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11 March 2024
Darren Werner

A tiny Great Old One Wants to Conquer the World

But First, let’s hear from Michal Coe, CEO and game designer of Gamelyn Games, who has graciously agreed to answer our questions:

What convinced you to publish a game based on Lovecraftian horror?
We are fans of Lovecraftian horror. For some time now, we have been delving into the idea of developing a Tiny Epic game within that realm, and finally, everything fell into place.

During the design phase and throughout playtesting, which aspects of the game did you focus on?
Our main objective with this design was to craft an immersive experience for players that seamlessly blended the theme of chaos, a constant presence in Lovecraft’s work, with the mechanics of the game.

Did you encounter any challenges in creating the prototype?
Perfecting the madness spinner required numerous iterations, both in terms of its physical components and its impact on the gameplay. Finding the ideal balance was challenging, but once we achieved it, we knew right away!

On Kickstarter, Tiny Epic Cthulhu is now available for late pledges through the Gamelyn Games Pledge Manager.Speaking for the fans of Gamelyn Games who have long desired this Tiny Epic Cthulhu, all we can say is:And now that Gamelyn Games designers have fulfilled our wishes and have also provided us with some artwork, we’re ready to tell you about their latest Tiny Epic game.The game comes in a compact box, typical of the Tiny Epic series, but inside it hides a large amount of material and interesting mechanics. But what kind of game is it? Well, if you’re curious, we’re here to dispel ANY doubts. So, even if you missed the Kickstarter phase (just like us), you can still pre-order the game with a late pledge (just like us).We’ll provide you with the basic information without having played the game. These details are concise but will immediately help you understand the type of game we’re talking about (which is precisely the purpose of this section [News To Play]):

Game Theme

The game is set in a cold and forgotten town off the coast: New Arkamoore during the roaring 1920s. Players find themselves facing the rise of cosmic horrors that plunge the city into chaos.

Setting

  • New Arkamoore is shrouded in a thick sea mist, and it is from there that the horrors emerge.
  • Players must cooperate to translate the Necronomicon, unveil the Great Old One, and seal the portals to fend off imminent horror.

Main Mechanics

Tiny Epic Cthulhu features intriguing mechanics such as bag building (constructing your own Tentacle bag) and balancing the risk between using magic and maintaining mental sanity to defeat Monsters. Essentially, players must manage their madness while confronting horrors and attempting to seal the portals.

And besides, this Tiny Epic game comes with a truly spectacular game engine: the spinner—also known as the Wheel of Madness.

Gamelyn Games takes pride in this mechanism: “Our spinner stands out from its predecessors. It has been carefully designed to optimize randomness! We paid meticulous attention to ensuring equal mass distribution, precise spacing above the board, and a sturdy base.”

tiny epic cthulhu how to play
Behold the Wheel of MADNESS in all its malevolent gorgeousness

The Wheel of Madness (in addition to being structurally robust and balanced) points to different game events and randomness with both ends—one pointed and one tentacled. These include the active player’s movement, the Great Old One’s position, Shambler spawns, catastrophic events in specific city zones, resources to place and accumulate, and the number of Tentacle tokens to bring into play.

Game Objective

The objective of the game is to seal the portals and fend off imminent horror in the fog-shrouded town of New Arkamoore, where cosmic terrors emerge … but before doing so, players must successfully translate 25 pages of the Necronomicon and they must truly collaborate to achieve this goal.

There are three game modes to choose from:

tiny epic cthulhu how to play

Normal Mode: In this mode, players can test their skills and plan strategies throughout the game.
Hard Mode: Here, the stakes are higher, and the obstacles more formidable.
Madness Mode: This mode reaches an epic level of difficulty and is suitable only for the bravest (or the most insane).

tiny epic cthulhu how to play
The components of Tiny Epic Cthulhu … IN ACTION !!!

Game Flow

At the beginning of each turn, and in both phases, players use the Wheel of Madness (a spinner). The spinner generates movement to adjacent areas of the city for the active player, Tentacle tokens for taking actions like translating the Necronomicon and providing Runes that will be used to seal the portals and movement for all the evil entities in the game. As the forbidden tome’s rows and columns are translated, Page tokens are added to the Necronomicon board, and Tentacle tokens are removed from the ends of rows and columns (as shown in the figure below).

When the Necronomicon is completely translated, the Second Phase immediately begins. The Great Old One’s board is flipped over, and players now have a different objective: to hunt down the Shamblers, weaken the Great Old One, and seal the Portals.

 

tiny epic cthulhu how to play

As the forbidden tome’s rows and columns are translated, Page tokens are added to the Necronomicon board, and Tentacle tokens are removed from the ends of rows and columns.

  • In the second phase, the malevolent spinner is spun again at the beginning of each turn. Once the Wheel of Madness stops (it must complete at least two full rotations; otherwise, it is spun again), the active players positions themselves in the city zone indicated by the pointed end of the spinner.

Then the same player will complete the Spinner Action as follows, following the indications of the tentacled end:

  • Extracts Tentacles from the Bag: The active player will draw Tentacle tokens from the Tentacle Bag based on the number shown to the right of the Strength Token on the Great Old One’s board.
  • Generates a Shambler: The active player will add a Shambler of the corresponding color from the City Card based on where the tentacled end of the Spinner points.
  • Moves the Great Old One: Finally, the active player will move the Great Old One to the City Card where the Shambler was just placed.
Tiny Epic Cthulhu: How to Play – There are 4 Great Old Ones, and they are placed wherever there are Shamblers! Can you recognize them?

But what is a Shambler?

In addition to telling you that a Shambler is an otherworldly creature (that wants your harm, don’t be fooled), we’ll also explain how to fight it within the game: with the Cthulhu Dice!

Cthulhu Dice: besides using them to drive away Shamblers, the Cthulhu Dice will also be used to close extradimensional portals along with other tokens.

Closing the Portals:

  • We haven’t defeated the Great Old One yet! We’ve driven away all the Shamblers, its minions, and weakened HIM … but its strength lies in the dimensional portals. WE MUST CLOSE THEM!
  • To do so, we must choose one portal at a time, and depending on their color, we need to use a combination of Cthulhu Dice, Runes obtained through translating the Necronomicon, and Tentacle tokens to seal them.
  • We did it! The Great Old One… goes back to sleep until the new millennial planetary alignment (or at least until the next time we’ll take it out of the box).
  • But the most important aspect is that, as the game progresses, players will discover the true essence of cooperation: because each hero possesses unique abilities and skills, which, when combined, result in a team that can only repel the Great Old One and save the world.

Game Duration

A game lasts approximately 45 minutes.
The number of rounds can vary, but typically there are 4-5 of them.

End of game Conditions

The game ends when all portals have been sealed or when the madness of at least one player exceeds a certain limit.

Victory Conditions

Players win if they manage to seal all the portals.
Managing players’ madness and time are essential factors.

Final Score

The game does not have a traditional final score.
Victory is determined by achieving the main objective.

Colourful playmats

Welcome to the fascinating and deadly realm of Tiny Epic Cthulhu, a cooperative 
board game designed for 1-4 players. Prepare to embark on an exciting journey 
through the city of New Arkhamoore, where heroes find themselves entangled in a 
race against the relentless passage of time.

Play On The Table – Board Games and Card Games

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