Feed the Shoggoth! is a devious and fast-paced card game, in which players each control a different cult faction, facing a very angry and hungry Shoggoth in the middle of the table. Players earn points and win the game by sacrificing minions from their cult to the Shoggoth (bad news for Minions, but what do you expect when you join an evil cult?). However, the Shoggoth is indiscriminate in who he eats; if you can’t feed the Shoggoth on your turn with a Minion, it eats you, and you’re out of the game!
(A Shoggoth, in case you don’t know, is a large, amorphous blob of protoplasmic flesh, and the creation of horror author H.P. Lovecraft. Capable of creating eyes, mouths, and pseudopods at will, a Shoggoth is an extremely powerful beast, not to be trifiled with. Unless you’re an insane Cult Leader with delusions of grandeur, of course.)
Feed the Shoggoth! is a game for 3-6 players; games average about 45 minutes in length.
Why Feed the Shoggoth!, anyway?
I’ve been both a Keeper of Call of Cthulhu as well as a board/card game fan for a long time, and it dawned on me a couple years ago that cults in the Cthulhu Mythos are a particularly vicious bunch, constantly vying for more knowledge and power. And Shoggoths, those gigantic, amorphous blobs of pseudopod-producing flesh, are powerful (yet incredibly dangerous) creatures indeed. Well, what if a bunch of different cults were trying to fight over a single shoggoth in order to control it?
Next, I wanted the game to be fun, something that I would want to play. The best games, I felt, were ones that gave everyone an equal chance to win at any point in the game. With the right amount of strategy and luck, a player could come from behind and achieve victory. Plus, I’ve always been a fan of screw-your-neighbor mechanics; this, combined with a hot potato element, can (and has, in many play tests I’ve witnessed) cause frenetic and desperate game play.
While Feed the Shoggoth! can be played as a quick beer-and-prezels game, one can find deeper strategies within; especially when Minion cards run out and the players are forced to keep the Shoggoth away from them because they’re unable to sacrifice.