I absolutely love anything related to H.P. Lovecraft. I have a collection of his stories, I’ve seen many a movie adaptation of his works, and I’m always looking for Lovecraft inspired games.
For those of you unfamiliar with H P. Lovecraft, he wrote weird science fiction stories in the early 1900s (Cthulhu anyone?). There was about a year of my life where I played Arkham Horror every week. I was in a dedicated Arkham game group. It was that serious.
This was necessary because one game of Arkham, with expansions, can run about 6+ hours depending on how many people are playing. While I love that game, I just didn’t want to devote that much time to it anymore.
Enter Eldritch Horror. You can think of Eldritch Horror as an Arkham Lite. By comparison, even with a couple of expansions, this game typically takes about 2-3 hours to play. While this game is a pared down version of Arkham Horror in a lot of ways, it has enough differences that gives it it’s own identity.
Eldritch vs Arkham
Eldritch Horror is similar in that players move to different locations on the board to complete different tasks. Unlike Arkham, which takes place in the fictional town of Arkham, MA, Eldritch Horror takes place around the world. This gives the game a much more potent end of the world feeling.
The goal in both games is the same: stop the Ancient One from awakening or it will most likely destroy the world. Players race around the globe looking for powerful weapons and spells to use for the purpose of killing monsters, solving mysteries, and closing portals to other worlds. Players can also recruit powerful allies and upgrade their own skills as the game progresses.
Eldritch Horror also uses characters from Arkham Horror, such as Silas Marsh and Norman Withers. However, instead of adjusting skill levels every round via focus points, each character has set stats that you can upgrade later on via certain locations. This is one thing I miss about Arkham, but it makes the game more streamlined. There are several other aspects of the game such as movement, acquiring items, etc. that also differ between the games.
With many new mechanics, Eldritch Horror feels like a unique variation of Arkham Horror. I would recommend it to anyone who is curious about Arkham Horror, but doesn’t want the time sink. If you are so inclined, you can get it here.
Recommended expansions: Forsaken Lore (adds more encounter, mystery, and item cards and a new Ancient One) and Strange Remnants (adds special Mystic Ruins encounters, new investigators, and new spells). You can find those here and here.