Gen Con 2023 – Cosmoctopus

Sure, you can play an engine-building game that constructs a farm, builds a cathedral or castle, or even an entire empire. Or…, stay with me here, you can play an engine building game to collect eight octopus tentacles! Stick that in your medieval farming community! Cosmoctopus is a 1 to 4 player, mostly card-based game where players are trying to gather up eight tentacles for the win.

The center of the table is filled with a 3×3 grid of tentacle cards, with a happy little plastic octopus that players move around. On their turn, a player moves the octopus and gains the resources (and/or cards from the market) shown. Of course, cards can trigger various effects (especially around gaining and spending resources) and players are always looking for good combinations.

Cards have many different abilities:

  • Scripture – give an ongoing card discount
  • Relics – provide a triggered benefit
  • Hallucinations – grant a 1 time effect
  • Constellations – quests that grant a player tentacles

Regarding Constellations – players can first claim a card and then over time complete it by spending specific resources. When the quest is completed, there is a nice benefit at the end. One particularly juicy “quest” is Forbidden Knowledge. It grants TWO tentacles. However, it costs 13 resources to buy and a player may end their turn with a maximum of 8 resources (better gain those five all in one turn!)

The solo (and co-op) mode has players competing against an investigator who is also slowly collecting tentacles, so it is basically a race to the finish. The game wasn’t in full release at Gen Con but should be in stores now.

About Matt J Carlson

Dad, Gamer, Science Teacher, Youth Pastor... oh and I have green hair. To see me "in action" check out Dr. Carlson's Science Theater up on Youtube...
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