Favor of the Pharaoh

In Favor of the Pharaoh, players roll dice to advance in Egyptian society, each turn gaining a new contact and more influence. These contacts give players more dice to roll or special powers to adjust those dice. The game culminates in a roll-off where you use the machine you’ve built throughout the game to compete for the Pharaoh’s favor.

The Gameplay:

The Review:

This was a very interesting game, I had a chance to play it at our local gaming convention, RinCon. It is a machine building game with dice mechanics.

Board game geek

Cool stuff Inc.

Bezier games

Cthulhu Dice

The servants of Cthulhu are trying to drive each other mad. The last sane cultist wins…Unless, of course, Cthulhu drives you all mad!

The Gameplay:

Each player takes 3 sanity tokens of the 18 available. Any extra tokens are set aside and not used. According to the rules the games owner chooses first player, however in a series of games the previous winner goes first, after all they are the only sane one… a turn begins when the current player declares a victim and tries to curse him by rolling the 12 sided die. The die results take place immediately.

Yellow sign  – Your target looses 1 sanity to Cthulhu and pustules push one of their markers to the center of the table.

Tentacle – you take 1 sanity from your victim and add it to your existing sanity. However if you have already gone mad, you do not get to keep the stile sanity instead it goes to Cthulhu (center of table).

Elder Sign– you gain 1 sanity from Cthulhu. If there are no sanity at the center of the play area you get nothing.

Cthulhu – everyone who still has sanity looses 1 sanity to Cthulhu, after all mortal men were never intended to gaze upon the Elder God’s.

Eye – Choose any of the above options.

After resolving the die, the victim responds. He rolls the die, with the active payer as his target. Again the results take place immediately.  A roll, followed by the victims response represents one turn. You may not pass, you MUST roll!



The Review:

This is a freaking awesome filler game!  It sets up in seconds and cleans up just as Quickly.  nothing is quite as fun as that moment when everyone has 1 sanity and someone rolls Cthulhu, Driving us all mad.


Unspeakable Words: Deluxe Edition

Unspeakable Words was an awesome little word game when it came out in 2007.  The mechanics are clever and the original art was amazing! The game play is simple, fast, and fun.

The Gameplay:

  • A deck of 148 cards getting shuffled, and seven (7) cards are dealt to each player.
  • Next each player takes  5 Cthulhu meeples (Cthuples?, Ctheeples?) That represent the players Sanity.
  • On your turn you either use your cards to make a word or discard your entire hand to draw a new one but end your turn.
  • Next is scoring (a clue big scores aren’t your friend). You add up the cards value,  a cards value is determined by the number of angles in the letter (example: A is worth 5 and O is worth 0). Additionally you must write down the word as it cannot be used by another player this game.
  • Now you check your sanity… you will roll a D20, your roll must be equal to or greater than your card score.  A roll of 20 is an automatic success regardless of your cards score.
  • If your roll fails, ie you roll under your total, you lose a sanity (Cthulhu meeple). When you run out of sanity you are out of the game.
  • But wait don’t despair if you are going insane, when you are down to but one sanity all words are fair game, after all you have gone crazy so who are we to deny your claim that “thjilp”(17 points, even a crazy person would be insane to try and roll against this) is a word in your head.
  • The game ends when a player successfully reaches 100 points or if there is only 1 sane player left.

The Review:

Unspeakable words is a great game. It’s fun the whole family can enjoy and it’s great for a party. I can’t say enough good about the game itself.  The game developers did an amazing job, the art though different from the original is still fantastic, with super cute Cthulhu all over the place. This game will definitely see regular rotation on Game Nights with friends and family.

However, playroom games who kickstarted this release, handled it incredibly poorly. They managed to leave most of their 3,746 backers with negative feelings about it. They delivered more than a year late and though they had a plethora of delays they rarely, if ever, communicated anything to the backers. Their poor service and management doesn’t detract from the game it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth in regards to this game company.  For me this was the second game I had ever supported via kickstarter, and the first and only disappointment from kickstarter.  Having delivered 14 months late I would never back another project from this company. Truthfully it is unlikely I would ever have the opportunity again as Playroom Games was recently acquired by the Upper Deck games brand.  In all this game is fantastic, I just don’t have any love for the production company.

Look at all them Cthulhu

This package included all you see above, 148 letter cards, 2 “Unspeakable letter cards”, 1 K is for exploding kithulhus card, 1 elder sign promo card, one yellow sign promo card, 40 Cthulhu meeples (honestly not as awesome as those in the original set but still cool), a custom glow in the dark D20, and  a standard deck of playing cards featuring the chibi style Lovecraftian monsters from the games.

Oh the Inhumanity!!

All the links:

Board game geek

Cool Stuff Inc.

Playroom Games