Review: Night of the Grand Octopus @IelloUSA @IelloGames

night-of-the-grand-octopusI picked this game up a few months ago because it looked like something I could teach my then six year old to play.  I had to laugh after I unboxed the game, got everything ready and we played our first game because it took me longer to get everything ready that it did for us to play our first game.

The average game last 15-20 minutes, which makes this an ideal game to play multiple times in one sitting. It’s also a pretty easy game to pick up and teach to someone. My six year old was playing like a pro in no time.

So the gist of the game is this: you are playing as one of the Elect, trying to gain power for your cult to raise the Grand Octopus through the Ritual of Appeal. To complete the ritual, you must move into a room to gain an item. If there are no cultists or Offspring in that location, you gain the item. If another cultist is there, you need to negotiate for the item or the cults lose power. If another Offspring is in the same room as a cultist, the cults lose power.

That said, there’s a big elephant in the room that could pose a problem for some Christians: there are cults. Now, I get past this when teaching it to kids by referring to the pieces generally: your little guy and the big octopus. I also don’t go into the back story when I break this out at a church game night. This game is not story driven, so the backstory doesn’t necessarily matter when explaining the game to a bunch of 6-10 year olds. It may not even matter to adults.


  • The game is super easy to learn. My daughter picked it up in no time.
  • There’s something for everyone. My daughter just moves around trying to grab the necessary items to win the game. I’m constantly trying to strategize to figure out what move someone is going to make while being able to grab the items myself.
  • The game is pretty short. It takes roughly 15-20 minutes to play one game.
  • Great game to play with kids. It introduces them to strategy, but does so in a fun, easy to understand way.


  • This is not a game to play with adults only.
  • This game is light on strategy.

Overall, this I love this game because it is one I can play with my wife and daughter and I’m looking forward to teaching my son to play when he’s old enough. I like that it’s simple enough for a six year old to play and is short enough to hold their attention for the entire game. If you can find a copy and are looking to introduce your kids to tabletop gaming, pick this game up.


About Craig

I'm a former American Baptist turned Agnostic turned Lutheran. I have a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. I write for Simul Iustus et Peccator and Unsettled Christianity. View all posts by Craig

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