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Go to the Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game page
Go to the Arkham Horror: The Card Game page
Go to the Eldritch Horror page
Go to the Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Rumble at Castle Tentakill page
Go to the Smash Up page
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
Go to the Sentinels of the Multiverse page
Go to the Call of Cthulhu (6th Ed) page
Go to the Arkham Horror: The Card Game page
19 out of 20 gamers thought this was helpful

Arkham Horror: The Card Game takes the horror in a new direction—or, more accurately, in one of multiple directions based on the decisions the investigators make. This newest addition to Fantasy Flight Games’ Arkham Files game line is a highly story-oriented, campaign-based game in which the choices you make and the outcomes of your encounters with the horrors of Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos will alter the course of the game.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a living card game; for those not familiar with these (this was the first one I’ve ever tried, personally), it begins with the base game which offers an introductory, 3-part campaign (“Night of the Zealot”), five investigators, and an assortment of card sets which will be used to build the investigator decks and encounter decks. As time goes on, FFG will release additional expansions—the first will be “The Dunwich Legacy,” expected shortly, which will be a deluxe box starting a new campaign cycle, and then a series of smaller booster packs that will add to the Dunwich Legacy story. There are also small, one-shot scenarios available (so far these include “Curse of the Rougarou” and “Carnivale of Horrors”) which can be played separately or integrated into the larger campaign cycles as side adventures.

The base game offers the “Night of the Zealot” campaign and five investigators (Roland Banks, Daisy Walker, Agnes Baker, “Skids” O’Toole, and Wendy Adams), as well as an assortment of encounter and investigator cards and cardboard tokens. There are enough cards in the base set for 1-2 players to play, though certain pairings of investigators will be difficult to use—for instance, Daisy and Roland both share the Seeker cards, and may have trouble building decks at the same time. However, if you don’t mind purchasing a second copy of the starter box, you can overcome this challenge as well as introduce the option of adding a 3rd and 4th player to the game. Personally, I recommend buying one set to start and if you decide you like the game, invest in the second set (though if you’ve enjoyed the other Arkham File games from FFG, chances are you will like this one, too).

Each player builds her or his investigator deck, following the guidelines on the investigator’s character card (if you aren’t big on deckbuilding, the game includes a default deck list for each investigator that you can use). This will be a 30-card deck, plus one random basic weakness and two cards that are specific to your investigator (an asset and a weakness). Each investigator has their own “role” such as Guardian, Seeker, or Survivor that affects how they play and what cards they choose from to build their deck.

Next, you build the encounter deck according to the scenario you are playing, combining specified subsets of cards. Some cards will be set aside to bring into play later in the scenario, while others won’t be used in certain scenarios. There will also be two small sets of “storyline” cards: the agenda (which follows the progress of the dark forces you are struggling against as their plans progress) and the act (which moves forward as you successfully investigate the story). The agenda advances as doom is added to it each turn, while the act most commonly advances through the expenditure of clues your investigators earn. These clues will either be spent directly on the act, or to set up something that allows you to advance the act. There will also be location cards representing the places you can explore over the course of the story.

There is also the chaos bag, which contains an assortment of tokens (determined by the difficulty level you choose to play the campaign at) which will be drawn from when your investigator attempts a skill check. The tokens will modify the result (usually with a negative number, but not always) and if the modified skill score equals or exceeds the target number, you succeed.

Perhaps the best part about Arkham Horror: The Card Game is that as you progress through each part of the campaign, the choices and outcomes will affect and alter how the story goes. A campaign log (which can be photocopied from the campaign guide or printed off of the FFG website) records results from each scenario, which will affect set up and game play of subsequent scenarios. Investigators will earn experience that allows them to swap better cards or improved versions of basic cards into their decks (still keeping to the 30 card limit), and some game events will give the investigators additional cards that they can add as well. Extremely bad events, including being KO’d or driven mad, will give an investigator trauma that causes them to start subsequent scenarios with damage or horror already inflicted on them.

This game is a lot of fun, and because of the variety of choices for investigator teams, deck builds, and the various ways each scenario can play out, it has a lot of replay value. Plus, new stories and campaigns will keep coming, as long you don’t mind buying more expansions every month or so (the mini expansions are relatively cheap, and the deluxe expansions are probably only going to be introduced once or twice a year I suspect).

If you enjoy Lovecraftian horror and story driven games (with an opportunity for roleplaying, if you like that, too), this is a great addition to your game shelf that I would highly recommend.

Go to the Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game page
19 out of 19 gamers thought this was helpful

What makes this game stand out for me is that it has a number of fun mechanics that can lead to some subtle game play, interesting social/group interactions, and bring out some of the popular elements of the zombie apocalypse genre.

Secrets and Lies
One part of the game that I particularly like is the secret objectives. The colony as a group has a main objective that everyone (or almost everyone) is working towards, but in order to win each player must also complete a secret objective. As an added complication, there is a chance that one of the players is holding a Betrayal secret objective and is working against the rest of the group. There may not be a betrayer at all, though. At the start of the game, secret objectives equal to twice the number of players are shuffled together with a single betrayer card and one is dealt to each player, so no one knows for sure if there is a traitor among them or not.

Players can try to identify a betrayer and vote them into exile, but this isn’t as easy as it sounds. The betrayer will be doing their best to hide their secret agenda as long as possible, and a lot of the non-betrayer secret goals can lead to some suspicious-seeming behavior, such as hoarding supplies that could benefit the rest of the colony. Also, since for a non-betrayer player to win they need to complete their secret goal as well as the main objective, there will be times when someone is not working towards (or deliberately slowing down) the completion of the main objective.

