From Junior: the monster in the shed, to Tigger-Man: the faithful feline concerned with that “rats” in the walls. Cthulhu Gloom follows the depressing life, and eventual death, of 2-5 unique families.
Gloom is, by far, the ultimate depressing game. The objective is to live the most miserable life possible with all members of the family, and then kill them off. The game ends when someone manages to eliminate all 5 of their family members, and the winner is the one who’s dead characters lived the ultimately disheartening life together.
Cthulhu Gloom ever so subtly captures the depressive humour of Lovecraft, where everyone just quietly ignores the strange occurrences like it were just an ordinary Shoggoth on the roof. The flavour text offers insightful commentary on the events, characters and brutal deaths that can occur, such as Lord Slogar, [the literal] Brain in a box who reads “Lord Slogar’s thoughts may be muddled, but Helena assures us that his heart is in the right place.”
Storytelling is a crucial part of the depressing atmosphere about this game, the solemn and glum lives of the 5 strange, to say the least, families around Innsmouth. Many “fun” activities often turn to horrid, monstrous events that mentally – or fatally – scar the members of the families. This ranges from being pursued by poodles (who are MUCH more viscous than anyone expects) to straight out being shunned and detested by society. On the upside, at least you can inflict horrible curses of pleasantry upon your opponents, to neutralise their depressing tail, including the ultimate backstab card of “Dies without cares” which set’s a character to 0 on all scores.