Dangerous Games: Cthulhu Gloom Board Game Review


The chair creaks as you settle onto it. The candlelight flickers. All around you the ravenous faces of your so-called friends twist in delight as you slowly open the box laid out on the table. Welcome to Dangerous Games! Each week, we'll feature a horror/thriller/monster tabletop game you should be playing. Don't be scared… roll the dice… what's the worst that could happen? 

'Cthulhu Gloom' - Atlas Games (2011)

Life's tough under the thumb of the great old ones. You try your damnedest to make it through the day, but sometimes there's no avoiding a little maiming or insanity. When Cthulhu rises, when the elder gods emerge from beyond the stars, how will you die? That's the question in Cthulhu Gloom. And figuring out the answer to that question is half the fun!

Gameplay Mechanics

In 'Cthulhu Gloom' players take on the role of a group of protagonists. Your job is similar to your job in the original 'Gloom'. You want to kill all of your protagonists, but not before you make their life as miserable as (in)humanly possible.

The cards in 'Cthulhu Gloom' are transparent. When you lay your protagonist card down on the table, you can then layer other cards on top of it. Has your character been "minced by Migo" or were you "crushed by a Shoggoth"? If so, you'll lay one of those cards down on top of your protagonist's card. This creates a layering effect that is not only visually pleasing, but also makes for easy score tallying. In the end, the player with all the dead protagonists and the most negative points wins!

Replay Value

This game is wonderful on its own, but if you really want to eek out more replay from it you can combine it with the original game of 'Gloom'. That will add lots of combinations and new strategies. Even so, on its own you'll never play the same game of 'Cthulhu Gloom' twice. The story lines that you weave as you attempt to explain how your character is suffering a terrible fate are both grim and hilarious at the same time, and the replay value of this game is only limited to your game group's imagination.

Overall Impressions

This is an awesome spin-off from an already classic storytelling game. This green and creepy version of the game even contains new elements. There are transformation cards, which permanently alter the way your character looks. Also included are story cards that put mini quests into the game. If you like death, sanguine stories, and H.P. Lovecraft... You'll love 'Cthulhu Gloom'.