This post is not only part of the Game Night Blog Carnival (which you can find here), but is also a nod to the “A Night In The Lonesome October” blog carnival being hosted this week by A Man’s Brain Attic. While it’s not RPG related material, I thought this game seemed appropriate to the theme.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems as though Cthulhu type games and merchandise have been growing more popular as of late. Yes, I know there’s an RPG that’s decades old, so what I’m talking about is not that. Still, all the Cthulhu talk led me to buy an H.P. Lovecraft collection for my Kindle, and later, to buy this game.
I picked up this game at my FLGS a few weeks ago for about $5, and I’m very glad I did. It comes with the rules, an oversized d12 with Cthulhu symbols on it, and 18 glass counters. I would recommend adding a small token of some sort to signify whose turn it is, as we sometimes found ourselves forgetting. You’ll see why in a moment.
Every players starts with three glass counters, signifying their level of sanity. On a player’s turn, they pick an opponent to roll against. The symbol that comes up on the die determines who loses (or gains) glass counters. There are four types of symbols of varying frequency: Cthulhu (obviously), The Eye, The Elder Symbol, and The Yellow Mark. Once the player (named the “caster”) has rolled against their opponent (named the “victim”), the victim then gets to roll in response. Once the caster has rolled, and the victim has rolled in response, the turn is over, and the die passes to the next player. The last person with any sanity left wins the game. Unless no one has any sanity, then Cthulhu wins. Obviously. By the way, earlier I recommended using a token to signify whose turn it is; we found ourselves sometimes forgetting whether the person who just rolled was the caster or victim. But then, I was playing with my three year old and eleven year old daughters. So that could have been part of the problem. Still, we found play to go quickly, and had a lot of fun playing it. This isn’t a mentally taxing game, nor is it time consuming and hard to learn.
With that in mind, is Cthulhu Dice a good “Game Night” game? Sort of. Because of its speed of play, it’s unlikely that your group will find themselves playing it all night. However, that weakness is also its strength. This game makes a great “filler” game. By that, I mean it would be a good game to open or close the evening with, or to drop in between games. Also, if you have more than one group playing board games, this game could fill the time when one group gets done before the other. In fact, because of its small form factor (the whole game fits in a small dice bag like this one), this is a great game to play while you’re waiting for the rest of your D&D group to arrive on a normal D&D night, or while the rogue is passing notes back and forth with the DM (really? again?). In short, don’t expect a whole Game Night evening to revolve around this game, but it’s great for short down times. At five bucks, buying this game is a no-brainer.
- Game: Cthulhu Dice
- Players: 2-6 (with special rules for 2 players; if you buy more glass counters at your local craft store, you could play with as many people as you want)
- Type: Dice rolling (little to no strategy)
- Time to play: 5-15 minutes
Note: In August, Glimm’s Workshop also reviewed Cthulhu Dice along with Zombie Dice for the Blog Carnival. Check out his thoughts here.