You are all cryptozoologists, trying to be the first to discover definitive proof of a cryptid in the wilds of North America. Each player will be given a unique clue - one piece of crucial information about where the creature lives. When combined, the clues identify a single space on the map - the creature's habitat.
Each player's clue either states an area where the creature can be found, or where it cannot be found, based on the terrain and structures on the board. During the game, you will ask each other questions with the aim of guessing each other's clues. The first player to correctly use all of the clues to find the habitat wins the game.
- 6 numbered Map tiles
- 5 sets of Player Tokens (cubes
- 4 Standing Stones (octagons) and discs in matching colors)
- 4 Abandoned Shacks (triangles)
- 5 Clue Books
- 1 Pawn
- 54 Cards
The map is the area where your search will be taking place, and serves as the focus of the game. It consists of six numbered map tiles, divided into hexagonal spaces.
There are five different types of space: desert, forest, water, mountain, and swamp. One corner of each tile shows a number, which is used for setup.
In addition to having a terrain type, a space might be part of a bear or a cougar's territory, as indicated by its outline.
Each space may also contain a structure. There are two types of structure: standing stones and abandoned shacks. Each type comes in four colors: white, green, blue and black.
Each player has their own set of cubes and discs, which they will place on the board when they are forced to give the other players information. A cube means that space cannot be the creature's habitat, according to that player's clue.
There can only be a single cube on any space. A disc means that space could be the creature's habitat, according to that player's clue. There may be multiple discs stacked on a space. Pieces are never removed from the board, unless a mistake has been made.
Clue Books and Cards
The deck of cards and the five clue books are used for setting the game up and assigning clues. Cards with a clear border are for the normal game, while cards with a black border are used in the advanced game.
- Player count (3, 4 or 5).
- Column of optional hints.
- Card edges indicate the difficulty level.
- Rows indicating which cluebooks and clues each player should refer to.
Cryptid can be played in normal or advanced mode. Normal mode is the best way to get new players familiar with the game and clues, while also being more suitable for younger players.
There are only two differences in advanced mode:
Players may receive negative as well as positive clues, so some clues may include the phrase 'the habitat is not here'.
All four structures of each type are used instead of three.
At the beginning of the game, choose a starting player (we suggest whoever sets up the map), and give a set of playing pieces to each player. Whether you're using the app or the clue books, the map will be constructed the same way. The numbers in the
left and right hand columns around the map image indicate which map tile goes where, while the dots in each corner of the tile indicate its rotation. The dot on the map image highlights the space on the tile which contains the number.
Using The Companion App
The fastest way to set up a new game is to put the cards and clue books away, then follow the instructions at: playcryptid.com.
Once everything is set up and clues have been allocated, you can put your device away - it will not be used during the game unless a player needs to check their clue or the group requests a hint.
Using The Clue Books
Once you've decided which type of game you want to play (normal or advanced), shuffle the cards of that type and draw a single card for the table. The top side of the card will indicate the order and rotation in which to set up the map tiles, and the spaces on which to place the structures.
Once this is complete and double-checked, flip the card over. The reverse of the card will indicate which clues you should use. First, check the leftmost column for the correct number of players.
Each player in turn order should take one of the clue books matching the columns of the numbers in that row. The number will match a number in that clue book - this is your clue for this game. Keep your clue hidden from the other players.
The goal of the game is to correctly identify the only space on the board which can be the cryptid's habitat. Every game begins with the initial sharing: the starting player must place a cube in a space on the board which could not be the habitat, according to their clue.
The player on their left will then do the same, and this continues clockwise until all players have placed two cubes. You are allowed to place your pieces on a space which contains a structure, but cannot place a piece on a space which contains another player's cube. The starting player will then take the first turn.
On your turn you will either ask another player a question, or search a space. The turn will then pass to the player on your left, unless you've correctly discovered the habitat.
Over the course of the game, players will place cubes or discs of their color in different spaces on the board. A cube means this space could not be the habitat according to that player's clue. A disc means this space could be the habitat according to that player's clue. The only way to win the game is to search on the space which contains the habitat.
Whether you choose to question or search, you must obey these core principles of the game:
- You must be honest in placing your pieces on the map.
- Pieces are never removed from the board.
- You may never interact with a space that contains any cube. This means that you cannot question, search, or place any of your pieces on that space.
- If you make someone place a cube on your turn, you must also place one of your cubes somewhere on the board. This applies whether you questioned or searched.
- If one of your pieces is already on a space, you cannot add another piece to that space.
Sometimes you will be forced to give the other players information about your clue. When this happens you must be honest in your responses, but it is often possible to answer in a way that either misleads the other player or gives away as little as possible.
For example, if one of my cubes is on a mountain space already, I might place another one of my cubes on a different mountain space to make the other players think that my clue is 'the habitat is not in the mountains'.
To question, place the pawn on a space on the map, and ask any other player 'Could the creature be here?'
