Sunday, October 3, 2010

Arkham Horror

If you like horror, giant monsters, and very challenging games, Arkham Horror is the game for you. It's a board game made for you and up to seven other players and takes two to four hours to complete. It's excellent for a group of friends that have a few hours to kill. I play this game about every other week and, whether we win or lose, my friends and I have loads of fun.

Here is the object of the game:
"In Arkham Horror, a terrible creature from beyond time and space is waking, roused by the dimensional gates that are opening all over the city. The players must join forces to close all of the gates before this Ancient One awakens. If the Ancient One defeats the players, all of Arkham is doomed.

The players must work together as a team of investigators to close all of the dimensional gates, seal them permanently, of if that fails, defeat the Ancient One when it awakens from its slumber."

This game is pretty hard because it really, really doesn't want you to win, but it's so fun. Every turn, a portal opens at an unstable location accompanied by horrific monster. It's daunting when you first start because there are more little pieces in this box than any other board game I've ever owned and a whole lot of rules. The complex set of stages and rules are a little hard to grasp at first, but it gets easier with repetition and practice. You can choose from a variety of characters that may focus on spellcasting or fighting. Then, as the game progresses, players collect spells, weapons, and other items to help them battle the monsters and the Ancient One.

If this doesn't sound hard enough, you can buy expansions to the game, which can add a separate sections that attach to the Arkham board or just add extra items, events, monsters, and Ancient Ones. The expansion adds other objectives that must be completed in addition to the rest of the things needed to complete the original game. So if the game starts to become too easy for you, there are quite a few to choose from. My favorite is Innsmouth, where there are aquatic locations and you might develop the Innsmouth look (AKA turn into a fish monster)! Everyone should play this addicting and fun game.

The thing I think would be most interesting to book bloggers and readers is that this entire game is based off of the great works of H.P. Lovecraft. He wrote horror he called cosmic horror, where the universe is alien and the protagonists regularly risk their sanity for knowledge. One of the most famous stories is The Call of Cthulhu, which introduced one of the most horrific creatures ever imagined (pictured below). You can download and read it for free in any format you'd like at here. Lovecraft's influential works have inspired music, games, films, and countless sequels or imitations of his stories.

** The quote is from the Arkham Horror rule book.**


Sullivan McPig said...

I still have to play this game one day with people who actually know the rules and who're not getting drunk while playing it.

Misty said...

An EXPANDABLE board game? That is GENIUS! People don't play enough board games anymore.