The third game I ever purchased was Arkham Horror and I still to this day have not been able to muster a few people to play that game (Note to Self, should probably sell said game). Needless to say, this experience did not teach me any lessons because when I heard about Eldritch Horror, I pre-ordered it.
- A streamlined version of Arkham? Check.
- A version that makes the game slightly less fiddly? I’m on board! (pun!)
- A co-op that has a bit meatier theme then some of the others I am used to, such as Pandemic? Ok, take my money.
What I like about the game:
I enjoy most co-ops, despite their game-quarterback tendencies, and Eldritch Horror fits right in with the best of them. I highly enjoy the thematic flavor, and the feeling that something bad is going to happen at any moment. Eldritch Horror does this best – making sure that no matter how good or bad you are doing, it introduces something worse. This is both thematic and makes for really tense moments in both directions, something I’ve grown to appreciate in my gaming needs.
I also enjoy a lot of the randomness and flexibility the game has through it’s use of cards. Almost everything you interact with in this game is a card, often which has multiple possible outcomes or branching paths based on your location. Pull a card in a city will have a completely different outcome than if you pull the same card in the wilderness. This makes for more flexibility without three times the cardboard! Even common things, like conditions, are cards with random properties on them, which makes for interesting uncertainty when different cards have different results. Did you pick up a Paranoia card early in the game? Which Paranoia card is it? Even though Paranoia is a condition you will repeatedly get, since each card has different text… you won’t know until you get a bad dice roll and that card’s bad thing kicks in, causing… well.. Paranoia.
It’s interesting that you don’t have to have a deep knowledge of the H.P. Lovecraft and Cthulu Universe to enjoy Eldritch Horror. The flavor text is interesting even on when things are referenced that I am not knowledgeable about. That is fine. It makes games where people read the flavor text on the cards that much more interesting.
Simple mechanics make this game playable as well. Most things are resolved by a dice roll (or many dice). High numbers are usually good, low numbers are usually bad. You sometimes get a lot of dice, sometimes you get no dice, and sometimes you get to do things or use things that effect the number of dice.
What I don’t like about the game:
The game can be longer than it needs to be. Especially at higher player counts. I think 3-4 players is the sweet spot, but 8 is most likely too much unless everyone at the table knows the game in and out. You could streamline a lot of the playtime if you are aware what situations effect each other… and for the most part, there are lots of instances where players could be taking their turns out of order and it most often will have no effect to other players choices.
Like most games with lots of pieces… the game can be a pain to set up and put away. However, I feel like this is just par for the course with board games… but you would be suprised at how often I hear comments about how many pieces a game has.
Lily Chen. Everyone who plays with her wants to max her stats (I am guilty of this), but often that helps you lose the game even faster. I’ve created an achievement with this, that I was finally able to achieve after a bit of time.