Check out our Review of Eldritch Horror
This great game has you racing around the world trying to prevent the awakening of the Ancient One. Our Review will tell you our thoughts on this game!
Spanning the globe, solving mysteries
Eldritch Horror is a unique game within the Arkham Horror Files. It plays very differently from the Arkham Horror Board Game and Arkham Horror: Card Game, which we love.
In this game, you will be traversing the globe traveling between cities trying to gather enough clues. You also close gates and solve mysteries of the story before an Ancient One arrives and conquers the world.
There are phases to every round in this game: the Action phase, the Encounter phase, and the Mythos phase.
In the Action Phase, each investigator gets to take two actions. Unlike Arkham Horror: The Board Game and Arkham Horror: The Card Game, fighting enemies and collecting clues towards the mystery are not actions you take. Instead, your actions include traveling to other cities, getting travel tickets, resting, trading, and getting more assets.
In the Encounter Phase, different things happen based on where you end your action phase. If you are in a space with a monster, you must do a combat encounter. Otherwise, you take a card from one of the encounter decks and read the appropriate section.
Suppose you are in a Location without a token on it. In that case, you take an encounter card for your region if it's a named city on the board and read that city's encounter. If not a named city, you take a general encounter and read the story for the location type (City, Sea, or Wilderness).
On the other hand, if you are in a space with another token, such as clue, gate, expedition, or rumor, you can draw a card from the appropriate deck and attempt to resolve those. The tokens move the story along, either in a positive or negative direction for the investigators.
Finally, the mythos phase has the lead investigator draw a mythos card and typically creates more problems.
How do you Win? How do you Lose?
To win the game, simply complete three of the Ancient One's mysteries before it awakens. If it does awaken before you complete three, you will have to finish the fourth to seal it away again.
The investigators lose the story if the Doom track reaches 0. The specific Ancient One will have rules about how the game is lost once they are awoken. The game is also lost if all the investigators are eliminated. Or if a mythos card causes the game to be lost. Finally, the investigators also lose if there are no more mythos cards in the deck.
How do you "Test a skill" in this game?
Each Investigator has a card with their picture, name, and skill values on them. Each Investigator has Lore, Influence, Observation, Strength, and Will skills, and those skills each have a number under them. These numbers represent the number of dice you roll when you have to do a test.
Tests come from all sorts of cards written into the story's encounters, but they can be on spells, conditions, and even asset cards. Whenever a card shows a symbol that matches a skill symbol, that Investigator must "Test the Skill" by rolling the dice and looking to see how many 5 and 6's they get. These are considered successes. All other numbers rolled are failures. Most encounters require you to roll a single success. Still, sometimes the number of successes is used when determining how much damage or horror to take with each success protecting you from either damage or horror.
Testing is a fun and exciting part of this game, as testing is the top way you succeed and move the story forward!
Is this game suitable for children?
Yes... but with a few caveats. This game has dark subject matter, but the stories in the encounters are not overly scary, more supernatural. The word "Horror" in the game title refers to gothic horror and not our modern idea of horror movies.
There are also a lot of rules in this game. As long as there is someone knowledgeable about the rules playing, we don't see any reason why kids can't play. There are concepts in the game, such as going crazy and losing sanity and health, which some children might be more sensitive to.
To be clear, this is not a children's game. However, it is a game to get the children involved in so long as responsible adults are playing the game.
Detective Hawk Games Recommends
Eldritch Horror is an excellent game if you love the Arkham Horror Files series and want to run around the world to solve mysteries. That said and fair warning, this is a very different game from Arkham Horror: The Board Game and Arkham Horror: The Card Game. That's not to say this game is better or worse; it is just different!
After playing the other games and moving to Eldritch Horror, the part that caught us off guard is how much this game relies on the Encounter Phase and how you use the Action phase to set up the Encounter phase. It was a different way of approaching this game than we were expecting. Once we figured that out and adjusted our strategy, then we were more successful.
If you want to know more about what we think of this game, check out our Review coming out later this month.