Year Published
# of Players
2 − 4
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 4 players
Recommended with 2–4+ players
(8 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
18 and up
Playing Time
45 minutes
User Suggested Ages
(2 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Moderate in-game text - needs crib sheet or paste ups
(3 voters) [poll]
(8 voters) [vote]
Primary Name
The Thing
Alternate Names
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ObjectID: 75828
Description Edit | History

It fell from the sky and lay buried in ice for 100,000 years. Soon it will be free.....

Twelve men:
Trapped in the Antarctic

Discover the intruder

Battle the alien force

Agonise for the answer

Desperate to be saved

Consumed one by one

Six... Five... Four... Three...

The Thing is an unauthorised non-collectable, non-profit game for two to six players, based on the 1982 horror movie masterpiece "John Carpenter's The Thing", and simulates the paranoid members of an American Antarctic research facility (Outpost 31) being overrun by - or conquering - a parasitic alien organism capable of perfectly imitating its victims. One player begins as the Thing - all the other players start as human.

The game is primarily played out using six asymmetrical card decks - three decks for each side (each deck corresponds to a different section of the narrative). Managing your hand of cards, and when to use each deck, is key to winning the game.

The twelve members of the Outpost 31 team cards are positioned between the players, with each human player taking one character. The team then have to overcome various encounters, while trying to stay alive, in an effort to stop the Thing. Encounters are directly taken from film events, and are sorted into three separate acts - the second and third acts are shuffled, and then all three acts are placed together, forming one narrative (in this way, each game is a little different). Some example encounters: Autopsy of Norwegian-Thing, Battle in Dogtown, Explore Norwegian Base, Conduct Blood Test, and Investigate Crashed Saucer Site. In addition, the Outpost team must allocate men to tasks that may aid in their victory over the Thing. The truth being that the humans will not be able to achieve all that they want to do and will have to prioritise. All the while, the Thing player will do all in its power to thwart the human players, while attempting to construct its Blair-saucer in a secret ice cavern by cannibalising parts from the bulldozer, radio room, and helicopter.

During the game, at various stages, the Thing player has the opportunity to place infection or dummy infection cards under the human character cards. Later in the game, the Thing may even directly infect other players (unbeknownst to the remaining players), or give the impression to the others that it has! The humans must keep their wits about them if they are to fight and win against the Thing, or they may find themselves fighting each other....

Victory Conditions:

1. The Outpost #31 team win if they survive the final confrontation, having destroyed the camp and sabotaged the Thing's Blair-saucer - and have killed all the Things.

  • If they are mistaken and some Things remain: the Things win.
  • If they killed a non-infected player: the Thing wins.

2. The Thing wins if it completes construction of its Blair-saucer.
3. The Thing wins if all the humans have been assimilated or killed.
4. The Outpost #31 team win if the survivors manage to fly to the coast in the helicopter.
5. The Outpost #31 team win if they contact McMurdo base by radio.

Please note: This game is strictly for adults - with profanity and horrific imagery on many of the cards.

You can find the game here: The THING Card Game now Available!
You can explore the rules here: THING Rulebook
And you can discover the deck guide here: Visual THING Deck Guide

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More Information Edit | History



  • 1 deck of 20 Outpost #31 cards
  • 1 deck of 18 Outpost #31 cards
  • 1 deck of 28 Outpost #31 cards
  • 2 decks of 10 The Thing cards
  • 1 deck of 22 The Thing cards
  • 8 Destruction cards
  • 1 Tool Shed card
  • 4 Task cards
  • 2 multi-player infection cards
  • 3 multi-player false infection cards
  • 3 multi-player Burn cards
  • 3 multi-player Wait and See cards
  • 16 Encounter cards
  • 1 The Thing Attacks! card
  • 1 Blair-saucer construction card
  • 12 six-sided dice
  • 12 Character cards
    • MacReady (helicopter pilot)
    • Clark (dog handler)
    • Blair (biologist)
    • Fuchs (assistant biologist)
    • Copper (physician)
    • Windows (radio operator)
    • Nauls (cook)
    • Palmer (helicopter pilot in-training)
    • Norris (geologist)
    • Bennings (meteorologist)
    • Childs (mechanic)
    • Garry (station manager)

Man is the warmest place to hide.


  • mb The Thing fan.

