I am an avid fan of H.P. Lovecraft and the world he created with his Cthulhu mythos. In my quest to own every game to even hint at a connection Cthulhu, this one was a definite must. I already own and love Gloom the card game, and adding Cthulhu is like adding bacon, it makes everything better (hmmm, Cthulhu bacon?).
In Cthulhu Gloom each player takes on the role of a group of famous, or perhaps infamous, Cthulhu mythos protagonists. It is your job to ensure that they all go completely and utterly insane and then die horrible, horrible deaths. How can that not be fun? You also get to try and make your opponents characters happier, because you don’t want them dying crazier than you. It is a race to the insane finish.
I think what really sets this game apart from others is the cards themselves. They are made of clear plastic with all of the relevant information printed on the cards in a way that allows you to stack cards on top of each other. You only cover what needs to be covered, and anything important is still visible, no matter how many cards are added to the pile.
I am also a big fan of the artwork, done so wonderfully by Todd Remick. It has a very Edward Gorey feel to it, and it works perfectly with the theme of the game. Quality components falls right after solid game mechanics for me. I love having a game that looks good sitting on the table.
The thing that really sells a game of Cthulhu Gloom, much like Gloom itself, is the roleplaying aspect it gives the players. This isn’t just a game where you play cards from your hand and then move from player to player. Nope. This is storytelling. Don’t just play a card, read it aloud, get into it, use accents and spooky voices.
The game is completely stand alone, but it is easy to mix cards with the original Gloom. I love expansions, but when a game can be played by itself or expand something I already have, that is a bonus.
So how does this one stack up? Let’s roll the die and see.
Components 5: The cards are durable plastic and don’t require sleeving. The artwork is beautiful and only serves to enhance game play.
Rules 4: The game is simple enough that it can be taught in minutes. It’s simplicity though may leave those seeking a heavier game experience out in the cold.
Replay 5: Truthfully, this number is going to be different for a lot of people. If you can really get into the spirit of the game, you are gonna want to bust it out as often as possible.
Cost 4: It is pricey for a card game at $25 MSRP (roughly $20 on Amazon), but the components and fun you will have make it worhtwhile.
Wow, that is an 18. Now as I said, if you can’t enjoy silly games and get into the storytelling aspect, this won’t be the game for you. However, for a freak like myself this is a game I love playing whenever possible (even though I almost always loose).