Additionally, you only get to vote out one person per game. Vote out a second and the game ends. To further complicate matters, exiled players get a modification to their secret objective–which can include looking to get vengeance on the colony, or seeking redemption.

Time is Limited, and so is Morale
There are a few ways the game can end, and when it does everyone checks the win conditions on their secret objective. Usually this will be to complete the main objective and an additional requirement, except for the betrayal objectives which do not need the main objective to be completed. Each scenario (main objective) has a certain number of rounds that it goes for, and a certain amount of Morale that the colony starts with. When the turn counter hits zero, the game ends. Complete the main objective, the game ends. Run out of morale (you guessed it) the game ends. Morale can drop for a number of reasons, such as when a survivor dies, as a result of a Crisis or Crossroads event going badly, or by having too many cards in the waste pile (discard pile) at the end of the round. Doing especially well on a Crisis can increase morale.

Crossroads Cards
Another fun element of Dead of Winter is the Crossroads cards. Each turn, the player to your right will be holding one of these that has a secret “trigger” event on it. If at any point during your turn the trigger requirement is met, that player reads out the card, which usually presents a choice of two or more options for dealing with a situation that has arisen.
Crisis and Survival
The people at the colony need to be fed, and this can include Helpless Survivors who consume food but don’t contribute anything to the colony. The more people at the colony, the more food you need to have in the stores each turn. When the colony starts to starve, morale begins to drop, and the more times people go without food the faster morale goes down.

Each round there will also be a crisis card to resolve. This will usually require the survivors to gather a particular type or combination of resources and contribute them to the crisis. This is done face down, and at the end of the round the crisis contribution cards are shuffled so no one knows for sure who put in what. If enough of the correct items are there, the crisis is resolved–put in a couple extra and morale may even go up. Fail to avert the crisis, and something bad will happen. The catch: if someone contributes the wrong thing to the crisis, each such item deducts from the total contributed, so this is a potential way for the betrayer to sabotage the colony.

Dramatis Personae
The game has a host of unique survivors to make up each player’s group. Each has a special ability, an influence rating (which determines things like first player and who gets eaten when zombies overrun a location), an attack rating, and a search rating.

Game Play
Each round, players roll a number of dice equal to 1 plus the number of survivors they control. Each player begins with 2 survivors, and thus 3 action dice, but this changes as new survivors are found or existing ones succumb to the perils of the apocalypse. Dice can be expended to kill zombies, search, barricade locations, and clean out the waste pile. Players can spend their dice however they wish each turn.

Moving around is risky. Unless a player has a card (such as fuel) to spend or an ability that allows them to travel safely, each time a survivor moves between locations they have to roll the exposure die. This is a twelve-sided die that can come up blank or result in a wound, frostbite (a wound that adds an additional wound each turn that it goes untreated), or worst of all a zombie bite. Three wounds will kill a character; a zombie bite kills the character and then spreads to another survivor at that location, who must either choose to die (thus stopping the spread) or roll the exposure die for themselves and risk spreading the bite to someone else.

The exposure die also is rolled when a character attacks a zombie.

This game has a lot of fun mechanics and interactions, and is true to the feel of the zombie apocalypse genre.

Go to the Gloom page


12 out of 13 gamers thought this was helpful

Gloom is a game that I took an immediate interest in when I first saw it played. The premise of having a family of characters and telling stories of how miserable their lives are (before killing them) was intriguing. It appeals to the storyteller in me, and I appreciate the game’s dark humor.

That being said, this game won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and not everyone in my game group was all that enthused about it. If the players enjoy telling a darkly humorous tale, they’ll get quite a bit out of this game. Without the storytelling aspect, though, Gloom loses a lot of its fun factor. An appreciation for alliteration is also an advantage as there’s an alarming amount and anyone who is anti-alliteration is almost assured to get aggravated or annoyed.

The cards themselves are sturdy, and the transparent, stacking nature of the cards gives the game a distinctive look. The cards can get a bit hard to read if a lot of them start to stack up, but overall they work well. Just be careful when shuffling and stacking them–the clear plastic cards are study, but they are also very slippery.

The original Gloom (there are other “flavors” available–Fairy Tale, Cthulhu, and even Munchkin Gloom) also has several expansions which introduce elements such as unwanted guests, homes, story cards, and even the possibility of “Dead” characters staying active after becoming ghosts, vampires, or other forms of undead.

If you enjoy dark comedy and telling a somewhat morbid tale in which you get to make your characters’ lives miserable. This is a game where doing nice things to the other players characters is one of the rottenest things you could do to them.

Go to the Eldritch Horror: Strange Remnants page
43 out of 49 gamers thought this was helpful

Strange Remnants is a slightly different approach to Eldritch Horror and the Ancient Ones, and one that fits very well with the themes of the game: exploration, world travel, and ancient mysteries. At first I was a bit surprised at this expansion, which contains the Syzygy rather than one of the typical Ancient Ones drawn from the ranks of the Other Gods and Great Old Ones that have appeared in the other games in Fantasy Flight’s Arkham Files game line. Part of my surprise was that they would take this direction when so few of the “classic” Ancient Ones had made their way into the game–at the time Strange Remnants came out, only seven of the Ancient Ones had made an appearance (one of which was The Rise of the Elder Things, which was also somewhat divergent from the usual style of Ancient Ones in this game’s predecessors).

That said, it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. In Strange Remnants, the investigators are faced with an event rather than a supernatural entity–a cosmic alignment that is approaching. There is still a Mythos force at work, however, as the arrival of the Syzygy heralds the coming of Azathoth. This makes for a fun variation of the usual Eldritch Horror game, as well as giving Azathoth an appearance in a more complex game mode than the standard, very straight forward “when Azathoth awakens, the world ends” version (though, like an Azathoth game, with Syzygy when doom hits zero, the game is over).

