Cthulhu Gloom

Cthulhu Gloom, drive your characters absolutely insane!

Cthulhu Gloom (which is mostly the same as Gloom, but with a few differences), is a card game where your goal is to make your family, or motley group, as miserable as possible.  Taking place in the world of H.P. Lovecraft, you will spend time in Arkham, Innsmouth, and Dunwich.  You’ll have dealings with both Miskatonic University and Arkham Asylum while you try to drive your families to their graves.  It’s loads of horrific fun for all Cthulhu lovers!

The Gloom series is published by a company called Atlas Games.  These are the guys that are also responsible for the titles Beer Money, Lunch Money, and Once Upon a Time.  If you’ve never played one of their games, I highly suggest it, because it’s loads of fun.  Aside from Gloom, I’m particularly fond of Lunch Money.

So, Cthulhu Gloom.  You have a deck full of transparent cards with modifiers, stories, and events.  The goal is to make your characters miserable as possible by making things, too horrible to speak of, happen while keeping your opponents happy as possible.  The awesome thing about this game, storytelling is encouraged.  Around my table, it’s mandatory since there is absolutely no reason why any of my friends can’t come up with horrible (or completely inappropriate) happenings to their characters.

How to Play Cthulhu Gloom in a Nutshell

Cthulhu Gloom can be played with 2-5 players.  If you play with 2-4 players, everyone gets their groups of characters and randomly discards 1.  If you’re playing with 5, one player will get all the randomly discarded characters for their own tender loving care.

I like starting out by having everyone introduce their characters.  This is usually a great way to start out the storyline.  After that, someone goes first.

At this point, each person has 2 actions (described in the rules) and explains why they’re doing what they’re doing.  The game goes on until all the characters for one person is dead.

And That is Gloom…

One of these days I’ll have to record one of our games.  Today’s game, which prompted me to write up a review of Gloom, involved a prostitute, a guy who was anal probed by aliens, and a talking cat that had horrible mood swings.

Poor Tigger-Man, he walked the halls of the Asylum, went mad in the mountains, went to Miskatonic U and learned to talk, and ended up becoming a cultist and the bloody cat still didn’t die…everyone picked on that poor cat.

The Verdict


The Good: The storytelling element of Cthulhu Gloom is fantastic, like most of the titles Atlas Games has put out.

The Bad: Unlike regular Gloom, you are able to see which cards are Grave cards so if your opponent is unaware, you can see what they have in their hand.

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