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Pg. 1
The Thing
First Edition
Publisher: (Self-Published)
Year: 2010
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Pg. 1 of 3 »
11 Additional tokens to aid the gameplay instead of any generic tokens.
The file contains two-sided tokens that can be used in the game. Tokens for characters: one side denotes how many dice are used when performing an encounter or a generic task, the other shows how many dice are used when performing a task with a key-skill. Tokens with dice penalties: one side (-1d6) is used only in a 2p game, the other (-2d6) is a generic one. Other tokens are: El Capitan token, success tokens and 'Thousand Miles to the Coast' tokens.
11 Folding paper Standup's
Includes photo, skill, and die value(no name so you can learn them by heart:) Just score, cut, fold and glue, trim if needed (glue stick works good) Makes an upside down "T" Thanks to Mark Chaplin for sharing this great game with everyone! Also, print 100% size
10 Playing Card size quick reference
After playing with some friends, they suggested a quick reference card(s) to help keep them from having to ask questions during play and possibly ruin the paranoia that is the foundation of this great game. Print pages 1 and 2 front to back and 3 and 4 front to back. The wording on the cards make it a bit tight and with printer skew that comes natural to printers, may make lining the fronts and backs up a bit of a pain. I managed to do it with a little playing, but you may just find it easier to print each of the 4 on a separate cards. Cut using guide lines Thanks to Mark Chaplin for making this great game available to everyone!
26 The Thing Fully Illustrated Rulebook of Rules v3
I originally found Marks excellent PnP game over on the following Geeklist of Printerstudio projects I obtained a set of cards and tried to read through the rules. Unfortunately due to the large amount of cards in the game and absence of artwork in the rulebook, I found it to be quite a laborious job, searching and cross referencing to the physical cards, whenever the rulebook mentioned them. Therefore I thought it would be a good idea, if when the rules referenced a card, it was there on the page embedded in the rule book. Hence me doing this little project. However just like Mark, I have no knowledge of Photoshop and so, had to learn as I went along, about cropping the card image from the PDF files and...
107 The Thing cards, box and rulebook (redesigned)
Card update (typos/errors fixed, cards added)
25 Mark Chaplin's The THING Card Game Revised Rules 2.0
As promised this is another rendition of a more streamlined ruleset for The Thing Card Game. Not Mark's original version but he did look it over. Made this mostly for my copyof the game; I wanted to include some of the suggestions from other rule copies, some of the extras such as cardlists and FAQs, as well as make it a little more "pretty," also w/less pages than my original. Let me know what you think (I still have the original docs and would be happy to post with the Redux images if anyone wants).
9 The Thing Magyar szabalykonyv (hungarian rulebook)
The Thing Magyar Szabalykonyv (hungarian rulebook) (tartalmazza a Things kiegeszito szabalyait is) Ha hibat vesztek eszre benne, kerlek jelezzetek! Szeretnem ezuton is megkoszonni Farkas Tivadar es Hende Robert segitseget es kivalo munkajat! Jo jatekot!
10 The Thing / Coś - instrukcja PL
Polskie tłumaczenie instrukcji do gry Marka Chaplina "The Thing"/"Coś" - wersja ekonomiczna, 6-stronicowa, przyjazna dla drukarki, nieco mniej dla oczu.
13 The Thing: Redux - Part 8: Encounter Cards 2
Part 8 contains the second half of the Large Size Encounter cards. This is released in the same manner as the original design and apart from stylistic changes the text remains unchanged. Double sided printing has not been checked, but I am unsure about the center alignment of the files. Smaller sized versions to come at a future date.
13 The Thing: Redux - Part 7: Encounter Cards 1
Part 7 contains the Large Size Encounter cards. This is released in the same manner as the original design and apart from stylistic changes the text remains unchanged. Double sided printing has not been checked, but I am unsure about the center alignment of the files. Smaller sized versions to come at a future date.
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Board Game Rank: 3062
Thematic Rank: 428
Num Ratings: 135
Average Rating: 7.22
Standard Deviation: 1.51
Num Views: 110371
GeekBuddy Analysis: Analyze
Similarly Rated: View
Avg. Game Weight: 2.3
Fans: 74
Personal Comments: 72
Users Owning: 273
Users Wanting: 36
Users Trading: 6 [find trade matches]
Has Parts For Trade: 0
Want Parts In Trade: 0
Price History: View
Total Plays: 254
Plays This Month: 0
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Year Published 2014
Num Ratings 20
Average Rating 7.47
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Year Published 2010
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