Lil’ Cthulhu (developed by De-Evolution Studios) is an interesting tabletop game where you try to satisfy the demands of the most adorable of Elder Gods. I found out about it via e-mail and met with the developer to check out the game. I’ll have a preview for it up soon, but in the meantime I’ll do a Kickstarter Spotlight for Lil’ Cthulhu!
The Kickstarter for Lil’ Cthulhu is being run by De-Evolution Studios themselves. This is their first Kickstarter as well as the developer’s first foray into tabletop gaming. De-Evolution Studios are aiming to raise $23,800 and as of the time of this writing they are just over 3/4 of the way there with 14 days to go.
Lil’ Cthulhu is a bit difficult to describe as a game as it is at least four games in one. The modular nature of the gameplay mechanics allows players to adjust the difficulty to suit the age of the players as well as the difficulty level. For example, the youngest players can play a sort of “match game” with the various toy parts cards and not have to worry about any of the more complex mechanics. On the opposite end of the spectrum, adults looking for a challenge would incorporate each and every one of the card types and moving parts to make for a challenging game.
Aside from changing how the game is played, Lil’ Cthulhu also makes it easy to change how long a game will last. The victory condition in most game modes is for one player to get all of the toys that Lil’ Cthulhu is demanding. The amount of toys demanded by Cthulhu determines the length of the game – more toys means a longer game, and less toys means a shorter game. Players could also opt to use house rules to adjust game length by adding or subtracting from the sanity token pool of each player.
The main element of gameplay is a “Press Your Luck” system. Players draw one card from the deck and can draw as many as they like. If they hit a Tantrum, they forfeit all the cards on the board and have to deal with the negative effects of the Tantrum card. Dark Toy cards can be played to protect yourself from tantrums or to mess with other players.
If someone collects all of the toys Cthulhu is demanding they win the game. They can also win by simply being the last cultist standing if everyone else’s sanity has run out.
A $25 pledge will get you a boxed copy of the game. Shipping is free to the US, UK, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Shipping to anywhere else will require $5 more. The box itself includes 60 Toy Part Cards, 30 Tantrum Cards, 6 Demand Cards, 80 Sanity Tokens, and a Rule Book that covers 5 ways to play the game.
The Stretch Goals are fairly straightforward for Tabletop Kickstarters in that they either improve the quality of game pieces or add bonus parts. Reaching $25,000 will improve the design of the sanity tokens. $30,000 will result in a Kickstarter-exclusive box art for the game. $35,000 will add a 12 card booster pack that introduces a new card type. No further Kickstarter goals have been specified as of yet.
The developer addresses the risks and challenges by noting their 20 years of experience in international project management along with a cautious warning that the actual rise of an Elder God may slightly delay the game shipping. The game is 95% complete with only some art needing to be finalized and the actual printing to take place. The developer expects that Lil’ Cthulhu should ship within 6-7 months from the end of the Kickstarter.
Lil’ Cthulhu seems like an interesting Press Your Luck card game. At face value, the modular game mechanics mean that the game would likely be able to be used with players of any age or ability, and that makes the $25 Kickstarter Pledge for a copy a reasonable prospect in my opinion. I also like the modular mechanics as someone who enjoys to come up with house rules and homebrew rulesets. You’re not just buying a game, you’re buying the tools to come up with some interesting rules of your own.
If Lil’ Cthulhu is the sort of game you’re interested in you can check out the Kickstarter here. It ends on Thursday, March 31 2016 at 11:00 PM EDT.
Disclosure: the developer’s PR agent bought me a few sodas and paid for the table fees at our playtest at The Uncommons.
What do you think of Lil’ Cthulhu? Do you think this would be a fun game to play with younger kids? Let us know in the comments below!