Investigators still explore the world trying to solve mysteries, close gates, gather clues and combat the forces of the Mythos, but in the case of the Syzygy Ancient One solving mysteries does not mean the investigators win the game. Instead, the Syzygy Ancient One card is flipped over once the investigators solve two mysteries or when there are three Eldritch tokens on the red space of the Omen track, with one token being added each time the track lands on the red space. When the Ancient One card flips over, the cosmic alignment begins and the investigators must now solve the final mystery, regardless of how many mysteries they have solved previously. The more mysteries that were solved before the Syzygy flipped, the closer the investigators will be to completing the final mystery. Also, investigators are not eliminated if defeated or devoured in a Syzygy game, unlike most Ancient Ones.

The other major feature of Strange Remnants is the Mystic Ruins deck, which is used in games involving either the Syzygy or the related Prelude card (in the latter case, there will be an Adventure to follow, similar to the Doomsayer of Antartica Prelude in Mountains of Madness). This functions similarly to the Expedition Encounter deck, with a Mystic Ruins counter being placed on the space of the board corresponding to the location depicted on the back of the top card in the deck. The locations in the Mystic Ruins deck are The Great Wall of China (Shanghai), Stonehenge (London), Chichen Itza (space 7), and Easter Island (space 3). Each location has the investigators exploring ancient places of power to learn more about the impending cosmic alignment, with each card having a complex encounter with a pass/fail effect.

This expansion is a lot of fun, and demonstrates the different directions Eldritch Horror can take in terms of introducing new ways to play the game. The Mystic Ruins are a lot of fun to explore, and the Syzygy makes for an entertaining variation from the usual battle against the Ancient Ones, making this a fun addition to the game. I hope to see more expansions like this one in the future!

Go to the Eldritch Horror: Under the Pyramids page
45 out of 51 gamers thought this was helpful

The second “big box” expansion for Eldritch Horror takes investigators to a new side board: Egypt. The Egypt side board can be accessed through different points in the main board, differing somewhat from the Antarctica side board from “The Mountains of Madness.” Also, unlike Antarctica, Egypt’s locations are categorized (city, wilderness). Like the previous side board, there are two ways for Egypt to be introduced to the game: either through the Prelude card “Under the Pyramids” or through choosing the Nephren-Ka Ancient One. While not as directly connected to the Lovecraft story “Under the Pyramids” (also known as “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs) the way that Mountains of Madness was, this expansion adds a lot of thematic elements that fans of the Mythos will recognize from stories such as “The Haunter of the Dark.”

Nephren-Ka, the Dark Pharaoh, is one of the two new Ancient Ones included in this expansion, the other being Abhoth, the source of uncleanliness. Both have distinctive elements–when facing Nephren-Ka, investigators must unravel the secrets of the pharaoh’s rule, much of which has been stricken out of history, while also contending with the possible threat of one or more of the many Masks of Nyarlathotep. Abhoth, meanwhile, has what is perhaps the most unique Cultists to date for Eldritch Horror. They aren’t really cultists at all, but rather the Spawn of Abhoth, so when investigators meet a Cultist monster during an Abhoth game they have a card encounter against one of the Spawn in place of a standard combat encounter. This can be especially interesting and challenging, as unlike a traditional Cultist the investigators may have to resort to different skill rolls to overcome the encounter, which comes in the form of a complex (pass/fail effect) encounter.

This expansion also brings with it some fun new investigators like the perpetually-Cursed Rex Murphy (who gets some pretty solid benefits to offset the fact that he’s always Cursed) and Monteray Jack, who is geared towards acquiring ancient treasures and using them to push back the danger of the Ancient One. As always with Eldritch Horror expansions, there are also new cards for the various desks, including a selection of Glamour spells that provide some sort of standing effect but require a Lore roll during Reckonings to control the magic.

Overall, I really liked this expansion. It introduces some great new elements and characters to the Eldritch Horror game, and also expands on the existing decks and game play. It also seems to indicate that the game designers are learning as they go, building on what they did with Mountains of Madness and finding ways to keep the game evolving and changing.

Go to the Call of Cthulhu (6th Ed) page
97 out of 105 gamers thought this was helpful

I first started playing Call of Cthulhu with the 3rd edition and am now among those awaiting the arrival of the long anticipated 7th edition. That being said, this 6th edition of the game has been gracing my shelves for many a year. It’s without question my favorite RPG, and in my humble opinion one of the best RPGs and *the* best horror RPG out there.


Call of Cthulhu uses a customized version of Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying System. The rules are simple and easy for players to pick up (there’s also usually a free Quick Start available on the Chaosium website for people to try out before they buy the game).

Creating a character (“investigator,” in the terminology of the game) is relatively easy and quick, especially once you’ve done it a few times. Attributes are generated using six-sided dice, so that will be familiar to the majority of players already familiar with systems such as D&D, and skills and attribute-based checks are done using a percentile system. Degrees of success and failure relative to those percentages can result in extremely good or bad results, depending on the roll.

Investigators earn experience “checks” for using their skills, and then between games they get a chance to improve their skills by rolling against the checked skills. Rolling over the current skill value lets the player improve their investigators rating in that skill, so the better an investigator gets at a skill the less likelihood that they will be able to learn from their experiences.

