Monday, May 16, 2016

Lovecraftan Thing a Day No.137: Arkham Horror (Redux)

I’ve decided to designate this week as ‘Game Week’ for the Lovecraftian Thing a Day series, primarily on account of my owning a shedload of Lovecraftian and Cthulhu-themed games, which provides a relatively easy means of producing content...

In any case, as far back as entry 50, I presented my copy of Chaosium’s Arkham Horror; today I present the revised and updated version of the same produced by Fantasy Flight Games. In fact, this is less a revision than a total redesign of the original, pretty much from the ground up – indeed, whilst sharing some core mechanics with (as well as having the same theme as) the first edition, Fantasy Flight’s version of Arkham Horror looks and plays significantly differently to its forebear.

One key difference is footprint. The original Arkham Horror takes up a modicum of space. Currently my gaming table is too small to accommodate the enormous board that comes in the Fantasy Flight edition; compared to the older, the newer version takes an epically long time to play (I don’t think I’ve ever managed to finished a game in under 4 hours – 5 hours is the norm). That said, the production values are through the roof in this edition, with high quality component and beautiful art. The game also comes with a good number of expansions covering the classic locales of Lovecraft country (Kingsport, Dunwich and Innsmouth), alongside four smaller expansions each dealing with a specific entity (Nyarlathotep, Hastur, Shub Niggurath and Yog Sothoth). All told, Arkham Horror and its myriad expansions offer hundreds of hours of gameplay and is playable – important for an ageing antisocial curmudgeon like myself – solitaire. Outside of the classic Call of Cthulhu rpg, Arkham Horror probably represents one of the best Lovecraftian gaming experiences out there. Why then does it rarely hit my gaming table? The answer to that question, dear reader, will be provided tomorrow…

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