Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Platypus and the Eldritch Horror

The odd adventures of Randolph Carter that began this month haven't only been inspired by choice readings of H.P. Lovecraft.  They have also been inspired by several play-throughs this year of Fantasy Flight's C'thulhu Mythos board game Eldritch Horror.  Eldritch Horror is a multi-player game that pits players in their roles as investigators against one of the Ancient Ones of the Lovecraftian Mythos.  Investigators scour the globe looking for clues, obtaining items, defeating monsters, and solving the mysteries needed to banish the Ancient One from the world.  Unlike your typical board game, Eldritch Horror is cooperative -something that my non-competitive wife and I find quite a relief.  The rules of the game and the narrative turn of the various cards that dictate game events and investigator abilities lend themselves strongly to corporate story-telling.  In this way Eldritch Horror serves as a nicely simplified version of Fantasy Flight's other Mythos inspired game Arkham Horror and the old Call of C'thulhu role-playing game.  Simplification doesn't mean simple, however, and the run time with two to four players can be around three hours.  Much of this time is spent considering the board and planning the next turn in group strategy sessions which often sound like they're right out of a D&D campaign.  All-ini-all, it's a fun game and with two expansions already out and another on the way, it's one that will provide novelty and pleasure for years to come.

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