Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oh, the Horror!

It's everywhere!

So the Arkham Horror boardgame fell into my lap this week (Thanks, Fons.) It's a large, sprawling board game based on the Cthulhu mythos written by HP Lovecraft. I'm starting to get into his writings; I read Lurker at the Threshold a couple of years back, and I've started on his short stories like The Call of Cthulhu and Dagon. His stories are about supernatural evil, lurking just beyond the veil that seperates our world from theirs. Arkham Horror places 1-8 players in the role of a paranormal investigator seeking to prevent the ancient one from returning to our world and thus lowering property values and raising gas prices.



The game board represents the town of Arkham, as well as few smaller other dimensions the investigators must visit. On a given turn interdimensional gates will open, monsters will spawn into play and move around the board, players will find clues, fight monsters and attempt to seal the gates. Players can win the game by sealing a certain number of gates. If too many monsters get through, eventually the Ancient One returns and the players must do battle with him.

This is a co-operative, plaers versus the game experience. It's also got lots and lots of rules and exceptions to learn, and takes about 2-3 hours to complete. It's definitely not a pick up and play quickie game, and it seems to have quite a learning curve. Turns were dragging out as we kept referencing back to the rulebook. And sweet jesus, the horror spreads everywhere. Literally. The game is huge and sprawling, with an obscene amount of cards, dice, tokens and game pieces for everything under the sun.

That said, I'm liking the game so far, and I think it'll be a blast to play with the right group of people. We have yet to finish the first game (it's in stasis in the front room) but these are my early impressions. I love the setting and I'm looking forward to getting some more play time wiht this.

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