Hello again, everyone! I’m Shane and I’m glad to be back writing my own content after a hiatus.
I love card games. I mean, I REALLY love card games. I’ve been playing them in various forms for nearly 20 years, so finding an excuse to combine some loves into a single purpose had me jumping out of my seat. With that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
Horror, Card Games, Teamwork
What is Arkham Horror: The Card Game?
Well, it’s a card game and without delving too deeply into the history of the franchise, Arkham Horror is a cooperative card game where groups of 1-4 players team up against the games mechanics to solve a mystery, stop some monsters, or just stay alive based in a world built around the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Is the game all Cthulhus and Innsmouths? No! It’s got a ton of variation in locales set around the globe around the 1920’s. We could talk about all of those locations, but maybe we’ll do that later, this time we’re just talking about the very first entry into the game. Each player chooses an investigator before the game starts. They’ve got stats, skills and 30 cards that go along with them. I won’t jump into all that just yet.
So, it’s like a board game?
It’s a lot like a board game. Cards are used to create a map of rooms for the players to explore, while they explore the rooms, bad things happen randomly and are revealed as the game progresses. There is no “bad guy” player, everyone in the game is part of a team and does their best to navigate the perils and challenges presented using their player characters strengths (and avoiding their weaknesses).
What makes the game so interesting?
Well, it’s based around Lovecraft’s work. If you’re familiar with the guy, you know things don’t always go so well for the protagonists of his stories (read: rarely goes well). The game is also very story driven. The releases are built to take players through an entire arc and are encouraged to play them in order starting at a Deluxe box and through the corresponding Mythos packs.
This game is not the type of game where you and your super-powered friends bust into a den of monsters, turn them back into green jelly and collect loot. No, no, my friend. You’re a regular guy and you MIGHT be able to fend off one or two of these critters before you die or go insane.
Oh, and it doesn’t use dice. The games mechanics are built around a “Chaos Bag” of tokens, drawn by you, the player. Reach in, grab a token, open your hand and see what manner of doom has befallen you.
Before I do what?
That’s right. Players don’t just have the opportunity to get beaten to a bloody pulp by flesh-eating ghouls! They can also be eliminated because the horrors you’ve observed are just too much for your regular Joe psyche! You can go insane and you’re out because, hey, who knows what you might do? Maybe you don’t even see a monster, maybe your character just can’t handle creaking floorboards that sound scary, or a stiff wind that could be a ghost.
Why bring this game up now?
It’s been out for 4 years, I know. But the person reading this is probably under some measure of quarantine, stay-at-home, lock down order and now is the perfect time for games like this. They can be played solo or with the people you’re locked up with. And if you can go crazy in a game after an hour of play and it prevents you from going stir crazy for that long, isn’t it a worthwhile investment?
There is a ton of great content for this game from various creators. However, if you’re interested in how the game played, it’s hard to beat this:
That’s it for me. I hope you find the time to check out this great game and stay tuned to Haunted MTL for more news and content from all of our great contributors!