Let’s Call the Exorcist Review

Let’s Call the Exorcist is a game by Mataio Wilson, published by Cryptozoic Entertainment. It is for 4-8 players. This game is based on the artwork of Steven Rhodes. In this game, players take on the role of Innocent or Possessed as they attempt to either gather Holy Artifacts or reveal Cursed Artifacts based on which side they’re on. They’ll have to be careful as you can’t tell who to trust. The player that can retrieve the correct artifacts the best will be declared the winner.

To begin, each player is given 1 point token. The cards are separated into Cursed Artifacts, Holy Artifacts, Mischiefs and Blessings. The Cursed Artifacts and Holy Artifacts are shuffled separately. A certain number of each set are counted out for the main deck, based on the number of players. The Mischief and Blessings are shuffled together into a single pile. A certain number of these cards are also counted out for the main deck, based on the number of players. The set aside cards are then shuffled all together to form the main deck. This deck is then placed face down in the middle of the play area. The remaining cards from the 4 sets are returned to the game box. A certain number of role tiles, that include innocent and possessed tiles, are now counted out and shuffled together. Each player is dealt 1 tile facedown and are instructed to look at their tile secretly. They will then place their tile face down in front of themself. The players are told to remember their role, as they’re not allowed to look at their role tile again unless a card effect specifically allows them to. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played over a series of rounds. Each round consists of several deals. To start a deal, the deck is dealt out so that each player has the same number of cards. Each player will then secretly look at their cards. They may, if the wish to, describe their cards to the other players. They may say anything about their cards including if they are Holy, Cursed or even what the effects of their cards are. The player may be completely honest or may be dishonest. The players will then shuffle their cards and place them facedown in a row in front of themselves without looking at them. Players will then begin to take turns choosing cards to reveal. The player doing the choosing is called the Seeker. The Seeker chooses another player’s card and may not choose one of their own. Once chosen, the Seeker flips over the card and it is then resolved. The resolved card is then placed in the center of the play area for everyone to see. The player whose card was revealed is named the Chosen. Once the effects of the revealed card are resolved, the Chosen player becomes the new Seeker. This continues until there are as many revealed cards faceup in the middle of the play area as there are players. Once this happens, the deal ends.

Once the deal ends, the cards faceup in the center of the play area are moved to the side so all players can see what cards have already been revealed. The remaining facedown cards are then gathered together and reshuffled to create a new deck and a new deal begins. Each new deal will consist of 1 fewer card for each player.

A round continues until the last Holy Artifact or the last Cursed Artifact is revealed. It’s effect is resolved like normal before the round is ended immediately. At this time, players will reveal their Role tiles. Each player on the team that revealed all it’s artifacts will receive 2 point tokens. If noone has 7 points yet, then the game continues and a new round begins with new Roles and a new deck. The last player Chosen becomes the Seeker for the new round. It should be noted that only during the first round will players receive a point token at the beginning of a round. In later rounds, this will not happen.

The game continues until a player has 7 or more points at the end of a round. When this happens, the player with the most points is the winner.

This game consists of 3 things; Role tiles, a deck of cards and Point tokens. The Role tiles and Point tokens are all made of thick cardboard. The Role tiles consist of Possessed and Innocent tiles. Both have the face of a young girl on them, except the Possessed looks like Linda Blair from the Exorcist. The Point tokens are little round tokens that are double sided with little crosses on them. They kind of look like Holy Wafers or something. I wish these were a little bit bigger but they get the job done. The cards have a great finish on them that’s something like a linen finish or something of that nature. This makes shuffling and dealing out cards very easy, as nothing sticks together like in so many other games these days. The artwork on each one is in the Steven Rhodes style and is a tongue in cheek dig at many different movies and other media. The art style is silly and kinda goofy so even though the game has a devilish theme, it isn’t demonic or anything like that. It’s rather comedic and humorous to be honest. That art style reminds me of the old Garbage Pail Kids cards more than anything else. Included in my copy were a few extra cards and a large double sided carboard cross. This thing is pretty much the size of the box. One side looks more heavenly while the other is rather dark and snake like. I’m guessing that it’s supposed to be used as the first player marker or something? That’s the only thing that I can figure as there’s nothing in the rulebook about what it’s used for. I will say that this was pretty much the only thing in the box that made me feel a little unnerved. Didn’t really care for that piece. Other than that, I think the game while a little dark is still kinda funny and silly looking. It’s definitely not what I was thinking when I first heard about the game. Definitely an unusual looking game.
8 out of 10

