I know, I know — another Cthulhu game. I realize I just talked at length about one, but I do have something of a confession to make. I’m a sucker for Lovecraft, well… anything… but especially games. I know they spawn like flies in the realm of tabletop, and I know not a single one truly encapsulates the gloom and doom of inescapable horror. The theme is getting close to the point of supersaturation, and yet the Mythos’ rate of use continues to grow. Even as I saw this game at Origins Game Fair, I rolled my eyes and let out an audible sigh… but knew deep down that I was going to play it. And I did. Because of course I did. What I didn’t expect was this particular game stands out not for its theme, but for its twist on a familiar mechanic. Continue reading Weekly Spotlight: Lost in R’lyeh
Looking at The Stars Are Right on the shelves, you’d notice a few things: it’s a Steve Jackson game (maker of Munchkin), the shape of the box is oddly familiar (same box shape as other Munchkin boxes), and the creatures depicted on the box are Lovecraftian(ish) cartoons by Goomi (artist for Munchkin Cthulhu). So it’s a Munchkin game! YAY!!! (or BOO!!! whichever way you tend to lean).
Except, it’s not a Munchkin game. In fact, I’m a little pressed to call it a game at all. Strictly speaking, while The Stars Are Right fits the textbook definition of a game, at its core, it’s really little more than a spatial puzzle– one you try to solve faster than everyone else at the table with strategic placement of cards.
You play the role of a cultist– as you do in any Cthulhu inspired game where you aren’t playing one of the hopeless saps (aka investigators) trying to keep the ancient beasties from inevitably waking. And your goal as a cultist is to invoke the power of said indescribable horrors to manipulate the night sky, aligning the stars to summon more and more powerful tentacly critters. Except you have rival cultists trying to wrest control of the night sky from you to raise their own servitors and elder gods. Continue reading WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT: The Stars Are Right