Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Eldritch Horror

Game-Eldritch Horror

Producer-Fantasy Flight

Price– $60

Set-up/Play/Clean-up- 3 Hours

TL;DR-An awesome addition to the FF Cthulhu line 92.5%

 

Basics–  The world is under attack!  Creatures from beyond are striking out at our world and bringing the apocalypse with them.  Based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft, each player takes the role of an investigator traveling the globe trying to close portals to other worlds, foil fiendish evil plots, and fighting monsters beyond mortal ken.  This game is a world spanning epic sequel to Arkham Horror.

 

Mechanics-  The game move somewhat quickly.  Each turn, character get two action that among other things can be moving, resting, shopping, or trading.  After that each character encounters events, monsters, or clues on their location.  Each location has its own special deck of cards strengthening then theme of the encounter there.  Finally, a card indicating what events happen next turn is read from the mythos deck.  When the mythos deck runs out, the world is doomed!  To resolve shopping, combat, or encounters, characters start by checking their sheet and look for the appropriate icons to find the number of dice to roll.  After the roll, 5’s and 6’s count as successes.  For most encounters, one success is needed, but for monsters, you’re successes inflict damage as well as prevent damage to yourself.  Monsters also have an additional roll where you must see if your character goes insane from the shear mental trauma of the beyond.  The game moves very quickly as the basic conflict resolution is fast, and the rules a pretty intuitive.  The game does flatten out some of the dice numbers from Arkham Horror, so that was a shock.  I did think some item prices were somewhat high, but all and all the game was fun and that came a lot from the mechanics involved.  4.5/5

 

Theme- The theme of cosmic horror comes out pretty well.  Each monster has a deck of events/quests you have to solve to prevent the end of the world.  If enough bad things happen, the ancient one awakens and then there is another event to deal with on the back of the ancient one.  This deck specific for each ancient evil really does make the game that much more focused.  The general mythos deck that makes bad things happen/timer is a little to general, but all and all I really did feel like I was working against one specific cosmic horror.  The monsters are a bit of a mix.  Monsters are still random, which isn’t bad, but it does mean you will fight stuff that by the Lovecraft mythos really doesn’t belong when you are fighting a different ancient evil.  That does take away from a bit of the focus.  However, I did that some monsters are special.  We had a zombie that became the special zombie hoard.  That little touch made the game that much more memorable.  The same goes for the mix of encounter cards you get.  Instead of a focused game against one cosmic being, you get a bit of a mix.  However, it’s not bad, just not the game I hoped for. 4/5

 

Instructions- The instructions are well written.  I had no questions on how to play.  I did have some minor questions regarding specific in game events, but POOF FAQ up before I even opened the box.  High quality too.  I hate when a FAQ doesn’t look like it belongs with the game.  Also, the instructions are ONLINE in pdf BEFORE the game was released! 5/5

 

Execution- This is Fantasy Flight, so instant 5/5  The parts of the game are amazing.

 

Summary- This game wasn’t the exact game I wanted, but it is close enough.  Arkham Horror had a bit of a focus problem.  This game fixes a lot of that but not completely.  I did have a great time and can’t wait to play again.  I want cosmic specific encounters across the board (mythos deck, region encounter decks etc), but I know that would have made this game that much more expensive and would have required about five times as many parts.  I’ve liked what I saw and can easily recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a world spanning Lovecraft adventure.  92.5%

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