The rulebook for this game isn’t bad. It’s fairly small and fits neatly inside the box. It only has 10 pages but packs a lot of information in those 10 pages. The first page explains what the game is and goes over the components before spending the next 5 pages giving you the setup, explaining the rules and telling you how to win the game. The last couple of pages are spent explaining the card types and clarifying each particular card. The back of the rulebook includes how to set up the deck and how many innocent and possessed tiles to use for each group of players. The book includes some examples and several pictures, mostly in the section for card clarification. I think the book does a pretty good job explaining the rules and how to play the game. It’s fairly easy to read and doesn’t take a long time either. About the only bad thing that I can think of would be that I’m not a big fan of using black pages with white writing. The pages tend to get smudged a lot easier from the oils on your hands then on regular white pages, or at least they don’t show up as easily. This is the same issue that I’ve had with the rulebooks for the DC Deck Building Game. It’s not a major issue but I prefer my rulebooks to not look all smudged up. Overall though, it’s not bad.
8 out of 10

Truth be told, when I first got this game I thought that I needed to throw it in the garbage and set it on fire. After calming myself down and looking through the other games in the collection I realized that I needed to give it at least a look. Have to say, this was not what I thought it was. While the theme is a bit odd and definitely not one that most people will be clamoring to play, based on the name alone, it’s actually a fun and a bit silly game. If you remember the old movie with Leslie Nielson, “Repossessed”, then this game is kind of like that serious when it comes to the theme. It’s really not anything to worry about. As I mentioned earlier in the components section, the cards all have these iconic movie references, like for the Ark of the Covenant the Necronomicon, etc. Except that the names have all been changed, to protect the innocents. Sorry I had to. These and the silly fun artwork make this not a dark tool of the devil but actually a neat and easy to play social deduction game that uses the Exorcist as a theme. What makes this different than games like Werewolf, Mafia and the like is the introduction of the Holy and Cursed Artifacts. When you first get your cards, you know what you’ve got. Once you’ve shuffled them up and placed them in front of yourself, then you don’t know which ones are which. Granted if you had a hand full of Holy Artifacts and you’re an Innocent, then you’ll feel pretty safe having any of your own cards flipped over. It’s not knowing what your opponents are doing and wondering if they’re lying because they’re really possessed or if they’re telling the truth and they’re innocent. Sometimes you’ll flip a card over and think that the player was lying but that’s not always the truth. Sometimes other cards will get moved around and really mess up what you thought you knew. Numerous times I’ve found myself questioning and even requestioning my own thoughts. While I’m not necessarily crazy about the theme, it’s actually not heavy so it’s one that you can feel ok playing with most teens and older players. Can’t say that I’d recommend it for the younger ones, but since the game is rated for 14+, I think that’s a pretty good measure of where it needs to stay. Fans of social deduction games like Werewolf, Mafia and the like will most likely enjoy this one immensely. This is one that I’d recommend giving a try before judging it. You might be surprised at it and find a fun game for your next game night with the crew.
8 out of 10

Let’s Call the Exorcist is a social deduction game with a supernatural twist. The game doesn’t take very long to play. Most game sessions last around 30 minutes or so. The components are very nice and the cards are lots of fun and kinda silly. The rulebook is well designed and easy to read through. The game itself is a bit unusual but an actually fun game for when you have a big group of players together. The theme makes this feel a bit unsettling at first but it’s not something to actually be concerned about. It’s a pretty good game that just about as creepy as the movie “Repossessed” with Leslie Nielson. Granted it’s not one for the younger players and should definitely be played with players 14 years and older. Still if you’re tired of the old social deduction games and want to mix things up a bit, then this is one that will be right up your alley. Fans of games like Mafia, Werewolf and the like should really enjoy this one. This is one that I’d recommend trying out with the right group of players. Just don’t leave your Holy Water at home.
8 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Cryptozoic Entertainment at their site.


About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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