In addition to evil supplying victory on a number of occasions, Cthulhu Fluxx features a series of Ungoal cards that, when the conditions are met, cause all players to lose the game. Just as Lovecraft wrote, sometimes nobody wins, only evil. Many of the Creepers and darker Keepers have hourglass icons that give a Doom count, contributing to Ungoals such as Dunwich Horror which requires the Creeper Yog-Sothoth and “a higher doom count than six” to end the game. Sideways hourglass Anti-Doom icons on lighter cards stop the Doom count, and magnifying-glass Investigator icons carry additional powers depending on the rules in play. Key to this game of evil is Secret Cultist, a single Surprise card giving a player victory in the case of an Ungoal and there is also a Meta Rule that can be decided beforehand which allows the player with the highest Doom count to do the same. At any time, any player could be trying to sabotage the whole game to win evilly.
While a healthy knowledge of Cthulhu can make the game more fun, it is not necessary to play as many of the cards feature secondary titles to explain. For example, the Drunk Keeper has a side title of “Zadok Allen,” which may cause Cthulhu geeks to squeal giddily at the tribute. Fans of the Cthulhu Mythos will love these references while those who are not as familiar with Cthulhu are not left in the dark with the regular card title and rules explanations. I heartily recommend the game to both, as long as they enjoy the sensation of impending doom. It may even lead to new interest in Lovecraft’s other works to figure out what a “Mi-Go” is anyhow.