As a horror game, what makes Call of Cthulhu stand out for me is that investigators’ health and sanity are genuinely in jeopardy. These are normal people facing horrors beyond the comprehension of humanity. While some of the lesser horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos can be faced with physical combat, many cannot and all of them threaten the sanity of the investigators. The games includes detailed rules for temporary and permanent madness that results from exposure to the horrors of the Mythos, and combat can be quick and lethal. As one might expect, as investigators the player characters best approach is research and study in order to find a way to foil the dark forces that they are confronting.

Magic exists in Call of Cthulhu, but it is the kind of forbidden occult lore that is described in the stories of H. P. Lovecraft and those who came after him. Dabbling in magic is dangerous and even studying many of the tomes of ancient lore can weaken an investigators sanity, forcing them to walk a fine line between the benefits and perils of mystic knowledge.


Call of Cthulhu is, of course, rooted in the stories of H. P. Lovecraft and others who have added to what has come to be known as the Cthulhu Mythos, or sometimes the Lovecraft Mythos. It has some components for using it to tell “conventional” horror stories, but it’s true strength comes in telling tales of the unspeakable eldritch horrors of the Mythos. The rules even suggest that if you are going to throw in a zombie, mummy, or vampire that the game master (referred to as the Keeper) add a Mythos twist to the monsters. The sheer volume of material (creatures, tomes, arcane mysteries) to be explored gives this RPG massive replay value–players will be able to come back to the table and never know just what it is they are confronting.

The game has a strong horror aspect to it. Many of the horror games out there (Beyond the Supernatural, Chill, etc.) have characters with special abilities such as psychic powers or membership to an organization of paranormal investigators to aid them in their struggles with the supernatural. Not so in Call of Cthulhu–investigators are regular people, and their lives and minds are fragile compared to the horrors they will face. Players will often have to make difficult decisions about whether or not their investigators can bear the strain of continuing to delve into things humanity was not meant to know. In the end, even successful investigators will rarely emerge from their experiences unscathed.


I consider this one of the best RPGs on the market. The system is easy to learn and play, letting the players focus on story and role-playing, and the thematic and atmospheric elements are excellent. It can be used to run ongoing campaigns or shorter stories that can be told in just a session or two.

This is my personal favorite RPG. It was one of the first ones I ever purchased, and it’s been on my shelves ever since in one edition or another. Horror fans, and particularly Lovecraft fans, will enjoy this game. That being said, if you have a play group that likes to have epic battles and face the monsters head on, they probably won’t like this one as much–I had one player who refused to play the game because “you can’t fight the monsters.” But if you’re looking for a great horror game, this is the one for you.

Go to the DungeonQuest page


91 out of 100 gamers thought this was helpful

Seriously, you really do need to be able to laugh at character death when you play DungeonQuest. If this was a roleplaying game, it would be a dungeon designed by a killer GM.

The good news is, unlike a killer GM run RPG, this game is actually a lot of fun. It’s fast, the random design of the dungeon allows for lots of replay value, and makes for a fun dungeon crawl. Winning is partly a matter of luck, and partly a matter of knowing when to stop pushing your luck.

1) It’s a beautifully designed game with good quality components, typical of most of the FFG games that I’ve purchased over the years.
2) It’s fast: unlike a lot of the other board games we play at our game nights (Eldritch Horror, Talisman, Touch of Evil, etc.) this one plays quite quickly.
3) It’s easy to learn. It might take a while to get the hang of every single card, dungeon tile, etc. but the overall game rules are fairly easy to grasp.

1) If you’re looking for an in depth, story-oriented fantasy game, this isn’t the one for you (grab the aforementioned Talisman). This is a dungeon crawl, pure and simple: explore the dungeon, grab loot, overcome traps and monsters, and hopefully get out with your skin before the doors seal themselves. That being said, if you’re in the mood for that style of game, then this isn’t actually a con at all.
2) It’s lethal. It is quite literally possible to step into the first chamber of your dungeon delve and die (not necessarily likely, but possible). There is an optional rule for spawning a new character when this happens, but using the standard rules dead is dead. The fun part of being dead is that you still get to play the monsters and try to kill your fellow adventurers. But if getting killed by a single roll of the dice is the sort of thing that will have you screaming with rage, this game probably isn’t for you. If, like me, you can laugh off the untimely demise of your character and still say you had a fun time, you’ll be fine.

All in all, if you’re looking for a fast paced, potentially lethal dungeon crawl game, this one is exactly that. I really have fun with this one, but it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, so my advice would be make sure all the players at the table know what they’re getting into and are okay with it.

Go to the Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore page
35 out of 40 gamers thought this was helpful

This being the first small box expansion (indeed, the first expansion of any kind) for Eldritch Horror, I was looking forward to seeing what it had to offer. Forsaken Lore does not disappoint: this is a well done expansion and a good sign of things to come.

[b]Ancient One:[/b]: Let’s start with what for a lot of people is the biggest element of this expansion: Yig, Father of Serpents, who becomes the fifth Ancient One for the Eldritch Horror game. Yig has by far the shortest doom track (10) but as an interesting twist, investigators who are defeated after Yig awakens are not eliminated from the game as with other Ancient Ones. So while Yig is pretty likely going to wake up, at least he won’t whittle your team down afterwards. Of course, this is Eldritch Horror so that might just mean your entire team will be up and about when the world comes to an end.

[b]New Conditions[/b]: There are two new conditions of note in this expansion. The first is Poison, a form of illness. Needless to say you’ll see this one come up a lot in a game where Yig is the Ancient One, but it can also crop up in other games as well. The second is Lost in Time and Space, which has the unique (and unsurprising) effect of temporarily removing an investigator from the game. Basically, until it is resolved, your investigator is removed from the board, can’t affect or interact with anyone/anything, and is unaffected by anything short of the game ending.

