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Usually I start these reviews out with a short paragraph and then finish with some witty question to get you wondering whether I liked the game or not. I'll save you some time on this one because it's not worth typing the extra words. This game is pure crap. Utter and complete crap. Feel free to skip the rest of this review if you want.

Rules

The rules can be read here. To summarize, you pick a target, roll the die, and apply the results. The target then gets to fire back at you. You start with 3 sanity and to win, you need to be the last player to have any. Unfortunately, nobody that plays this game wins anything.

If you're too lazy to read, watch this.


Components

You get some rules and some green glass beads. And you also get a really cool looking 12-sided die that comes in a variety of colors. The die looks really cool and has nice logos on it. I like the die. Too bad it comes with this game.


Gameplay

I think I covered this in the rules section.... You pick a target and roll the die. Something will happen. Then the target roles and attacks you back. Something will happen. Repeat ad nauseum which is about 2 minutes of game time. Unfortunately the game takes about 5 minutes to play.

There's absolutely no consequence to the choice of who you attack because you don't know what will happen. It may end up affecting you instead of your target. The game would be marginally better if you could roll and pick your target afterwards.

The whole retaliation roll is just dumb. If you skipped that everyone would get a turn every 30 seconds which is plenty of chances to attack each other. Way too often you just take sanity and then give it back. Repetitive and not fun.

Compare it to...

Getting a shot. It's a brief experience, but it hurts. And sometimes it leaves you hurting for a while after it.


Overall

So let's summarize.....

No decisions. Stupid retaliation that happens every turn. And no decisions. That sounds like a lot of fun.

If you are a dice collector like my wife, then this is worth $5. Otherwise, I'd suggest you go get a $5 Footlong from Subway. Hell, lighting a $5 bill on fire and watching it would be more fun than playing this game.

I tried to rationalize this game by envisioning it as a quick way to pick a start player for a game. But I'd really just rather roll a d6. It's more enjoyable.

There's a quote on the game's homepage which says "Cthulhu Dice plays in 5 to 10 minutes, and is fun for 2 to 6 players." That is false advertising Mr. Jackson! I'd like a refund.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I've played it in a group of four and had fun. It would be interesting to see a list of how many deep strategic games with a lot of decisions are in the marketplace for $5. I bought it and don't want my money back.
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rickert wrote:
I've played it in a group of four and had fun. It would be interesting to see a list of how many deep strategic games with a lot of decisions are in the marketplace for $5. I bought it and don't want my money back.


The Very Clever Pipe Game
Kill Doctor Lucky
Car Wars (fifth edition)
Enemy Chocolatier

Well, and anything you can print. Blood Bowl (greatest game of all time) is free with a little work. RPGNow has a ton of PnP stuff for $5. And $5 footlongs are really yummy.
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Dorque wrote:
rickert wrote:
I've played it in a group of four and had fun. It would be interesting to see a list of how many deep strategic games with a lot of decisions are in the marketplace for $5. I bought it and don't want my money back.


The Very Clever Pipe Game
Kill Doctor Lucky
Car Wars (fifth edition)
Enemy Chocolatier

Well, and anything you can print. Blood Bowl (greatest game of all time) is free with a little work. RPGNow has a ton of PnP stuff for $5. And $5 footlongs are really yummy.


I can't really figure out many strategic decisions to make after purchasing that footlong. Maybe which end to bite?
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rickert wrote:
Dorque wrote:
rickert wrote:
I've played it in a group of four and had fun. It would be interesting to see a list of how many deep strategic games with a lot of decisions are in the marketplace for $5. I bought it and don't want my money back.


The Very Clever Pipe Game
Kill Doctor Lucky
Car Wars (fifth edition)
Enemy Chocolatier

Well, and anything you can print. Blood Bowl (greatest game of all time) is free with a little work. RPGNow has a ton of PnP stuff for $5. And $5 footlongs are really yummy.


I can't really figure out many strategic decisions to make after purchasing that footlong. Maybe which end to bite?


No, all the strategic decisions are in what you want in the footlong.
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Lortarg wrote:
rickert wrote:
Dorque wrote:
rickert wrote:
I've played it in a group of four and had fun. It would be interesting to see a list of how many deep strategic games with a lot of decisions are in the marketplace for $5. I bought it and don't want my money back.


The Very Clever Pipe Game
Kill Doctor Lucky
Car Wars (fifth edition)
Enemy Chocolatier

Well, and anything you can print. Blood Bowl (greatest game of all time) is free with a little work. RPGNow has a ton of PnP stuff for $5. And $5 footlongs are really yummy.


