- Designer: Jordan Devenport
- Publisher: Rocket House Games
- Players: 3-6 Players
- Age: 10+ but I can see this being as young as 8+
- Time to play: 30-45 minutes
Hey folks! Glad you stopped by to read another review. Come, grab a candle, set it around this pentagram, and read this for me. Nah, don’t worry. I’m sure this won’t end poorly. Just when you’re reading the incantation, make sure to stand right there. A little to the left. A little more. Perfect!
Today, we’re taking a look at the card game Crazy Cultists. I’m reviewing a copy provided by Rocket House Games. Crazy Cultists is a Take That card game designed by Jordan Devenport. Players take the role as cultists competing to be the first to summon The Dark One. How do we do that? By gaining the dark one’s favor, and finishing our summoning circle first!
The game comes with 60 Favor cards, 30 Hijinx cards, 30 candle tokens, 6 pentagram boards, and the rules. Nice and simple for a card game.
Favor cards are numbers that you use to build up your favor stack.
Hijinx cards are cards you use to sabotage the other players.
To set up for the game, shuffle the favor and hijinx cards together. Each player gets a pentagram board. Deal 3 cards to each player. Have the candle tokens within reach of all players. You can freely look at your cards, and the rules even state careless cultists cards as well.
The goal of the game is to get all 5 candles on your pentagram board. The first candle will cost you 10 favor points. Then the next candle is 9 favor points. Followed in order 8, 7, and lastly 6 favor points. So as you get candles, the favor points needed are less and less.
On a players turn, they will play one card.
If you play a favor card, place it face up in front of you. If it’s not the first card in your favor stack, you’ll place it on top of the previous card so that both number are showing. This is important as the next type of cards can effect your stack!
If you play a hijinx card, you give it to a player to resolve. Hijinx cards are worded in a way that the player who reads the card will know what to do. These come in the form of skipped turns, discarding the top 1 to 3 cards on your favor stack, or even stealing cards in a players hands.
After you play a card, check to see if you’ve earned a candle. If you have enough favor points for the candle, discard your stack and grab a candle. Place it on your board. Any favor points that is left over is lost. Now, you’ll start a new favor stack on your next turn. I had to look this up the first time playing, but when one player finishes a stack, you keep playing. Other players should discard their stacks.
Lastly, you draw a card and end your turn. A player will always have 3 cards in their hand at a time. This means if you had a card stolen, and it wasn’t your turn, you’ll still draw a card to get 3 cards when it happens. Or if you used a counter-spell card, you would draw another card.
Play continues until a player has gathered 5 candle tokens. In the rules, it suggests table talk, and that players favor totals are fair game and knowledge to all. This is important as everyone wants to stop the cultist in the lead.
And there you have it! It’s a really easy game to play and to explain. It’s not like any other game I’ve played.
First, let’s talk about the components. The pentagram boards are linen finished and round. Something that’s not often seen in card game boxes. The cards are standard size with a linen finish. I like the mixture of favor points and hijinx cards. I also liked that in the while deck, there is only one 4 value favor card and only one hijinx card that makes a player discard their whole favor stack! Wow! Those are biggies, and I like that there are only one of each in the deck of cards. It makes it that more special when you draw it. Art work isn’t anything that’s spectacular. It doesn’t need to be. What drives this game isn’t the artwork but it’s the game play and interaction between players.
Theme. I’ve talked about knowing your group and the theme of games. This game, you’re cultists trying to raise the dark one. Some people might not like this theme. I found it was more comical than serious. With cards like Nerdronomicon and Beelze-Beatdown, I believe it was meant to have a humorous feel to it. I liked that there was an option to pick what “demon” you’re summoning. For my games, my Dark One was Kramit. I described it as a mixture between Kermit the Frog and Krampus. Let that image sink in for a bit. While the theme may be a bit dark to some people, I for one welcome our new overlord Kramit and think you can easily over look it for the fun of the game.
I like that the rules and game play are so simple. Play a card then draw a card. That’s it. There is a ton of player interaction and take that in this game. Hijinx cards are the real star of this game for me. And the encouragement of table talk just heightens it. It’s great when someone is about to finish their favor stack, then you squash their chances! Likewise, it’s equally frustrating when you’re about to finish a favor stack and someone makes you discard the last two cards on your favor stack. Then there’s the camaraderie of ganging up on the player that needs only 6 favor in their stack to win the game! And that is what makes this a fun game. You’re trying to get unnoticed with your stacks while keeping an eye on the other players. Sure, the first candle isn’t that much of a big deal. But as soon as you start to realize that players have two candles, you’ll start to focus more and more on those players when they reach around 4 favor points. That’s another nice aspect of this game. It picks up speed the longer you’re playing it.
Overall, Crazy Cultists is a great little card game. It is simple and fun. It’s both satisfying and frustrating in the best ways possible. I recommend this to anyone that likes take that card games in small boxes. The tag line for this game speaks true. It is devilishly fun for the whole family. Crazy Cultists gets the Everyone and the Grandmother Games approval and I suggest checking it out.