[b]Cards, cards, cards!:[/b] As one might expect from a small box expansion, this one is loaded with new cards. There are 148 encounter cards for Yig and also for the existing decks, a half dozen new Mythos cards, and over a dozen new Mystery cards. Some of these, naturally, are for Yig but there are also new mysteries for the original game Ancient Ones. I liked this about the expansion, as it shows that FFG will be trying to keep the existing Ancient Ones fresh and new as they introduce new game mechanics and additional Ancient Ones through expansions. There are also more assets, artifacts, and spells.

To round out the box, there are also some new monster counters (mainly new epic monsters) and a handful of additional health and sanity counters.

I liked this expansion. It has a well developed theme, well thought out cards and mechanics, and integrates smoothly and easily into the Eldritch Horror game. Well worth buying, unless you’ve got a problem with snakes.

Go to the Eldritch Horror: Mountains of Madness page
37 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

As the first “big box” expansion for Eldritch Horror, I was keen to see how FFG would handle this. While I loved Arkham Horror, the expansion boards were part of what I found made that game drag on. That said, “Mountains of Madness” was done exceptionally well. Here’s a quick highlight reel of the major components:

[b]Prelude Cards[/b]: These are a nice little addition to the game. One Prelude card is introduced at the start of the game, and adds a little something extra (a Mythos card already in play at the start of the game, some extra adventures to pursue, etc.) Basically, the Preludes add an extra touch of variability, more replay value to the game, and additional story.

[b]Ancient Ones[/b]: There are two, both very well done. Ithaqua adds to the existing roster of classic Mythos beings that you can face, and with the constant threat of the new Hypothermia condition the game has a definite thematic element when facing the Thing That Walks on the Wind. The other is Rise of the Elder Things, which is extremely fitting to the overall theme of the expansion. The Elder Things also presents and interesting variant that I hope to see explored even more in future expansions: the “Ancient One” isn’t so much as Ancient One (i.e. Outer God/Great Old One) but rather an event.

[b]Antarctica board[/b]: This was done very well. The expansion board only comes into play as a result of one of the Prelude Cards that are introduced in this game or by facing the Rise of the Elder Things as the Ancient One. The board itself is similar in style to the main board, with a half dozen new locations each with their own special encounters, etc. What I especially like about the board is that it bodes well for future expansions and the question of table space, etc. (which was another issue with Arkham Horror–much as I love it, it’s a table hog with all the boards in play).

The expansion board fits neatly to one side of the main board, and is exactly half the height of the main board. That means that if FFG sticks to the system where you only use a particular expansion board if a specific Prelude and/or Ancient One is in play, a single game of Eldritch Horror will never utilize more than 2 expansion boards at any one time, and two boards is exactly what will fit neatly next to the main board. This will be good in the long run, as I suspect if “Mountains of Madness” is anything to go by, over time we may see expansion boards for each of the Expedition Locations.

The only minor downside is there are half a dozen new clue counters and three gates which only get used if the Antarctica board is in play. These need to be removed from their stacks otherwise, but if you keep your counters organized when the game is packed up, it’s pretty easy to quickly add/remove these depending on the game.

[b]Cards[/b]: It wouldn’t be a FFG board game expansion without cards, and this one delivers. Some are additions to the existing decks (new conditions, investigators, etc.) and others are new decks (Preludes, Unique Assets, Location decks and Research decks for the Anarctica board, etc.)

All in all, I really liked this expansion, and I’m excited to see Eldritch Horror continue to grow.

The only thing still missing for me is Harvey Walters. Harvey’s been a part of every Call of Cthulhu RPG and card/board/dice game I’ve owned since the 80s and it feels odd that he’s still absent from EH!

Go to the A Touch of Evil page

A Touch of Evil

81 out of 88 gamers thought this was helpful

Touch of Evil is a very popular game with my game group and myself. With an assortment of classic (and a few not-so-classic) villains to confront the heroes, it’s a different game every time. The expansions are well thought out–elements of the basic game and early expansions show that the designers had at least a conceptual vision of what they intended to add to the game.

Component Quality: As with most Flying Frog Games, the game components are of excellent quality. The board looks like a map of a colonial era village (and the subsequent boards in Something Wicked and The Coast blend seamlessly together with it). The cards are on good stock and plastic coated, and the game pieces (which are many) are on sturdy cardboard and also coated. The heroes themselves are nicely detailed plastic, and could be painted if you’re so inclined (I’m no painter, so I left mine as they were and they still look awesome). The artwork is fantastic, with photographs of actors in costume to depict the characters and events on the cards. Lastly comes the soundtrack CD, which includes mood music to fit the game combined with pieces of dialogue by the character actors.

