I have only a passing knowledge of the geek god of madness, Cthulhu. I know he’s some sort of HP Lovecraft character and that he’s in every geek game known to man but I’ve never really delved deep into the mythos. With that said, I’ve been more than a little interested in some of the card/board games that have featured the squid faced character that seems to have grabbed the hearts and minds of nerds everywhere.
When Wil Wheaton mentioned on Twitter that Cthulhu Dice was slowly becoming one of his favorite dice games, I took note. Having played very few stand alone dice games, I didn’t really know what to expect but I have been in the mood for something fast paced and fun. What I found was exactly that and in a low cost package to boot.
Created by the ever popular Steve Jackson Games company, Cthulhu Dice comes with a rather large, custom 12-sided die with various symbols on it. This die can be found in a variety of colors, from black to green and shades in-between. It also comes with 18 stones that represent “sanity”. A small fold up rule sheet is also included and it’s all stored in a plastic zip lock bag.
The game is pretty simple. Made for at least 3 folks (although 2 can play an augmented version of the game just fine), each player gets four sanity tokens. The main idea is that everyone is a Cthulhu cultist and each of the players roles the die in order to curse another player of their choice. The various symbols on the die cause players to lose tokens to their opponent, to Cthulhu (repersented by the empty space in the middle of the players, or gain tokens. The last player with any sanity (tokens) left after any turn is the winner.
It’s a very simple with clear rules and the game plays very fast. I like the fact that a clear winner is determined fairly quickly but the game lasts long enough for everyone to feel like they’ve had a chance to play. Another great thing about Cthulhu Dice is that everyone keeps playing right up until the end. Even if a player has no tokens left, they can still attack other players and even earn tokens back with a good die roll. This keeps everyone engaged throughout the play session.
The game can also be played with two players. The game allows for each player to hold two sets of tokens, representing a total of four players in the game. Each player then controls two “teams” and everything proceeds as normal.
Overall, this is a hard one to pass up. It’s fun, easy and fast. Best of all, it checks in at a $5.00 price point. If you’re in the mood for a good party or family game, this one’s for you. Go get it.