I was very pleasantly surprised when I got a text from one of the guys in my gaming group today. He had backed an Indie Boards & Cards Kickstarter for Grifters and I was able to add Don’t Mess With Cthulhu to his pledge. The base game supports 4 – 6 players, while the included expansion adds support for up to ten players. The game is a re-skin of a Japanese game from 2014 Time Bomb.


Don’t Mess with Cthulhu is a social deduction game with secret identities. Players are either Investigators trying to keep Cthulhu from waking and controlling the world, or Cultists that want to bring the world to a disturbing end.

In Don’t Mess With Cthulhu, players each receive a role token, and five cards. After looking at their cards, each player will shuffle their cards and place them in a pile face down.

Now the game begins with the player with the active player token. The group discusses what is in each pile and the active player selects one pile to flip the top card and give it’s owner the active player marker. If it’s Cthulhu, the Cultists win. Anything else the game keeps going until a number of cards are revealed that equals the player count. Then the round ends, the face down cards are collected, shuffled, and dealt out. This continues until either all the elder signs are revealed (investigators win), Cthulhu is revealed (Cultists win), or four rounds are completed (Cultists win).

The game is intended to play multiple times in a sitting, with losing players receiving an insanity token at the end of each game. Once a player has three tokens, the player or players with the fewest tokens is considered the winner.

Also included is an expansion containing three modules. The first adds support for 10 players. The second adds a Necronomicon card, which must be revealed after at least one Elder Sign and is required for an investigator win. The final module adds event cards that give special actions when revealed.



I’m very excited to play this game and plan on adding it to my lunch play groups rotation. It seems fast, easy to teach, and above all else, looks fun. My weekly game group has grown to nine people, and we’ve started to break into smaller groups, playing multiple games. One of the things I’ve been looking to introduce, is a short game that everyone can play at the beginning or end of the night, so everyone get to interact with everyone. Once I get a few plays finished, I’ll let you know how it went.


2 thoughts on “Preview – Don’t Mess with Cthulhu

  1. I have found if you’re going to play with more than six people, the Necronomicon module is a must use. With less than six people it feels like the cultists have the upper hand. The event module makes it a deeper game, which under normal circumstances I like, but with this game I find that the simpler version is better, it makes turns move faster, and allows for an overall better experience. So I guess the Necronomicon/high player count combo is my favorite, and if I have enough people, that’s the way I’d play it every time. Thanks for the question.


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