7.0
Score

Components
9/10
Gameplay
7/10
Theme
6/10
Fun Factor
7/10

Night of the Grand Octopus is another free game we received at Salt Con 2018. This game’s theme is a lighthearted take on the Chthulhu mythos. Each of the players is a cult leader sending cultists and Chthulhu’s dark spawn off to do their bidding. It’s a fun game, and it’s excellent for kids of 7 and up. Check out the Board Game Geek page.

The goal of the game is to summon the Grand Octopus. To do so, a player must collect five ingredients to cast the spell. Of course, each player’s cult is trying to be the only ones to summon the Grand Octopus, and thereby gain his favor. What that means is that in addition to collecting spell components, players are trying to prevent their opponents from doing the same.

Whenever cultists end up with only one of the Grand Octopus’ children, that cult loses power. Additionally, if two or more cultists are on a space together, they have a choice: either let one person collect the component, or battle it out. In that case each of the cults lose power and nobody gets the component.

Players select where they’ll go on the game-board by using a spinner to show which room their cultists will enter, and which room the Grand Octopus’ child will go to. Because locations are chosen in secret, and then revealed to the group, Night of the Grand Octopus has a significant bluffing aspect.

Night of the Grand Octopus’ Best Points

I really enjoy Night of the Grand Octopus. It’s got enough strategy to keep me interested throughout the game, and enough luck to make things really go off the rails. The first time we played, my five-year old son joined our game. He won, through sheer dumb luck. Sometimes being random can do more good than all the strategy in the world. After all, each of the other players could guess where the others would go. Who can keep up with the way a 5 year old’s brain works? The fact that multiple styles of play can result in a win is satisfying and makes this game really enjoyable.

The components that come with Night of the Grand Octopus are really great. In fact, I have rarely seen an insert designed so well. Additionally, the custom shaped ‘meeples’ that this game uses for cultists and the spawn of the Grand Octopus are great. The boards and tokens are also of a nice thick chip-board. It feels sturdy. Finally, the artwork is strange and fun, completely bringing you into the game’s theme.

Night of the Grand Octopus’ Worst Points

Night of the Grand Octopus isn’t a game for younger kids. It’s a little too complex. It’s also not complex enough to keep my gamer brain occupied. Of course, that means that it fills a valuable niche. Night of the Grand Octopus is a great game for kids between 7 and 12 as well as anyone who enjoys light strategy. It is a bit of a small range.

Buy Night of the Grand Octopus

I enjoyed Night of the Grand Octopus. If you have the chance to pick it up, and it sounds fun to you, I’d say go for it!