigger of the same incident

Script Cards
- Protagonists script cards are similar
- Mastermind cards are larger and a different color (easier to differentiate)
- Mastermind card has the whole day chart instead of just the day of the incident
- Mastermind card now also has special rules (vs only on Protagonist card in the original)
- Subplots are now labeled A and B for clarification

(I didn't read them all because of spoilers)
- Script 1 is similar to Script 1 in Z-Man (one fewer incident, one different character)
- Script 7 is almost the same as Script 8 Z-Man (slightly different character roles)
- Scripts 9 and 10 are exactly the same in both
- For scripts that are the same/similar, they have slightly different wording in the intro/story/hints but basically the same advice

- 1 connected board instead of 5

Player Aid
- Cardstock instead of paper
- All the same plots, roles, and incidents (with renaming)
- No longer has character abilities and mastermind cards referenced on it
- No longer has a grid layout
- No longer has important information bolded
- First Steps no longer has definitions of counters & tips on what to do
- Inconsistent with keyword usage
- The abilities aren’t separated by line breaks anymore
- “Mastermind ability” keyword doesn’t show up but it’s referenced in the rules
- Misprints:
  • Giant Time Bomb says Brain instead of Witch in Plot Rules
  • First Steps doesn’t have the max friends limit of 2 (also in rulebook), but it is there in Basic Tragedy

Action Cards
- No differences outside of art & graphic design

Character Cards
- Same information in both
- 30 characters instead of 18 (has the original 18 + 12 extra)

Character Differences
- Police Officer and Informant use variants from the Cosmic Evil expansion
- 4 characters come from Midnight Circle - Illusion, Scientist, Forensic Specialist, AI
  • Illusion - Fabrication instead of Construct (AI is still Construct)
  • AI - doesn’t clarify that the choices are by the leader anymore
- 4 characters in Cosmic Evil - Teacher, Soldier, Transfer Student and Black Cat
  • Soldier - any character instead of another character
  • Transfer Student - says doesn't appear until scripted loop instead of scripted day
- 4 other new characters - Holy Tree, Prophet, Copycat, Young Girl

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