I can't really figure out many strategic decisions to make after purchasing that footlong. Maybe which end to bite?


No, all the strategic decisions are in what you want in the footlong.


Well then we've got a huge flaw in the comparison. There are at least six strategic decisions you make before you purchase this product as that is the number of different dice you can buy. So this game really is strategic. I feel better now for enjoying it.
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Dean Glencross
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rickert wrote:
Lortarg wrote:
rickert wrote:
Dorque wrote:
rickert wrote:
I've played it in a group of four and had fun. It would be interesting to see a list of how many deep strategic games with a lot of decisions are in the marketplace for $5. I bought it and don't want my money back.


The Very Clever Pipe Game
Kill Doctor Lucky
Car Wars (fifth edition)
Enemy Chocolatier

Well, and anything you can print. Blood Bowl (greatest game of all time) is free with a little work. RPGNow has a ton of PnP stuff for $5. And $5 footlongs are really yummy.


I can't really figure out many strategic decisions to make after purchasing that footlong. Maybe which end to bite?


No, all the strategic decisions are in what you want in the footlong.


Well then we've got a huge flaw in the comparison. There are at least six strategic decisions you make before you purchase this product as that is the number of different dice you can buy. So this game really is strategic. I feel better now for enjoying it.


But there are more than 6 things you can put in a footlong. Plus after you buy the dice they aren't that tasty to eat.

Btw, never played the game, probably never will (although I think a friend is thinking of buying it) but the dice are pretty cool and I wouldn't mind owning them.
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Lortarg wrote:
rickert wrote:
Lortarg wrote:
rickert wrote:
Dorque wrote:
rickert wrote:
I've played it in a group of four and had fun. It would be interesting to see a list of how many deep strategic games with a lot of decisions are in the marketplace for $5. I bought it and don't want my money back.


The Very Clever Pipe Game
Kill Doctor Lucky
Car Wars (fifth edition)
Enemy Chocolatier

Well, and anything you can print. Blood Bowl (greatest game of all time) is free with a little work. RPGNow has a ton of PnP stuff for $5. And $5 footlongs are really yummy.


I can't really figure out many strategic decisions to make after purchasing that footlong. Maybe which end to bite?


No, all the strategic decisions are in what you want in the footlong.


Well then we've got a huge flaw in the comparison. There are at least six strategic decisions you make before you purchase this product as that is the number of different dice you can buy. So this game really is strategic. I feel better now for enjoying it.


But there are more than 6 things you can put in a footlong. Plus after you buy the dice they aren't that tasty to eat.

Btw, never played the game, probably never will (although I think a friend is thinking of buying it) but the dice are pretty cool and I wouldn't mind owning them.


But a footlong isn't all that entertaining to play with either.
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I'm on the fence with Steve Jackson Games. No matter how much I tried to love the game, I absolutely hate Munchkin, but I love the game Revolution. These are my main two experiences with SJG.

As far as Cthulhu Dice goes though I think it is spot on. Five bucks for a "game" that anyone can play, anytime, anywhere. A "game" that can fit in your pocket. A "game" that is fantastic for just killing a little time without requiring any deep focus from the players. Also, I find the theme attractive. ( I say "game" because this doesn't really feel that much like a game, and that's its only flaw. )

I wouldn't pull it out if I had the opportunity to play any other game with some friends, but it does do a great job filling the void at any other time in life.

Possitives

$5
Extremely portable
Stupid easy to play
Doesn't require constant focus
Good theme

Negatives
Not a "gamers" game ( Honestly though, who thinks it's supposed to be. )

I like it.
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I like pretty dice
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I've played this at the bar. It's fun with the right crowd, and none of the components can be damaged by stray food or drink. We played several games while we were waiting for our food.


The gameplay keeps all players involved even when it's not your turn. It was definitely worth the $5.

You could play this as a drinking game. Lose a sanity, take a drink. You still lose, but you don't care anymore!
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Adrian Visagie
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I have to say this does sound very boring. I've seen a few Steve Jackson games and I'm not really impressed. Munchkin seems to be his magnum opus and, well, that's not really something to be exceptionally proud of. After seeing S.P.A.N.C. and now this I'll be sure to give his stuff a very skeptical eye.
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KnagrocK wrote:
I say "game" because this doesn't really feel that much like a game, and that's its only flaw.


