Posted Monday, 21-Sep-2015
A compilation of reviews for Eldritch Horror, a cooperative game of terror and adventure!
From game designers Corey Konieczka (Descent: Journey into Darkness, Forbidden Stars) and Nikki Valens (Star Wars: Empire vs Rebellion) and published by Fantasy Flight Games comes the 2013 co-operative dungeon crawler: Eldritch Horror.
The game is another addition to the ever-growing pool of Cthulhu mythos games seen in recent years. With Lovecraftian overtones, a horror fueled game setting and dungeon crawling elements Eldritch Horror is a definite must-have for fans of dungeon crawlers and Lovecraft alike.
The gist of Eldritch Horror is that players will be traveling around the world with the goal of stopping “The Ancient One” who is looking to destroy everything. Tony Mastrangeli from Board Game Quest summarized the game in his article about the Cthulhu-themed game:
“Ancient evil is stirring from its slumber. It’s up to you and your fellow adventurers to seal off this awakening horror before it’s too late. In this cooperative adventure game, players will be traveling around the world, fighting monsters, solving mysteries, and equipping up, all in the hopes of banishing the Ancient One who is threatening to destroy all we hold near and dear.”
To start off the game players will choose from four different Ancient Ones; the entire game revolves around stopping the chosen monster from completely annihilating everything. Gameplay is divided into three different phases: the Action Phase, the Encounter Phase, and the Mythos phase. The Action phase will allow players to travel, rest, trade, prepare for travel, or acquire assets. Next the Encounter Phase will have players fight off monsters influenced by the Cthulhu mythos. Finally, the Mythos phase adds to the tension and excitement of the game.
Mastrangeli explained the Mythos phase of the game:
“Mythos cards act as a sort of timer in the game and help keep the action moving… These involve advancing the doom and omen track, spawning monsters, gates, clue tokens, and The Reckoning. “
The game uses a skill-check system similar to Arkham Horror, and features dice-rolls and card mechanics as its main gameplay components. However, far from being your run of the mill dungeon crawler, Eldritch Horror also features an interesting clue and puzzle gathering elements.
GeekInsight from Giant Fire Breathing Robot explained this concept in his review:
“It’s fantastically immersive since as you discover the clues, you are really learning more about the particular Old One threatening the world. It also helps the game feel thematically different and well-suited to the different personalities of the Old Ones.”
With each Old One effecting game play in a slightly different way, a chilling narrative and a challenging game that requires teamwork; Eldritch Horror is a great game featuring a good combination of dice rolling, skill check and card mechanics. As an added bonus the game’s streamlined nature makes it an easy game to explain to friends than its predecessor: Arkham Horror.
If you’re a fan of the Cthulhu Mythos or enjoyed Arkham Horror, then Eldritch Horror is definitely worth checking out. Beyond that Eldritch Horror is also a great game for players that love puzzles, mysteries, horror or co-operative dungeon crawlers. That being said, however, Eldritch Horror is a difficult game that requires players to each do their part in order to ensure victory. So if you’re looking for a lighter game that’s less of a challenge, Eldritch Horror might not be for you.
GeekInsight confirms the game’s difficulty:
“The game is full of exciting moments, daring gambits, and the gnawing feeling of running out of time before horrors befall the world. The game is difficult, though, and players need to be prepared for death, dismemberment, and loss.”
The Classic Gamer’s Nick D points out the necessity of team-work in Eldritch Horror:
“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 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.”
However, if you thrive in co-operative group play and love the Cthulhu mythos settings then Eldritch Horror is definitely your chance to shine. In essence, if you’re a player that’s looking for a Cthulhu themed dungeon crawler with horror elements that has a simple ruleset but challenging gameplay then Eldritch Horror may be the game for you.
Nick D from The Classic Game gave Eldritch Horror a good review, noting, “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.”
Likewise, GeekInsight, writing for Giant Fire Breathing Robot also gave the Cthulhu mythos inspired board game a thumbs-up:
“If you enjoy Arkham, then you’ll love Eldritch. I love the world that Eldritch creates and the way that Research encounters are tailored to the particular Old One you are fighting. The game is full of exciting moments, daring gambits, and the gnawing feeling of running out of time before horrors befall the world.”
Travis Williams, writing for Tech Raptor continues the streak of positive reviews, agreeing that “Eldritch Horror is an excellent cooperative game.”
Finally Tony Mastrangeli from Board Game Quest gave the game 4.5 out of 5 starts and commented:
“Eldritch Horror is a fantastic game for those looking for some adventure in the Cthulhu Mythos. The game is easy to learn, plays smoothly, and is highly thematic. For anyone that wants to go up against the Ancient Ones, this one’s worth a look.”
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