Boxed Culture: Insanity is in the Cards


Last time, long ago, we covered the myriad of Fantasy Flight Lovecraft games (check it out here). I feel like I left you hanging so bad there with the teaser for the next article. “Lovecraftian card games you say, how does that even work?” Well my friends this is an area that even I have light amounts of experience, at best. However I will do my best to help all of you wonderful followers understand some of these card-based Lovecraftian games.

This picture if the epitome of co-oping Lovecraft.

This picture if the epitome of co-oping Lovecraft.

Cthulhu Fluxx (~$11 CSI)

This games is made by Looney Labs, the makers of the original Fluxx and Chrononauts. This game is a verbatim copy of Fluxx with refaced cards. If you have not played Fluxx, it is a game where you are trying to gather keeper cards to accomplish ever-changing goals. All this happening while the rules of the game are constantly changing. Things can get a bit hectic and random at times, but if you want a light beer and pretzels game this is it. This game is the definition of pasted on theme, but still seeing the known mythos on cards is kind of cute. Also they always manage to have a few funny interactions that are in light with the theme.

There are many ways in which Cthulhu can present himself. This on is particularly chubby.

There are many ways in which Cthulhu can present himself. This on is particularly chubby.

Smash Up: The Obligatory Cthulhu Set (~$15 CSI)

I love this game, or at least collecting it.  Smash Up does a great job of combining deck building and fun themes into a package that is easy to present to anyone. All you need to do is choose two factions and simply shuffle the deck together. Then each turn you can play one minion and one action. When bases have enough power at their location, they explode and you gain a victory point. First to 15 wins. The Cthulhu expansion for this game is pretty fun. It adds madness cards that hurt you at the end of the game but are powerful for play in the middle. Also, it spices it up by adding factions that are not commonly seen: Miskatonic University Students, the Denizens of Innsmouth and The Elder Things. A great addition for this game and a must-have for the collectors.

This art is so good! Just stare into his eyes.....stareeee....*unintelligible moaning*

This art is so good! Just stare into his eyes…..stareeee….*unintelligible moaning*

Cthulhu’s Vault (~$27 CSI)

This is a game I have yet to play but I kickstarted based on the art alone. It looks fantastic. It’s the game itself I am a bit hesitant about. It is a storytelling game where players take turns telling their story and playing cards in an attempt to gain benefit for a later fight against a great Old

One. It also has traitor mechanics, which is interesting in a storytelling game. This game is shipping to me this week and I am excited to see how it ends up playing, but more excited to look at how awesome the art on the cards is. This game seems to be one-of-a-kind in the Lovecraft board game universe. many other storytelling games I have played have fallen short either due to the store being seemingly forced or the game play just being nonexistent. However, the Lovecraft universe is all about storytelling and this bodes well for Cthulhu’s Vault.

Box cover art with out the game title. This is helpful right?

Box cover art with out the game title. This is helpful right?

Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game (~$30 CSI)

This is my obligatory Fantasy Flight plug, I should start getting paid for this shit. The came is an LCG and if you do not know what that is check out the other article I wrote about them here! I love the idea of Living cards games and I love playing them. In short, they take the best parts of CCG’s (progressions and expansion) with the best parts of a good game (theme and strategy). This game specifically lets you build decks around the factions presented in the Lovecraft mythos. The goal of the game is to successfully complete mysteries. Players throw investigators, spells, monsters, artifacts and allies at each other while trying to complete these mysteries. It is a great two-player game with tons of player interaction. If you like games like Magic the Gathering and you also like Lovecraft, this game is perfect. I will also say that these games will cost you less than playing any CCG, especially Magic.

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