But that's a pretty fatal flaw if I'm trying to buy a game.

I mean, I could sell you a cobblestone for 5$, call it "The Revolution Cobblestone Game" and write up a set of rules about how the person who doesn't die from blunt trauma wins. Would have all your listed positives and negatives, would be cheap, still wouldn't be worth it.

If you want to buy a beer, and I sell you J-Brew, and it only costs a quarter of an actual beer, and then you try it and find out that I sold you a glass full of urine, then you may have something cheap, but it's not a beer, it's urine, I just claimed it was beer.

Here's the thing, there's a vast grey zone between what is considered a "gamer's game" here and things that are not actually a game at all. Most non-gamer's games fall into that grey zone, they're not gamer's games, but they're definitely games (as in: There is some way to conciously influence the outcome). CD is not a game, nothing wrong with that in itself (There are many enjoyable things that are not games, like novels, movies and so on), but calling it a game is just gross mislabeling.
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Rick, thanks for your comments. Once again, we disagree on a Steve Jackson game. I will certainly say that Zombie Dice is drastically superior to Cthulhu Dice.

And shouldn't it be called Cthulhu Die?
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switchbadger wrote:
I have to say this does sound very boring. I've seen a few Steve Jackson games and I'm not really impressed. Munchkin seems to be his magnum opus and, well, that's not really something to be exceptionally proud of. After seeing S.P.A.N.C. and now this I'll be sure to give his stuff a very skeptical eye.


In defense of Steve Jackson, Car Wars, Illuminati, and OGRE are his...magnificent...octopuses...they're just currently out of the rotation. Not sure why, but that's a separate discussion.

As to the "luck gaming" is concerned, a game totally in the thrall of luck can be a game I would imagine. Whether it's a suckers game or not doesn't make it any less a game. For instance, craps, roulette, and any ancient cultural game involving dice.

Whether a dice game shows random statistical probability or "favor of the gods", they've still been played for ages regardless.
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Rochefort wrote:
switchbadger wrote:
I have to say this does sound very boring. I've seen a few Steve Jackson games and I'm not really impressed. Munchkin seems to be his magnum opus and, well, that's not really something to be exceptionally proud of. After seeing S.P.A.N.C. and now this I'll be sure to give his stuff a very skeptical eye.


In defense of Steve Jackson, Car Wars, Illuminati, and OGRE are his...magnificent...octopuses...they're just currently out of the rotation. Not sure why, but that's a separate discussion.

As to the "luck gaming" is concerned, a game totally in the thrall of luck can be a game I would imagine. Whether it's a suckers game or not doesn't make it any less a game. For instance, craps, roulette, and any ancient cultural game involving dice.

Whether a dice game shows random statistical probability or "favor of the gods", they've still been played for ages regardless.


I will withdraw some of the stab at Steve Jackson since I haven't played any of those three games and so I can't judge them.

I give you thumbs up because of "magnificent octopuses." That made me laugh.

And I suppose it's true that if you can play a game just as effectively by putting on a video of it and pretending you had any impact on the game that it is not necessarily not a game... (Confuses self) Let's just say Snakes and Ladders can still be a game but I'll say that it's not a very good one. Thrall of luck games are not good unless used to drag out the process of picking one random person and make it as unbearable as possible with the tension.
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stormseeker75 wrote:
Rick, thanks for your comments. Once again, we disagree on a Steve Jackson game. I will certainly say that Zombie Dice is drastically superior to Cthulhu Dice.

And shouldn't it be called Cthulhu Die?


Perhaps but wouldn't that conjure up visions of a game where the idea is to kill the Cthulhu? Besides, a lot of my friends want to use their own die so it becomes "dice" in that way.

If there are dice game fans here who want something fun and don't mind a sports theme, they should try the Golo series of games. They have golf, auto racing, football and basketball.
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Wow, it sounds like you really wanted to dislike this game before you even played it. I know when I buy a game for $5 I expect strategy and decision making at least on the level of Warhammer or Memoir 44.

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switchbadger wrote:
I will withdraw some of the stab at Steve Jackson since I haven't played any of those three games and so I can't judge them.

I give you thumbs up because of "magnificent octopuses." That made me laugh.

And I suppose it's true that if you can play a game just as effectively by putting on a video of it and pretending you had any impact on the game that it is not necessarily not a game... (Confuses self) Let's just say Snakes and Ladders can still be a game but I'll say that it's not a very good one. Thrall of luck games are not good unless used to drag out the process of picking one random person and make it as unbearable as possible with the tension.


