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Subject: Call of Carthulhu rss

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Randall Silver
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Cthulhu 500 is a (not so serious) cardgame/racegame for 3 - 8 players. The game will take about 30 to 60 minutes. The object of the game is simple: win the race! But will the Great Old Ones let you win that easily...

The artwork

Although the artwork looks simple, it works in this game. The cars look good, the mods are simple but fun to see, as are the pit crew and so on.
Nothing overly special, but funny in a simple way.

It won't win any awards for artwork, but the artwork is good enough to laugh with, and it doesn't get in the way of gameplay. Also, the titles are really funny.

So, about the game

Well, its a race! The cars are put next to each other, and the object of the game is to pass the others and be in the lead when the checkered flag is drawn (which is shuffled with the rest after the deck is completely exhausted).

Everyone chooses a car at random (or not) and gets 5 cards. Players can discard cards in the beginning, and the player who discarded most is in the lead. In case of ties, a die is rolled.

The cars have different properties, and are actually very funny. You have the "Feararri", the "Satanic Pushcart", "The Vehicle Man Was Not Meant To Drive", and so on.

Every car has place for one driver, a set of tires, and two mods. They also have a speed and complexity number. To pass a car in front of you, you must each roll a die, and add the "speed" number to the die. Usually, the higher the speed, the higher the complexity.

When the numbers of the bonusses and the dice are a tie, an accident occurs and both cars are damaged. Speed can change drastically now, and you better make a pit stop to fix your car. This is again done with a die roll, but you must beat your complexity number now. That's what the two numbers are for.

Every turn, players can take two actions, discard cards, and draw two new cards. The actions can be any of these:
- Play an action card
- Try to pass a car in front of you
- Add Pit Crew
- Make a pit stop (where you can add a driver, tires, mods or repair your car)

The passing rules are a bit difficult to explain in detail here (especially with damaged cars and so on), but I already explained the basics.
Pit crews are great to help repair a car, drivers add to the speed or have special abilities, mods or sponsors can do just about anything. The action cards or spell cards (basically the same) can really hinder an opponent, or help you out.

There's also reaction cards, which can be played in another player's turn to hinder him/her. That's about it for the basic rules. Might sound a mite complicated, but it really isn't. Play it once, and you'll see.

The feel of the game

This game will probably not be interesting for people not familiar with H.P. Lovecraft's books, or Call of Cthulhu players.
People with a sense of humour, and familiar with the sources I just named will have a good time, I think.

You have the subtle humour like "Me Go" cards, or the plain funny "The Mudflaps Man Was Not Meant To Ogle" or "Spell of Moderate Inconvenience". Face it: it's funny, but only to a certain number of people.

Although not really a horror game (duh), the game does have a good feel about it. You can have a laugh, but you still feel good when a certain well-timed spell takes you to the head of the pack, and aggravated when a nuclear missile comes your way.

Final Verdict

Well, I said it before, actually. This game is a lot of fun for people familiar with Lovecraft's universe. I doubt other players will like it, since they also won't get some of the subtle humour.
The ones that do, will enjoy this game from time to time. The gameplay is not bad at all, the cards are funny, it's very competitive, and doesn't take long enough to bore.

Recommended for the right kind of people, not really for the rest. It's a game for a particular group, and I'm glad to be one of those
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Brian Morris
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Raytown
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Good review of what is a gem of a beer & pretzel game. The differences in the cars is a really nice twist in this game. Every game is a bit different for players when they deal out the cars at random and then have to deal with a completely new car with different characteristics.
 
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Randall Silver
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Thanks! You must love this game, I saw you even have a Cthulhu 500 microbadge!
 
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