Updated: Apr 12
Along with the works of H P Lovecraft, Godot Games’ Among Cultists is inspired by the InnerSloth online game Among Us. It’s not the first attempt to create an Among Us board game – we featured, for example, So Sus on Board’s Eye View back in June 2021. Stefan Godot’s design for Among Cultists tho’ is more closely anchored as a hidden role, social deduction board game where players move between locations and interact both with the locations and other players, as in The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 (The Op).
Among Cultists is designed for 4-8 players. At the start of the game, players learn whether they are an Investigator or a Cultist. With 4-6 players, there will be just one Cultist; with 7 or 8 players, two will be Cultists. The Investigators are trying to collect books from the various room locations on the board. Cultists are trying to kill Investigators. Getting killed doesn’t end your participation in the game: players who are discovered to be dead continue to play on as ghosts… Indeed, a character might even start the game dead without knowing it!
Players have their own decks of cards. When two players share a location on the board (more than two if the lights are out…) it triggers an Encounter: each player hands a 'pulse' card of their choice to the other player. You don’t look at the card you receive, it is only checked later in the game if usually another player checks it as an action. They look at your pulse cards to see if one or more of your cards shows you as dead. If you are discovered to be dead, you’ll flip your token and play on as a ghost. If the player checking on your status is a Cultist, however, they can choose to lie and tell you that you are still alive when you’re actually dead. As in the movie The Sixth Sense, the dead don’t always know they are dead!
Investigators can only collect books in rooms to which they have access on certain numbered turns. They also have to have a room activated, which means having three or more cards at that location. Players will play cards to locations that indicate success, failure or sabotage – again it’ll be the Cultists who want to deposit cards that frustrate the Investigators and slow down their collection of books.
Unless they are playing the long game and being seen to play cards that aid the Investigators, the Cultists actions are likely to lead to their exposure, tho’ canny Cultists will try to sow suspicion on others. Ultimately, Investigators who suspect another of being a Cultist can put their execution to a vote…
There’s a lot going on in Among Cultists – including additional monsters and the prospect of a Cthulhu-like portal opening up that Investigators will need to close. You can also optionally play with special roles; for example, with an Investigator who is a Seer who knows who the Cultists are (tho' other players won't know who the Seer is). It all adds to the excitement of the game but tho’ the board may look busy Among Cultists is a very accessible game that plays in around 45-75 minutes. Because your characters are moving between locations, it feels more like a ‘conventional’ board game than Werewolf (Bezier) or Secret Hitler (Goat Wolf & Cabbage) and we especially welcomed the devices within the game for avoiding outright player elimination – particularly important in a game which might potentially run for another hour beyond a player meeting their doom.