Game play: The game defaults to competitive play, but personally I prefer the cooperative rules (which include team options for large groups). Competitive play doesn’t make as much sense to me, since it means that you and the other heroes are messing with each other to ensure that you and only you get to be the hero who defeats the villain. Though if you prefer competitive play, there are rationales for it: one way to justify it is that the cards you play against the other players aren’t you messing with them directly, but rather introducing story complications; the other option is that, with so many secrets and so many people under the influence of the villain and other supernatural forces, that the heroes simply can’t bring themselves to trust one another.
Each villain has its own minions and abilities, as well as a Mystery deck which is used to introduce the villains other actions during the game (the most central being “Murder!” in which the villain claims another victim–each villain has a unique ability that triggers in response to “Murder!” as well as the regular effects of the card.)
The village Elders may be of help to you, including joining your Hunting Party against the Villain, but be wary. Shadowbrook is a village of secrets, and each Elder has some. Some secrets are harmless and merely add a bit of flavour and story to the game, but others are more serious, including the possibility that one or more of the Elders is secretly in league with the Villain.
Overall: All in all, this is one of the favorite games at our game night (alongside Eldritch Horror and Betrayal at House on the Hill). If you like classic horror along the lines of Dracula, Sleepy Hollow, etc. than this game might be just what you’re looking for. It’s a lot of fun, has a high replay value (every game is unique with a different mix of heroes, villain, events, and mysteries), and the quality is top notch.
So grab your sabre or your musket, start your investigation, and watch your back. There’s a Touch of Evil everywhere…

Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
32 out of 37 gamers thought this was helpful

Betrayal at House on the Hill is hands down one of my favorite games, as well as being one of my favorite horror games specifically (which is saying something, because I’m a huge horror fan).

Exploring the house on the hill as a group in the early part of the game feels a lot like exploring a haunted house. The cards and rooms of the house create a unique story and board for each game, and I’ve found when my friends and I play it, that story is often very cohesive feeling (I’m not sure if that’s to be credited to the game design, our imaginations, a bit of luck in terms of what we drew where, or all three, but it’s awesome every time).

With 50 possible endings that can occur, and no way to know what one it will be until the Haunt is actually triggered, this game has massive replay value. Depending on the Haunt, the second portion of the game will play out in a unique way, often (but not always) with one of the players taking on the role of the “betrayer” and playing the Haunt against the rest of the group. One element that I particularly enjoy about this is that the betrayer and the survivors don’t know what exactly the other side’s victory requirements are, which can add to the tension and mystery/horror element as you try to wonder why the betrayer is doing what he/she is doing–is it to further their win condition, or are they trying to throw you off in some way?

The only true downside I found with this game is, it’s *extremely* hard to find at times. It seems to only come out in small print runs, and they often get snapped up rather quickly. In between, I find that online sellers of the game get pretty greedy (asking literally hundreds of dollars for the game). If you’re looking to get this one, bide your time, keep an eye on your FLGS and on sites like Amazon, and when the price is in a reasonable range snap a copy up while the getting is good. It’s a great game, but sellers asking as much as 8x or more the suggested retail price is just ridiculous!

Go to the Relic page


16 out of 18 gamers thought this was helpful

I was a fan of the Talisman system since the Revised edition, and the FFG version of the game has taken that game to whole new levels. Having said that, Relic takes the improved FFG Talisman game and builds on it even further, taking the basic design of Talisman and adapting it to the Warhammer 40000 Universe.

Some of the highlights of the game for me:

Great artwork: the cards and especially the game board look amazing.

Improved character development: while still recognizable as the Talisman-system, Relic used a leveling system. Each character gains different perks for advancing in level when they trade in their trophies (kills). Also, the level and ability score cap keeps the game from suffering the occasional “uber-stat” character that will sometimes crop up in Talisman.

Triple Threat: rather than one massive Adventure deck, this game has 3 colored Threat decks (red for strength/Orks, blue for willpower/Tyranids, and Yellow for cunning/Eldar) that are drawn in different combinations on the different board spaces. I liked this, as it lets you somewhat focus on exploring areas that favor a particular stat, so you can build up a weak ability or play to your strengths depending on your preferences.

The cards: the Corruption cards are an interesting element, and many of the Threat cards offer you genuinely tempting bonuses for accepting a Corruption card. The relic and wargear decks offer two ways to get assets, and the mission deck is a lot of fun as your character undertakes missions to increase influence, gain military assets/allies, and of course gain the titular relics to help them in their quest for victory

The downsides:

Character pieces and boards: While I love the look of the character busts and character cards, I’m a bit worried about the longevity of these pieces. The cardboard character stat dials look awesome but I worry that over time they’ll wear out a lot faster than the plastic tokens used in Talisman. The character busts are cool and very well crafted, but since you are popping them on or off the colored bases that go to each character board each game you play, I have a small concern that there will be that fateful day where the color base breaks. Time will tell, though, and they may prove more durable than they look at first glance.

Game length: This game seems, like Talisman, to have a tendency to play long (our last game ran a good four hours before we had to call it so people could go home to get some sleep). My hope is that as more of our group become familiar with the game, things will go a bit faster, but it may just be that like Talisman this game will be prone to occasional marathon bouts. The good news is, it’s a ton of fun so as long as you don’t mind an occasional long epic game this isn’t really an issue.

All in all, I really like this game and I’m glad I added it to my collection. I’ve already picked up the Nemesis expansion, and I’m keen to see PvP elements added to the game, as well as the upcoming Halls of Terra which introduces an expansion board to the game.

If you’re up for some epic science fantasy/science fiction adventure in the Warhammer 40K universe, this game brings it all to the table. I highly recommend it!

Go to the Munchkin page


29 out of 34 gamers thought this was helpful

Munchkin is an extremely fun game, and the original version is a very entertaining spoof of classic fantasy role-playing games (particularly the hack and slash style of old school Dungeons and Dragons). My friends and I have had many entertaining nights playing Munchkin and its many expansions and sister-games. The game designers show a keen sense of the games that Munchkin is making fun of, and an awareness of the many memes, gamer legends and history of the subject material that Munchkin is poking light-hearted fun at. An example of this is the dreaded Gazebo, which references the D&D gamer story commonly called “Eric and the Gazebo” (for those not familiar with this story, it has been retold in many forms but the basic gist is that in a now rather infamous incident, a player of a certain paladin evidently did not know what a gazebo was… and proceeded to attack it). Needless to say, in Munchkin, the Gazebo really can get you.

