Arkham Horror

cards from Arkham Horror

When Elaine and I went down to Maryland to visit her friend Cory‘s annual LAN party, little did I know what horrors were in store.

Specifically, of the Lovecraft variety. Cory had recently purchased the game Arkham Horror, so we played a couple rounds. I was instantly hooked.

The game is one of those complicated affairs where you need at least two people who know how to play in order to help each other remember all the details. There are dozens of tiny decks of cards and myriad cardboard tokens and counters. The rule book is pretty big, but reasonably comprehensive.

For some, those might be detractions, but I love it. The really unique thing is that the game is cooperative. Everyone is on the same team, trying to forestall the Ancient One’s awakening. Or, failing that, to defeat it in hand-to-demon combat. Because of this, even though it’s a tad complicated, casual gamers (and notably, lady casual gamers) take to it rather well.

And the more intense gamers can take solace in the game’s difficulty. The base game is decent. But there are all sorts of optional rules and three expansions you can buy that all make the game tougher in various ways. My play group is of the opinion that if you won a game of Arkham Horror, you played it wrong.

Which is OK, because crushing defeat and the accompanying loss of a populace’s souls are surprisingly easier to take as a group.