Cults Across America

I wrote a review of Cults Across America (in Finnish).

Cults Across America is a light wargame with a Cthulhu theme. Players lead cults, trying to conquer USA. The theme is fun, which is typical for a design this American.

First thing you’ll notice: the game’s ugly. The thin cardboard board looks very amateurish and the pieces are cardboard counters. Oldfashioned, but in a light and funny game like this, plastic figures would be great. Of course, Atlas Games isn’t Hasbro, so I guess it can be forgiven.

The mechanics of the game are simple. Players move their armies and roll dice for battles. Cards cause random events and add chaos and fun to the game. That’s all a bit boring, but basically ok, until you figure out what’s really wrong with the game.

The realisation comes when you’ve played for few hours and realise the game isn’t any closer to end and it’ll take few more hours to finish. Well, there’s a bit of a exaggeration in that, but still — Cults Across America takes ages, especially considering how light and chaotic it is. It’s just not ok for a game like this to last so long.

If I’m going to play a long game, it’ll better be a great dramatic ride, full of tough decisions and bitter struggles. If a long game is chaotic fluff where luck of event card draw can swing fortunes around, it’s just pointless. Pointless!

And thus I’ve come to a conclusion: Cults Across America is all right, if you like Cthulhu mythos (and who doesn’t!), don’t mind very long games and consider playing a chaotic fluff game a pastime worth few hours of your already too short life. All the others, pass this one.

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