- Designers: Theo Riviere and Cedric Barbe
- Publisher: IELLO
- Players: 2-6
- Ages: 6+
- Time: 15 mins
- Times played: 2, with review copy provided by IELLO
Like its predecessor, Sticky Chameleons was a game that I had actually not heard of until I got a request from the nice press contact at IELLO to review it. While IELLO has had a lots of great strategy games and coop games in the past few years, they still have retained their love of whimsical French games. You’ll never mistake this for Mountains of Madness… One, it’s in a small not-quite-pocket sized box. Two, it has 8 sticky green tentacles inside it!
In this game, you’re a follower trying to impress Cthulhu. You will use your tentacle to get rid of the Infernal Creatures that plague him. However, be careful – don’t pick up any human investigators, because this will really honk off the Master, and you won’t score any points.
There are 6 different kinds of Infernal Creatures, each in five different colors, each with a unique shape. There are also 5 human investigator tokens. These are randomly strewn on the table in equal reach to all players. There are two dice – one with colors and one with Creature types.
In each round, someone rolls the dice. When they stop, the players simultaneously try to catch the Infernal Creature which matches the color and type shown on the dice. (There is only one tile which matches the intersection of the two dice). You are only allowed to use your sticky tentacle to pick up the creatures. If you get the desired creature, pick it off your tentacle with your hand and place it back on the table. Once you successfully do this, you score a point and gain a Deep Ones point token. However, if you catch a human with your tentacle – even if you have the right creature – you will not score a point. The round ends when the player places the target creature back on the table; remember that you do not score a point if you have a human at the same time. A new round begins by rolling the dice.
If you score a point, you also pick up a Curse card from the deck. If you already have one, draw a new card and place your old card on the bottom of the Curse deck. The Curse cards each have a different sort of obstacle which you must abide by as long as that card is in front of you. You might have to keep one eye closed while flinging your tentacle. You may have to hold two tentacles in one hand (which really increases the chance of picking up an unwanted Human). You may have to stand on one leg. They’re all sort of crazy and wacky – but it just adds to the fun of the game.
The game ends when a player gets his fifth scoring token. There is no tiebreaker needed.
My thoughts on the game
The above description of the game isn’t that long – but some games are just simple wacky fun. There really isn’t much strategy here. Just roll the dice, and then fling your tentacle at what you think is the right Creature.
In our first game, we had the tiles on a pretty small area on the table as we wanted to make sure that everyone could reach all the targets. However, what this resulted in was tongues picking up multiple creature tiles on each fling. Sure, we all had the same conditions to play with, but it wasn’t all that fun. On a second attempt, we spread the bits all over the table, and that worked a lot better for us. Another good change for us was to have two different people roll the dice so that there were two different places to look to find the target tile– in this way, there wasn’t as much of a time advantage to the player who had the best look at the dice.
The game moves super quick. Each round takes way longer to reset the table as it does to actually play. Many rounds were over in about… 2 or 3 seconds. As you would expect, while there is a winner in the game (whoever gets to 5 Deep Ones tokens first), this is one of those games that’s really more about the fun of flinging the tentacles around the table and seeing who gets the right creature the fastest.
The bits are thin cardstock, which normally would be a negative, but in this case, they work perfect as they are light enough to be picked up by the sticky tentacles. And a quick note about the tentacles – they held up well through the first couple of plays, and then they needed a quick rinse in the sink to remove the lint from them – and they appear to work good as new! My only quibble with the components here is that I have a hard time seeing the creatures on the die and then figuring out which tile I need. As the tiles are all different shapes, it would have been nice to also have the shape on the die… But maybe it’s just me. As there is no penalty for the wrong tile, I just go for a tile in the right color and hope it is the correct one!
The addition of the penalty cards also adds a bit of excitement to the game – and it helps make it be just a bit more random than baseline. You don’t need to play with the cards, but if you’re looking for something unpredictable, you’ll like the addition.
If you’re looking for a silly dexterity filler, this could be the game for you. I normally am not a fan of Cthulhu games, but this one managed to make it to the table for multiple plays, so I guess that says something. Long term, this will probably be given to my young nephews to play with, but we had fun with it while it was here in the gaming basement.
Until your next appointment
The Gaming Doctor