List Price: $59.95
Your Price: $47.99
(Worth 4,799 Funagain Points!)
from 5 customer reviews
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The town of Arkham, Massachusetts is in a panic. Horrific and bizarre events have begun to occur with increasing frequency -- all seeming to point towards some cataclysmic event in the near future that may spell disaster for everyone. Only one small band of investigators can save Arkham from the Great Old Ones and destruction!
Arkham Horror was originally published by Chaosium, Inc. almost two decades ago. This new, updated edition features stunning new artwork and graphical design as well as revised and expanded rules! No fan of the Cthulhu Mythos will want to miss this opportunity to acquire this classic Call of Cthulhu boardgame!
H.P. Lovecraft, though writing letters to the great authors in his time, was mostly known for "Pulp Fiction" in dime horror magazines while he was alive. His work never received the acclaim it deserved until after his death.
This classic cooperative game is as dark and complex as the literature that inspired it. You play the role of an investigator who is battling monsters, finding clues and resources, trying to close the gates of the underworld so the great one doesn't emerge. At the same time you are trying to protect your physical well being and your sanity.
This game is not for everybody, but once you are hooked, it's hard to stay away from this game with it's many expansions. There are legions of fans of this game, you may be the next.
Horribly organized rules (i.e. during this phase, see monsters later in book, flip flip flip, monster can do blah blah see sky for details in diagram, flip to page...) would have been much better if everything was written in the same order as phases of the turn happen in the game rather then jumping all over in the book. It's a long game, figure about 4-5 hours for your first games.
Now the good news is that it's absolutely worth it. The most fun I've had playing a board game in a long time and I've played a lot of games even some other cooperative games (Shadows Over Camelot, Lord of the Rings). Wonderful atmosphere.
The only things that should change is a re-write of the rules so at the very least your not jumping all over to find stuff, and some redesign of the main board so that it is more efficient at using space (i.e. at the main street locations leaving enough space to put the deck encounters for that area) and maybe put a turn phase list on each corner.
I've played this game 5 times this month and I'm looking forward to playing it again. Now that's a great game.
I must admit that it does take a little time to learn the rules. This game requires people to work together like very few games I've seen. For example trading or giving items to each other deciding what each person is going to do who's going after what etc. This is much more cooperation and not negotiation It is the only board game that I've seen like this. Much more like a D&D style cooperation.
People work together to keep a horrible horror/god like monster from waking up. Each of these wakes to a different set of gates opening with various world conditions present. But before the monster wakes players go about closeing gates that let smaller monsters out into our reality. The better people work together the better chance of winning. We don't count points at the end to find out a single winner but rather consider us all winning if we can prevent the monster from waking (you can defeat him if he awakens but it is very very rare).
The more people you have the longer it takes with 3-4 players most of our games take 2-3 hours. This is a great game for people who like games but don't enjoy the potential bad feelings of the winner/loser games. It actually tends to bring people together for us.
I would give this game 5 stars but the rules are more complex than most people would like.
In the past couple years, I was introduced by some friends to the Cthulhu mythos, which for the uninitiated, is a literary universe begun by HP Lovecraft. The stories are dark and horrific, involving monsters from beyond the deep -- probably the most famous being Cthulhu himself and the terror, insanity, and destruction they cause. While not necessarily my cup of tea, I understood why some people were drawn to these tremendously dark tales, and so wasn't surprised to see Arkham Horror (Fantasy Flight Games, 2005 -- Richard Launius and Kevin Wilson) being republished this year. Not only was the story behind the game of interest to people, but the fact that it was a cooperative game also caught people's interest.
After several playings of the game, I confess that it is intriguing and fun. Some have compared it to Betrayal at House on the Hill, since both are horror-filled, but each fills a different niche. Arkham Horror (AH) is a game deeply rooted in the Lovecraftian mythos, with a fair amount of complexity. Betrayal is simpler and is based on "B" horror movies. AH is probably the most complex cooperative game I've ever played, yet the payoff is probably equal to the time put into the game. Instead of going over the rules (which are quite lengthy), I thought I'd just comment on parts of the game...
This is certainly a game that you should try before you buy if you can. If you are a Cthulhu fan or love cooperative games, then it's a no-brainer -- get it! The good amount of complexity, the massive amount of pieces, and the various options may not be for the fainthearted, though; so you should check it out and see if that's your cup of tea. For me, I really enjoyed it. Arkham Asylum was one of the games that I lay awake at night, wondering what would have happened if I had done something differently. It's one of those games where we didn't talk about the mechanics afterwards, but rather the story. It's one of those games where everyone stands up and high-fives each other when something good happens for the team. That, my friends, is a game I'm glad to own.
"Real men play board games."
Set-up is very slow as the game has nearly 400 heavy cardstock pieces and about 600 playing cards of varying sizes. Most of the pieces are actually placed around the game board, requiring a very large table to play on. Some of the pieces can be kept in the box, making it a bit easier to get to during the game. It took about 30 minutes to setup all the myriad of pieces for the game. However, once the game is setup, play happens fairly logically.
Each player has a character sheet with three slider tokens to mark his skills. He also has a pool of sanity and stamina points that he uses during the game to stay healthy and sane.
Throughout the game, there is the ever- looming great Ancient One (picked randomly before each game) that threatens the city.
The players all cooperate in trying to prevent the Ancient One from awakening and entering the city. They do this by closing the gates that open up each turn. As a gate open, it also spawns monsters in that area who wander the board, looking for fresh players to devour.
Combat is somewhat simple, but takes a bit getting used to. A player rolls his fight skill, modified by any items he's collected, on a 5 or 6 he wins. Some creatures are tougher than others and it takes multiple "wins" to succeed. Once the monster is killed, the player collects the token as a trophy, which can be cashed in later in the game for special items or favors.
Each open gate corresponds to its appropriate Other Worldy area, where players need to go and investigate. Once the other dimension has been explored, the player can make a lore check (by rolling a successful skill check; 5 or 6 wins) to try to close the gate.
However, just because the gate is closed, doesn't mean it can't be reopened by some other evil force. To prevent this, the players must then seal the gate by using five clue tokens. These are gathered as the players move around the city, visiting locations, and encountering the vileness therein.
Once a gate is closed and sealed, no more evil can happen there.
Also, each time a gate is open and monsters appear, a doom token is added to the Ancient One. The doom tokens keep track of the amount of time before the Ancient Evil awakes and attacks the city.
To win the game, the player must seal a minimum amount of gates equal or greater than the number of people playing and possess the trophies from the closed gates. This is calculated for all players combined. So, if four people are playing and one person has three gate trophies, and a second closes the last gate and collects the trophy, that satisfies the victory condition and the players win.
All in all, not a bad game, just a fairly high learning curve. My advice, play the game solo (yes, it is setup so one player can play) for a few games to get a few of how things transpire before inviting your friends over to play it.