You can choose any space to question, even one which you know could not be the habitat. In fact, this is often a good way to throw people off the scent of your own clue!
The player you questioned must say whether the space could be the habitat according to their clue, and places either a disc or a cube of their color on the selected space, to indicate whether the creature could be there or not.
If they placed a cube, you must now also place a cube on a different space which cannot be the habitat according to your clue. The turn now passes to the player on your left.
To search, place a pawn on a space on the map which could be the habitat according to your clue, and declare a search. You must immediately place one of your own discs on the space.
If one of your discs is already on that space, you must place a disc on a different space which could be the habitat according to your clue, and which does not already contain one of your discs.
Moving clockwise, ask each other player whether, according to their clue, the creature could be there. They must place a cube or a disc on the space accordingly, unless one of their discs is already on the space, in which case they pass their turn to the player on their left.
As soon as one player places a cube, everyone stops. No one else makes a declaration, and you must now place a cube on a different space which cannot be the habitat according to your clue. The turn now passes to the player on your left.
If nobody places a cube, you have correctly identified the habitat and won the game! You should take the opportunity to bask briefly in the adulation of the other players, before comparing clues.
Cryptid allows room for misdirection, but the game is completely dependent on all players placing cubes and discs honestly. If that doesn't sound like your gaming group, then this might not be the game for you.
Mistakes are rare, but do happen from time to time. If a player realizes they have made a mistake and placed a cube where they should have placed a disc (or vice versa), they should announce this to the other players as soon as they spot their mistake. The player who made
the mistake immediately changes their piece on that space. They must also move the piece they removed to another legal space. This can take place during other players' turns, not just when the player who made a mistake is the active player.
For example, you might have placed a disc on a space where you should have placed a cube. As soon as you realize your mistake, you should tell the other players, place a cube on the space, and move the disc to a different space which could be the habitat according to your clue. Remember that you cannot place any pieces on a space which already has one of your pieces, or any player's cube on it. GETTING A HINT
If players are badly stuck, it's possible to get a hint. This must be agreed by all players at the table, or by all bar one if playing with four or five players. If using the cards, check the number on your card, and find it in the Hints section in the back of the rulebook. If using the app, just follow the instructions.
Here are three small things which will help you have a better game:
Make sure everyone playing is familiar with all the possible clues. There is an explanation of all the clue types in this rulebook, and a list of every type of clue on the backs of your clue books.
If there is another player's disc in a space already, stack your disc on top of it, so the space is still visible.
You will have an easier time if you use a pen and paper to keep track of other players' information.
There are several possible clue types, but they all relate to distance from certain elements on the board. Some clues specify that the habitat must be on a type of terrain, while others specify that the habitat is within a certain number of spaces of a type of terrain, structure, or animal territory.
Any element on the board is zero spaces away from itself. This means that any clue which specifies that the habitat is within a certain distance of an element includes the space that element is on.
For example, if your clue is 'within one space of a forest', that includes every forest space, and every space which touches a forest space.
Players will never be given identical clues in any game.
1. The habitat is on one of two types of terrain.
Example: 'The habitat is on forest or swamp.' This player knows the habitat is on a forest space or a swamp space, so would place discs on those spaces. The player knows the habitat cannot be on any other terrain type, so would place cubes on spaces with any other terrain type.
2. The Habitat Is Within One Space Of A Type Of Terrain.
The habitat is within one space of the specified terrain type. This includes tiles of the specified terrain type.
Example: 'The habitat is within one space of desert.' The desert spaces are all within one space of themselves, so they could be the habitat. A cube would be placed on any space which is more than one space away from a desert space.
3. The habitat is within one space of either animal territory.
The habitat is within one space of either animal territory. This includes spaces inside those territories.
Example: 'The habitat is within one space of either animal territory.' The spaces within one space of bear or cougar territories could be the habitat, so the player would place discs on them. Any spaces more than one space from an animal territory could not be the habitat, so would be marked with cubes.
4. The habitat is within two spaces of a type of structure.
The habitat is within two spaces of the specified type of structure (standing stone or abandoned shack). This includes the space containing the structure. The color of the structure is irrelevant for this clue.
Example: 'The habitat is within two spaces of a standing stone.'
5. The habitat is within two spaces of a type of animal territory.
The habitat is within two spaces of an animal territory of the specified type (either bear or cougar). This includes spaces containing the specified type of animal territory. For this clue, only the specified type counts.
Example: 'The habitat is not within two spaces of bear territory.' This clue says where the habitat cannot be. It cannot be any space which is within two spaces of any bear territory, which would all be marked with cubes. It can be any space which is not within two spaces of bear territory, which would be marked with discs.
6. The habitat is within three spaces of a color of structure.
The habitat is within three spaces of the specified color of structure. This clue includes spaces containing the specified color of structure. The type of structure is irrelevant for this clue.
Example: 'The habitat is within three spaces of a blue structure.