Munchkin is very straightforward to play and easy to learn or teach. Players have a hand of cards from which they can play class or race cards, treasure, monsters (either on themselves to “look for trouble” and advance their character or on others using cards like “Wandering Monster” in order to foil the other players) and various modifier cards.

The basic idea is to make life easier for your character, mess up life for you opponents, and generally have fun playing a largely dysfunctional party of adventurers. Each monster you defeat (as well as a few other cards in the game) gives you one or more levels for your character, and first one to level 10 wins. You can assist each other (usually in exchange for treasure), but in the end you generally end up stabbing your buddies to get ahead.

Choose Your Game or Mix and Match
In addition to its many expansions, Munchkin also exists in many variants now, including Star Munchkin, Super Munchkin, even Munchkin Cthulhu. Each variant focusses on a different genre, be it science fiction, super heroes, zombies, the Cthulhu Mythos, or even spaghetti westerns, so you can pick the Munchkin game that best suits your personal tastes. The games are also all compatible, so you can mix and match different variants into a single game – if you feel like pitting your party of elven wizards and Cyborg warriors against zombies, space aliens and cowboys, you can. Personally I rarely mix the games, being a bit of a purist, but I have played a couple of very entertaining “mash up” games in the past.

The Pros
This game is hilarious, and my game group and I have always had a ton of fun and laughs playing it. Even for non-gamers who maybe don’t get all of the in-jokes the game has to offer, it’s a fun game and easy to play. For obvious reasons the people who get the most entertainment out of a game like Munchkin are those who are familiar with games like D&D and fantasy RPGs and can really appreciate the humorous take on the old school side of fantasy gaming. That being said, pretty much anyone can see the joke of the Psycho Squirrel, who viciously assaults male characters unless they have protected themselves with the Spiked Codpiece.

The Cons
There are really only two things I can say that could be counted as points against Munchkin.

Genre Humor: The main one is that this is really a game intended for gamers, and while anyone can have fun playing it, players who aren’t familiar with fantasy gaming and the like may not get all of the jokes, thus missing out on some of the fun (and possibly staring at the gamers at the table in a bit of confusion trying to figure out what’s so funny).

Can Run Long: While most of the Munchkin games I have played have been fast and fun (the last time I met with my game group, we packed a half a dozen different Munchkin variants into an evening), once in a while a game of Munchkin can run long, usually due to bad draws or overly enthusiastic backstabbing of fellow players. On those rare occasions when the game drags on, the humor can be lost as people just want it to be over. This can happen in nearly any game, though, and is hardly unique to Munchkin or a fault that can be held against the quality of the game itself.

Overall Review:
This is a favorite at our game tables, and great to play when you want a fairly quick game that doesn’t take much time to set up or learn the rules to. Just shuffle the cards, deal everyone their starting hands, and let the laughs and mayhem ensue. The most important pieces of advice I can offer to anyone planning to get into Munchkin is pick the variants that you and your game group will find the funniest and most suited to your specific tastes, and play with friends – a big part of this game is back stabbing and chicanery, so if you have that touchy gamer in your group that doesn’t like getting occasionally (or frequently) messed with, that personally probably won’t enjoy this game. For everyone else, though, it’s a potential laugh riot.

Go to the Magic Realm page

Magic Realm

15 out of 17 gamers thought this was helpful

I haven’t actually dusted this game off in quite a few years. I picked it up on a whim, and my friend and I enjoyed quite a few games of it back in the day. My only real complaint is that Magic Realm is a decidedly complex game with a lot of extremely detailed rules in it. In many respects, this is almost an RPG in a box as much as it is a board game. Now that being said, the replay potential of this game is enormous as a result.

The Pros:

Incredibly detailed, rich game.
Considerable replay value.

The Cons:

Complex rule system can take time to learn and may discourage casual board game players.
Compared to more modern games in this genre, the pieces are of lesser quality and there are a lot of little soft cardboard tokens to keep track of.

While this is a good game in its own right, I think it probably has a very narrow niche market. There are a lot of fantasy board games out there to choose from these days, and many of them are faster to play and easier to learn.

Go to the Eldritch Horror page

Eldritch Horror

65 out of 72 gamers thought this was helpful

I was hesitant at first to buy Eldritch Horror. I’d already spent a lot of money on Arkham Horror and it’s expansions, and I wasn’t sure if Eldritch would be sufficiently different to make it worth adding to my collection. A friend of mine got to play the game, however, and quickly sold me on it.

Eldritch Horror has a similar premise to Arkham, in that an Ancient One is rising and the investigators are seeking to prevent it from awakening and bringing doom to the world. The investigators include familiar faces from the Arkham/Elder Sign line (disappointingly lacking is Harvey Walters – all the way back to 3rd edition Call of Cthulhu the RPG from Chaosium, Harvey has sort of beena staple in the Mythos games for me, and it feels strange not to see him; hopefully he will arrive in an EH expansion at some point).

In this game, however, the investigators are coming from all over the globe, and their search for a way to block the impending Horror also take them all over the world. While Arkham dealt with Mythos occurrences and threats within “Lovecraft Country”, and Elder Sign takes place inside a Museum, Eldritch Horror has the investigators traversing the world searching for clues and unearthing ancient mysteries.

The Pros:

Ancient One Specific Storyline: Each of the Ancient Ones has its own deck of Mysteries (which are solved to prevent the awakening of the Ancient One) and encounter cards (which the investigators must take on to obtain clues), so the game has encounters and story elements specific to each Ancient One. This gives the game a more ‘dedicated’ feel than Arkham, where all manner of Lovecraftian occurences are taking place. The Mythos deck is also different in each game – the deck consists of three colors of card, and three tiers. The Ancient One determines how many cards of each color are shuffled into each tier, so you never know what the deck will contain each game.

