Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Arkham Horror

If you have neither heard of H.P. Lovecraft yet, nor read one of his books - I would recommend that you start with "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" right now. HP Lovecraft created the Cthulhu-Mythos, and this game is settled in his universe. Basically it takes place in a dark and mysterious city called Arkham in the beginning of the 20th century. Different characters (= the players) explore certain spots in the city, trying to fight supernatural forces.

I've rarely seen so many pieces of gaming material in one box. Also the board (basically presenting the most important places and streets of Arkham) is so huge, that we had to "enlarge" our gaming table in case to have enough space to put the board there. Furthermore you find a lot of markers in there, as well as monsters, event-/item cards, and last but not least pretty nice stat boards for the different investigators that can be chosen by the players. All material comes in great quality (mostly thick cardboard) and with a dark design fitting the theme perfectly.

Each player chooses one character (artist, adventurer, professor,…), and all people involved work together to finally defeat one of the Great Old Ones (who is threatening Arkham) by playing the game in a cooperative way. The gameplay consists of a lot of roleplaying elements and you have to improve your character's abilities steadily to make sure you will survive when fighting monsters or when visiting mysterious spots out of time and space. You will have strange encounters and obscure incidents will happen while you walk through Arkham trying to seal cosmic gates - to finally win the game.

A great game. First of all I like the theme, which has been adopted in a very authentic way. Secondly, the cooperative gameplay works pretty well (what I didn't expect at the beginning) - as each player takes his own decisions, trying to support the strategy of the group, which has to be agreed on together and adjusted quite often during the game. Furthermore the game is not easy, so you really have to take care of what you are doing - and even if it takes a couple of hours to complete the game, it doesn't get boring as the Cthulhu Mythos will fascinate you.

From the publisher: Arkham Horror was originally published by Chaosium, Inc. , in 1987. This new, updated edition features stunning new artwork and graphical design (including a new gameboard, counters, cards, and playing pieces) as well as revised and expanded rules from the game's original creator, Richard Launius.

Players can select from 16 unique playable investigator characters, each with unique abilities, and will square off against the diabolical servants of 8 Ancient Ones, including Ithaqua, Hastur, and the terrible Cthulhu! No fan of the Cthulhu Mythos will want to miss the opportunity to acquire this classic Call of Cthulhu board game!

1-8 players, 180 min
authors: kevin wilson, richard launius
publisher: fantasy flight games, heidelberger spieleverlag
category: horror, roleplaying, adventure, cooperative, cthulhu

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