Whats up Nerds!
Continuing the theme of spookable games for the spooktacular month of October, this week
we’re discussing Arkham Horror: The Board Game. Specifically we’ll be talking about the third
edition of the game -- the most recent -- and what it means to be an investigator in the fictional
lovecraftian city of Arkham as extra-cosmic beings descend upon you in the night. Sounds fun,
Arkham Horror (Third Edition) is a cooperative board game for one to six players who take
on the roles of investigators trying to rid the world of eldritch beings known as Ancient Ones.
Based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, players will have to gather clues, defeat terrifying
monsters, and find tools and allies if they are to stand any chance of defeating the creatures
that dwell just beyond the veil of our reality.
AGAINST THE DARK FORCES.
Arkham Horror is a scenario-based strategy board game that pits the players against
unknowable cosmic entities hellbent on spreading chaos and doom in your little slice of the
planet. Set up is overall fairly simple, as the scenario drawn will tell you exactly how to lay
out tiles to create the map, as well as which decks are needed to run the various
encounters during the game. A key thing to keep in mind is that the scenario drawn will not
immediately tell you what your end goal is, forcing players to begin by gathering clues
through encounters and further researching them. All the while vicious monsters prowl the
town, spreading doom across the various districts and regions they’re residing in.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Wow that's a lot to handle”, and you’re not wrong!
Arkham horror can be a high-stress, race-against-the-clock style game which usually comes
across as daunting for most people’s first time playing. There is a lot of stuff going on all at
once, and players each only have 2 actions for their phase while monsters and events make
up the other two stages of each round. This game is meant to be a challenge -- about as
challenging as a bunch of mere mortals squaring off against cosmic ancient ones from
across time and space. However, that’s where the enjoyment of the game really shines.
WIN OR LOSE, THE ANCIENTS ONES DONT CARE.
Arkham Horror is, at its heart, a strategy game with the players being pitted against the
game itself. You begin to learn the intricacies of the scenarios and can predict where or
when certain anomalies may spring up. The value of certain tools and allies get weighed
against each other. You begin to start thinking more and more strategically while playing.
That's not to say that losing isn't fun. There’s a bit of a rush that comes with being so close
to victory only to have it snatched out from within your grasp because you chose to
research an item rather than finish off the monster your ally is struggling against. Losing the
scenario isnt the end. If anything, it’s a springboard to a better victory next time you try the
THE BUSINESS STUFF
Arkham Horror is a game you’re going to love if you’ve played and enjoyed games such as
Pandemic and Betrayal at House on the Hill. Featuring great exploration and investigative
mechanics with rules that can completely change based on events happening spur of the
moment, Arkham Horror will be a must try for fans of either of those flagship titles. However,
players seeking a more narrative struggle against the uncaring cosmic forces of the
universe, or more control over the nasties stalking the streets probably won’t find this game
Arkham Horror is best played with 3-4 players, but can sit up to 6 simultaneously. Average
game time is 2-3 hours, so this will be more of a game night event as opposed to a warm up
game. Recommended age is 14+ due to the more strategic play style and horror themes of
the game, but I’ve seen kids around 12 years old playing the game with a little help from the
rest of the players.
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