Arkham Horror Third Edition
Check out our Review of Arkham Horror: The Board Game
We also have a Game Overview article for you to Learn HOW to play!
How is this game played?
We at Detective Hawk Games have played this game, and it is a tremendous cooperative gaming experience. The game is a mixture of moving through the neighborhoods of Arkham, Massachusetts, clearing off doom tokens, and solving mysteries in each location.
To give you an example of how this game plays, we'll walk you through the steps of each round.
Each player takes a turn in the action phase, which consists of two actions from a possible nine actions. These actions can be anything from moving, or fighting, to trading items with your friends.
The game then moves to the Monster Phase, where cultists and other otherworldly creatures move around the board and attack the investigators.
Then the next step is the Encounter Phase. As long as you aren't entangled with a monster, you will draw a card from your neighborhood. Then read the section of the card that corresponds to the specific location in that neighborhood. For instance, if you were in the Downtown neighborhood, you would be in Independence Square, Arkham Asylum, or La Bella Luna locations. You would draw a Downtown encounter card and read the appropriate section. Each is a little story about what you are doing in that location. They all require you to "Test" one of your skills, and every character is different. Some are good at fighting, while others are good at removing doom. Skills contribute to the choice of character to play incredibly important at the beginning of the game.
Finally, the round ends with the Mythos phase, which is the game's evil phase. Each investigator draws two tokens from a mythos bag. These will create new monsters on the board, add doom or otherwise cause you further problems.
How do you Win? How do you Lose?
The specific way you win and lose in Arkham Horror (Third Edition) varies between scenarios. The entire board is laid out differently for each scenario. In general, winning a game involves completing several steps based on the story. These steps include defeating a specific enemy or collecting several clue tokens from the board, then researching those to move them to the scenario sheet. Researching is a type of Test you can do, and the number of clues you have scenario sheet determines when the next part of the story comes out.
You lose the game; when enough doom tokens come out on the board in specific neighborhoods, you start adding doom to the scenario sheet, and the more doom, the more bad things will happen. With enough doom, the game ends, and the investigators have lost.
Is WHO I play in this game important?
Actually, YES! In Arkham Horror (Third Edition), along with all the Arkham Horror Files series, the choice of Investigator is vitally essential to the group's success. Each Investigator has a different amount of Health and Horror they can take. Game encounters and monster fighting will reduce these to 0 throughout the game.
Each Investigator also has five skills, Lore, Influence, Observation, Strength, and Will. The amount of each varies by the Investigator. Some have a high Strength, and others have a high Lore or Observation. The number next to them is the number of dice you roll when testing. So a "4 Strength" means you roll four dice when testing strength. More dice give you a more substantial opportunity of being victorious over someone with "2 Strength". There is a trade-off, you may not be very good at Lore, and that's why it's best to discuss who you are going to play before you start, so you have a balanced team.
If your Investigator dies during the game... not to worry, you simply pick a new investigator and continue. You do lose everything that Investigator has gained until then, but at least you continue to play. If you do run out of investigators, then the entire team loses the game. Still, with 12 investigators, there's a good chance that won't happen
How long does the game take to play?
The game takes 2-3 hours to play. That said, it does go by very fast. The game is not slow by any means. You will constantly evaluate the board and talk with your fellow players to decide what you will do next. The frequency in which the story advances helps keep the challenge and fun going.
Detective Hawk Games Recommends
As you can tell, we enjoy this game, and we think you will too! If you want to read our full review, we'll be posting it here next week.
This game is a lot of fun and only mildly scary in the "gothic horror" style. The game is suitable for children 14 and up. Mostly that's due to the complexity of the rules, of which there are a lot.
The best thing about this game is that every scenario is different, and it's like having multiple board games in one. The combined with the expansions (which there are a few of them), expand the number of scenarios you can pla