Evil High Priest Review - Cover

Evil High Priest Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

Evil High Priest - Petersen Games

Game title: Evil High Priest

Game description: You are an ambitious priest in a sinister cult, but your Great Old One lies dormant, locked under the awful power of the dread Elder Signs. He depends on your to free him from this half-existence! You must break your insane henchmen out of the asylums where they are locked up, gather spellbooks and other resources, summon fiendish monsters, conduct dark rituals, and protect yourself against the forces of normal society. If you succeed, your Great Old One will reward you with the title of High Priest, second only to him in the coming cataclysm! But you have rivals, other (obviously inferior) priests in your cult, who seek to claim the prize that is rightfully yours! You must thwart them, while carrying out your plans. Only one can seize the precious title of High Priest – and it must be YOU!

Overall
3.7
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

My only experience with Petersen Games is with Cthulhu Wars and their 5e RPG products, so I didn’t know what to expect from Evil High Priest other than a Lovecraftian theme. It was quite a shock to open the box and not be greeted by lovely miniatures, but wooden meeples and tons of cardboard instead! Looking through everything was a bit daunting with the game’s many boards, cards, and tokens. What had I gotten myself into? A smart worker-placement game, that’s what.

Pros

Thematic

Lots of paths to victory

Tons of combinations with expansions

Cons

Lots of boards

Intimidating at first glace

Full Evil High Priest Review

My only experience with Petersen Games is with Cthulhu Wars and their 5e RPG products, so I didn’t know what to expect from Evil High Priest other than a Lovecraftian theme. It was quite a shock to open the box and not be greeted by lovely miniatures, but wooden meeples and tons of cardboard instead! Looking through everything was a bit daunting with the game’s many boards, cards, and tokens. What had I gotten myself into? A smart worker-placement game, that’s what.

The goal of Evil High Priest is to be the High Priest that amasses the most power and resources to awaken your Great Old One before other High Priests do, or pesky Investigators raid your hideout. You do this by placing yourself, and your cultists on various boards to carry out different actions. Some actions may just be generating basic resources. Others might be trading in those resources for more valuable ones. There’s actions that let you summon monsters, expand your hideout, and even break more cultists out of the Asylum to give you more actions per round.

Two other boards include a Cult Board, where you’ll break Elder Signs to free the Great Old One, and a Ritual Board where you can gain even more resources by keeping Cultists on a track for several rounds. Be careful, though. Some Elder Signs may tip off Investigators when broken. When this happens they raid your hideout. Hopefully, you’ve hidden your most valuable resources in deviously trapped chambers or protected yourself with hideous monsters.

The two Cult Boards included in the base game.

Once all the Elder Signs have been broken the Great Old One awakens and the High Priest with the most accumulated points wins.

There’s a lot to like about the game, but I’d say my two favorite parts are how you’re expending resources to better your position, yet every resource spent is points lost. Almost everything has a point value at the end of the game, but sometimes you need to spend things to put plans in action. Don’t properly account for this and you may end up with close to nothing! I also really dig the Ritual Track. You basically give up a worker for a few rounds in order to earn a solid amount of a certain resource. It’s a gamble, but one that usually pays off.

Evil High Priest is an extremely competent worker placement game that follows through beautifully with its theme through horrifying artwork, Ritual mechanics, and tension. The expansions offer more of this with variable player powers, unique investigators and monsters, and new Cult Boards. These can be used without lengthening the game, which lasts from 45 minutes to an hour.

A copy of Evil High Priest and two expansions were provided free for this review by Petersen Games



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