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Enter the terrifying world of H.P. Lovecraft and specifically the Cthulhu mythos through Cthulhu board games. The Lovecraft universe has drawn fans for over 90 years so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a whole lot of board games featuring the cosmic power that’s dead and dreaming in R’lyeh.
In this list we have listed the top Cthulhu board games in an insane order.
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!
Top 10 Cthulhu Board Games
2. Don’t Mess with Cthulhu
Each player takes on the roles of investigators or cultists. The players in the roles of investigators are trying to stop the rise of Cthulhu (in true Lovecraftian manner) driven on by the cultists’ players.
If the Cthulhu card is shown the cultists win. If the investigators manage to discover all the elder signs they win.
Don’t Mess with Cthulhu is a social deduction card game. The game plays 4-6 players and takes place over four rounds.
You can play multiple rounds of Don’t Mess with Cthulhu where the losers in each round get an insanity token – when a person gets three insanity token the player with the least tokens wins.
4. Cthulhu Dice
Cthulhu Dice is a light little dice game that fits all wallets. It also plays very, very fast.
In Cthulhu Dice, it’s possible that all players lose.
Each player takes on the role as a cultist, the goal is to drive all other players insane. You can also steal their sanity! The last sane or less insane cultist wins the game. If everyone goes mad, then Cthulhu wins.
One thing for sure; don’t lose your marbles!
8. Shadows over Normandie: Achtung! Cthulhu
Some of you may be familiar with Heroes of Normandie board game series. If you are a fan of the series you will enjoy the Cthulhu installment.
Shadows over Normandie: Achtung! Cthulhu plays with 2-3 players and has a relatively short playtime of 30 minutes.
Each player control opposing armies. In true Cthulhu board games fashion the forces include the German Cult of the Black Sun, the Ancient Deep Ones and the U.S Rangers. Each force constitutes of heroes and villains, tanks and creatures and infantry troops. All units in the game have unique skills and traits.
Order tokens determine initiatives and bluffs. A single-sided die determines battle and action cards trigger different effects that bring variation to the different game rounds.
This is a strategic game where players secretly plan attacks and try to outwit each other!
9. Cthulhu Gloom
A terriful little card game where each player gets a family to control. In true Lovecraftian-horroresque, you want to make the family you control as depressed and dead as you possibly can. At the same time, you want to spread joy to the other players in order to make them less depressed and dead.
If you are familiar with Gloom or any of the installments in the Gloom series you will recognize that Cthulhu Gloom has almost identical game mechanics. The difference between this installment and original Gloom is the presence of Story cards and Transformation cards. Story cards are unlocked as the game evolves and is up for grabs for all players as soon as specific conditions for each card are met. Transformation cards are used to mutate a character for the rest of the game.
Cthulhu Gloom is played by 2-5 players and a game usually takes around one hour.
666. Munchkin Cthulhu
If you are a fan of Munchkin and the Cthulhu mythos then you are bound to enjoy Munchkin Cthulhu. This installment is compatible with any other cards out of Munchkin games.
So Munchkins are entering the Lovecraftian universe and take on the roles of Investigators, Monster Whackers, Professors and Cultists. Slay monsters and loot in true Munchkin fashion
Munchkin Cthulhu plays 3-6 players and includes 168 cards and dice.
3. Cthulhu Realms
Cthulhu Realms is a deck-building game where players are eliminated as the game goes on.
The game plays 2-4 players where the goal is to have more sanity than your opponents when the deck of cards runs out. While trying to remain sane your aim is to reduce your opponents’ insanity.
Each player is dealt a hand of cards consisting of Initiates, Goons, and Followers. In the center of all players, you put down five cards in a row on the table.
Trade cards, boost your insanity and drive opponents madder, gather conjuring power to acquire new cards and remove cards from the game.
Fun, light card game for Cthulhu fans!
1. Cthulhu: Death May Die
Cthulhu: Death May Die is the latest title to arrive in the universe of Cthulhu board games.
This story has a twist; investigators want to summon the Elder Gods. Normally investigators try to prevent cultists from summoning the otherworldly beings. The idea the investigators have is that, if they summon the Elder Gods into the world they can permanently kill them.
If any character you or your team controls ends up dead, the game ends and you lose. When the Elder One appears from the depths and enters the board, and at least one of you is alive, there is a chance to win!
7. Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game
Call of Cthulhu was a CCG (Collectible Card Game) when it was released in 2008, then evolved into an LCG (Living Card Game) and remained an LCG until the publisher FFG (Fantasy Flight Games) stopped supporting the game in 2015. If you want to know more about CCG and LCG this article describes the difference between the two variants.
This card game is fully immersed in the Cthulhu mythos of H.P Lovecraft. There is a high level of interaction between the two players, ongoing analysis as the game evolves and you need to apply a lot of strategic planning and cunning to win over your opponent.
Even though the game was discontinued the game has tremendous replay-ability due to the different combinations of cards and factions.
5. Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
Another familiar title on this list of Cthulhu board games is the Pandemic version.
Instead of preventing diseases you want to prevent the spreading of cultists as they try to spread madness. Another aspect of Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is to manage Shoggoth’s as they try to awaken the ancient ones. As a new elder gods are awoken the ongoing game changes with an update to the rules.
This game is a perfect mix of the mysterious and maddening world of Cthulhu and the excitement Pandemic offers!
10. The Best Cthulhu Board Games? Cthulhu Wars
Cthulhu Wars is, by all means, an epic Cthulhu board game. It contains 64 figures representing Cultists, Monsters, Aliens and Great Old Ones. Some figures are 18.0 cm tall!
So if you are into Cthulhu, figures and strategy board games then this one is for you.
The game plays 2-4 players where each player represents a faction. At the start of your turn, your first Gather Power then a series of Action Rounds follow where you spend your Power. Actions you can take could be moving units, engage in battle, recruit cultists, summon monsters, build gates and awakening the Great Elder One. When all players run out of power the turn ends and the next begins. Gather victory points and unlock spell books to win.
There are many expansions available and including these in your game will support up to 8 players.