The Gate of R'lyeh

Cthulhu is coming and the clock is ticking. Close the gate before Cthulhu arrives, but be wary of cultists amongst you.

  • Overall: B B B B B
  • Quality: Q Q Q Q Q
  • Value:   V V V V V
  • Designed by Dan Hundycz
  • Published by DPH Games Inc.
  • Price: $39.99

Review by Geoff Groff

Dec 20, 2018

A group of Investigators have arrived at R'lyeh with the purpose of preventing Cthulhu from emerging through a Gate. In order to seal the Gate, four Sigils must be active prior to midnight. The Sigils are activated by completing an Incantation, with each player choosing to Contribute to the Incantation by playing Mythos Cards, Investigating the cards already in the Incantation, Gambling or Researching to get new cards. An Incantation is successful if four of the seven Mythos cards required to complete an Incantation match the target Sigil. However, all cards Contributed to the Incantation are played face down except the final triggering card. Players may Accuse another player of being a Cultist and if as such, they remain in the game, but the actions available to them changes. Certain actions require the players to draw one or more Insanity cards, which often dictate or alter what actions a player may make.

The two enemies of the Investigators are the clock and the Cultists hidden among them. If they fail to activate all four Sigils by midnight, Cthulhu emerges and wipes the Earth clean. If time is running short and things look bad, one can always consult the Necronomicon, not without risks though. Consulting the Necronomicon requires the player opening the tome to draw three Insanity cards.

There are several different methods to make the game more challenging. Adding more players is obvious, but it's possible to set up the game so the number of Cultists among the group is unknown. There are also different god cards that have different effects when attempting to activate a Sigil. Investigators can be given Equipment or Artifacts that have special actions, including contributing two cards to the Incantation instead of one, forcing another player to take a specific action, or forcing another player to vote a particular way.

The Investigators only win if all four Sigils are active by midnight. However, the Cultists win if midnight rolls around without all four Sigils being active, or when the Insanity deck is gone, or if the Investigators decided to consult the Necronomicon and failed the Incantation. Slim odds for the Investigators.