The non-CCG version of Illuminati (or the One of Everything box version, which is probably pretty rare by now) and Car Wars (non-card game) are pretty fun, but in dire need of a reprint. I've not played OGRE, but it's also considered a classic. There are grumblings about OGRE being reprinted, but I'll believe it when I see it.

The point I was making is that the game may not be fun to you, but someone else considers it a fun game, despite all its drawbacks or it being completely ruled by luck. It doesn't make it any less a game, it just makes it not very fun for you. There are people who like luck based games (and Munchkin and Snakes and Ladders) and enjoy it in the appropriate atmosphere. Usually with beverages.

If someone who hates luck games buys a game that entirely consists of dice, then they should probably just get a sub.
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Shredi Knight wrote:
Wow, it sounds like you really wanted to dislike this game before you even played it. I know when I buy a game for $5 I expect strategy and decision making at least on the level of Warhammer or Memoir 44.



I played it once for about 5 minutes with my family. That was more than long enough to know all I needed to know.

I'm not comparing it to Warhammer or Memoir, simply reviewing a game on it's own merits. And there are precious few merits to review it on.
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stormseeker75 wrote:
Rick, thanks for your comments. Once again, we disagree on a Steve Jackson game. I will certainly say that Zombie Dice is drastically superior to Cthulhu Dice.

And shouldn't it be called Cthulhu Die?


I would just like to state, that SJGames actually address' this issue because it's been asked so many times.

They claim that name is ridiculous, because everyone knows Cthulhu cannot die.
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Rochefort wrote:
switchbadger wrote:
I will withdraw some of the stab at Steve Jackson since I haven't played any of those three games and so I can't judge them.

I give you thumbs up because of "magnificent octopuses." That made me laugh.

And I suppose it's true that if you can play a game just as effectively by putting on a video of it and pretending you had any impact on the game that it is not necessarily not a game... (Confuses self) Let's just say Snakes and Ladders can still be a game but I'll say that it's not a very good one. Thrall of luck games are not good unless used to drag out the process of picking one random person and make it as unbearable as possible with the tension.


The non-CCG version of Illuminati (or the One of Everything box version, which is probably pretty rare by now) and Car Wars (non-card game) are pretty fun, but in dire need of a reprint. I've not played OGRE, but it's also considered a classic. There are grumblings about OGRE being reprinted, but I'll believe it when I see it.

The point I was making is that the game may not be fun to you, but someone else considers it a fun game, despite all its drawbacks or it being completely ruled by luck. It doesn't make it any less a game, it just makes it not very fun for you. There are people who like luck based games (and Munchkin and Snakes and Ladders) and enjoy it in the appropriate atmosphere. Usually with beverages.

If someone who hates luck games buys a game that entirely consists of dice, then they should probably just get a sub.


You know. You are actually right. I apologise for my overly ruling statements from before. I try to always keep in mind that my sentiments are not necessarily everyone's sentiments but I guess this time a thought got through the usual screening process. I by all means didn't think less of people who enjoyed luck based games. I just thought less of the games but just because I don't like it doesn't mean it's bad. Well spotted good sir!

I'll keep an ear to the ground for those titles you mentioned. I'm eager to see what earned Steve Jackson his prestigious title amongst gamers.
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My group enjoys the experience -- it's a lightly-themed diversion, a smack-talk generator, an elaborate method to determine who Lady Luck is going to stagger home with and puke on.
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stormseeker75 wrote:
If you are a dice collector like my wife, then this is worth $5. Otherwise, I'd suggest you go get a $5 Footlong from Subway.

I gave you a thumbsup just for this.

Quote:
There's a quote on the game's homepage which says "Cthulhu Dice plays in 5 to 10 minutes, and is fun for 2 to 6 players." That is false advertising Mr. Jackson! I'd like a refund.

Maybe what it means is, there exist 2 to 6 players in the world for whom this game is fun.
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Shredi Knight wrote:
Wow, it sounds like you really wanted to dislike this game before you even played it. I know when I buy a game for $5 I expect strategy and decision making at least on the level of Warhammer or Memoir 44.


Strategy and decision making are facilitated by the rules, and rules cost nothing. If a game only costs $5, that only means it contains $5 worth of components. Go is certainly a highly strategic game, and it can be played with a piece of paper, a pen, and a few dollars worth of bingo chips.
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