This is a REALLY short game! Consisting of a single oversized D12 featuring Cthulhu Mythos symbols and a handful of glass pebbles you would be easily forgiven for overlooking this game as more a novelty item and less a game.
I would be lying if I said there was anything resembling strategy to this game but the simplicity is half of the fun and it makes a useful five minute filler game whether you are waiting for dinner, for a bus or the men in white coats coming to return you to Arkham!
The rules are straight forward and you only need reference them once or twice until the icons are learned…..
Players begin with three of the glass markers. These are Sanity Tokens.
Each turn you choose a victim from among the other players and roll the die applying the result to their chosen player:
Yellow Sign = Your target loses one sanity to Cthulhu and pushes it to the centre of the table.
Tentacle = The caster takes one sanity from his/her victim unless they are already insane themselves in which case it goes to Cthulhu.
Elder Sign = You gain one sanity from Cthulhu’s pool in the middle of the table.
Cthulhu = EVERYONE loses one sanity.
Eye = Players choice from the above.
Once this is resolved, the victim immediately retaliates by rolling the die and applying the result to their attacker then play moves to the left and the next player chooses a victim, and so on.
One interesting element of play in this game is that if you lose all of your sanity you are NOT out of the game, instead you are merely insane! A gibbering maniacal servant of Cthulhu. When the turn comes back around you may attack anyone as usual, but you may not be attacked in retaliation, nor can anyone choose you as a victim. You may become sane again by rolling an Elder Sign to reclaim some of your marbles from the mighty Cthulhu but with the odds at 1 in 12 this is a slim chance and more often than not the game ends with you, mad as a sack of badgers, causing all kinds of grief for the remaining sane players until only one remains (in this game the Elder Gods seem to follow the Highlander rules!)
The game takes between five and ten minutes for a full group of six players and I would say that you should only play if you have four or five people as it doesn’t play well with less.
For a quick distraction and a mainly thinking free game to kill a few minutes this is worth the £5 price tag. I will give Cthulhu Dice 6/10, It is a really simple little game and there isn’t much to it, but it is still a fun little addition to a collection.