The tentacles are back, and the world is coming to an end. Grab your revolver and cross, and act like you’ve been there before. Fantasy Flight Games has released the successor to Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror.
Eldritch Horror | Video Review
Eldritch Horror | Overview
In this cooperative Lovecraftian horror game for 1-8 players, players take on the role of investigators in the early twentieth century, trying desperately to keep one of the Great Old Ones – Cthulhu, Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth, and Shub-Niggurath – from awakening and bringing doom to the world. Gallivant around the world, tracking down clues to solves the mysteries associated with the chosen Ancient One. You’ll face an encounter everywhere you go: fight horrifying aberrations, search for forbidden lore in forgotten libraries, close gates to the beyond, or stymie the efforts of human cultists who have been twisted by madness.
Eldritch Horror | Characters & Story
A grizzled sailor, a beautiful kung fu expert, and an influential senator are just some of the characters you can choose from. Each has their own unique powers and abilities, and if they fall in battle – from injury or madness – the surviving characters may even have an encounter with what remains of them. To keep this from happening, Use your Influence to gain powerful items and allies; your Lore to trudge through mysteries of the Ancient Ones; your Observation to search every nook and cranny of the world for clues; or your brute Strength when all else fails.
If you and your team can solve three of the Old One’s four mysteries before the Doom Track reaches zero, you win, and the Ancient One remains asleep for all time. But that Track will always be going down: when characters die, then the Omens are right, and from the nasty effects of the Mythos cards. And if it reaches zero, the nightmare awakens. You may still have hope, but now you must confront the Old One directly as the world crumbles around you, and you must solve the fourth mystery as well.
Eldritch Horror | Game Play
Eldritch Horror takes places in the same universe as Arkham Horror, and has many game play similarities. In fact, the characters from Eldritch are originally from some of the numerous expansions of its predecessor. However, they both feel very different, thematically and mechanically. Arkham takes places entirely in the titular city, with investigators running to every corner, in an almost claustrophobic atmosphere. Eldritch takes a worldwide view, with our heroes bouncing around to major cities and territories on every continent. Eldritch is also more story driven, with each encounter being read like a paragraph from a book. Arkham is still the longer, more “fiddly” game, but not by much; expect your typical game of Eldritch Horror to be anywhere from 3-5 hours, with lots and lots of cards.
Eldritch Horror | Summary
All said, while Arkham Horror is a fine game, I find Eldritch Horror to simply be a sublime experience. Even with the large amount of time you must invest, once you’re involved you’ll find that the time just flows by far too quickly. Each game is like playing through a different, tense, compelling story. And make no mistake, this is one lethal story; I still have a winning record after six games, but only barely, and only with luck. Teamwork is essential, and no one player can become the Alpha Gamer and command others; there’s simply too much to worry about as the world burns. You always have critical decisions to make, but even if you try your best and prepare yourself, your victory in the face of tentacled horrors is only assured by how well you roll those dice. Even so, whether you win, die, or go mad, it will be one hell of an adventure.