Global Adventures: The investigators get to explore exotic locales (some of these are specific, like Shanghai or the Himalayas, while others are generic city, wilderness and sea encounters), including undertaking Expeditions to specific places (there is one expedition in effect at any time, and the investigators can travel there to pursue the story in that locale if they wish). As with Arkham Horror, encounter cards are split into three possible encounters, determined by the location in which the card was drawn. The encounters are interesting and rich with flavor, for those who enjoy the story aspect of the encounters in games like this.

Good Game Pace: Eldritch Horror seems to move at a good pace, with each investigator performing two actions and having an encounter each turn. Compared to Arkham Horror, I do find that this game plays out much faster (though to be fair, what tends to slow down my Arkham games is the expansion content). Eldritch Horror seems to move a lot more briskly along, in my experience.

Omens of Doom and Mythos Events: I really liked the addition of the Omen Track, which has four positions displaying 3 icons. As the Omen Track advances due to certain Mythos Card events, it triggers various effects (the most common being each gate with an icon matching the current open adds one to the doom track). Another cool game mechanic I liked is the “triggered events” – when certain Mythos cards bearing a given symbol are drawn, various monsters, rumors and condition cards will activate. It makes for a very dynamic game, as you never know just what each round will bring.

The Cons:

Ancient Ones: I don’t have a lot bad to say about Eldritch Horror, but the one thing that is a bit lacking is the selection of Ancient Ones. The basic game so far only has 4 Ancient Ones in it (Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth, Shub-Niggurath, and Cthulhu). While these are all really great, and I get that with the Mysteries and Ancient-specific content it takes a lot more cards and more work to create an Ancient One for Eldritch Horror, I hope they release expansion content that adds more Ancient Ones (Nyarlathotep, Hastur, and Ithaqua are all notably missing, and I think would be really interesting in the Eldritch Horror style of game – Nyarlathotep in particular could be approached in a number of ways, with his various Mask incarnations he could be an expansion unto himself if handled the right way). That being said, you can still get tons of fun and game play out of the four Ancients in the initial game.

Overall: I found this game a welcome addition to my game shelf. It’s sufficiently different that it will not lure me away from Arkham or become redundant. The two games each have their own merits, and while they share that familiar Mythos feel with each other, they each offer their own distinct game experience.

Go to the Munchkin Zombies page

Munchkin Zombies

14 out of 15 gamers thought this was helpful

My friends and I played Munchkin Zombies (with its expansions) this weekend as part of a 6-game Munchkin-marathon, and we had a ton of fun with it. As with any Munchkin variant, it gave us a ton of laughs (and like any Munchkin variant, if you’re a fan of the genre/theme of the game, you’ll get that little added dose of fun and laughter from it).

In a reversal of most Munchkin games, you are the zombies, and the “monsters” are mostly human beings with a few rogue zombies in the mix. As you can imagine, many of the human monsters are people you’d expect to see (and see killed) in a zombie movie, and are in themselves pretty funny. I was especially glad to see all the variety and humour in these cards, since “humans” at first glance you would think can’t possibly yield the number of comic adversaries that other Munchkin games have… but first glance would be wrong. My friends and I ran afoul of a Babysitter (with a broken baby bottle to cut you (sucka!) in hand) and the Briiiiaaaannns, who are amusingly more dangerous if you know anyone named Brian.

As you race to be the first to achieve level 10 by consuming tasty brains, you will gather up equipment like the Porcelin Armor (a toilet), burning trashcans (to use as footwear) and some slightly more disgusting items like Grabby Guts, in which your innards provide you with an extra hand. There is also a series of cards that include things like “Traaaaains…”, “Craaaaanesss…” and “Draiiiiinnnssss…”, which have various effects and instructions that “Everyone say ‘(insert word rhyming with brains here)’ You don’t have to say it, but it adds a certain Munchkin-ish entertainment factor if you play along.

We had a blast with this version of Munchkin, and a ton of laughter was had by all participants. If you like Munchkin, and especially if you also like the Zombie genre of TV and film, I’d highly recommend this variant of the game. You’ll laugh your head off (pun intended).

Go to the Munchkin Apocalypse page
110 out of 118 gamers thought this was helpful

My friends and I just played Munchkin Apocalypse as part of an impromptu “Munchkin Marathon” this weekend, and it was a blast. I picked this one up largely on a whim (I already had Munchkin Zombies and Munchkin Cthulhu, so Apocalypse seemed like a good variant to add to the mix). I’ll focus on the parts of the game that are unique to this particular version of Munchkin, rather than belabour the standard commonalities of the various Munchkin games.

The most noticeable thing about Apocalypse that makes it different from the other Munchkin games is the Seals. As the Seals open, different ongoing effects come into play, and if seven seals are opened the game ends. What I liked about this twist on the game was that if Seven Seals open up the victory doesn’t go to the highest level character, but to the one with the highest combat bonus, so you might think you are winning only to have victory handed to the guy with the most/best stuff (which is unbelievably Munchkin-ish when you get right down to it.

In Apocalypse your available classes are Kid, Scientist, Militia, and Bloggers, with the usual assortment of class-specific cards available to them. In the theme of Curses, Madness, etc. this set has Disasters, but the effects are fairly similar (however some cards, like the Blogger, have effects or abilities specific to Disasters).

We had tons of laughs in our two games of Munchkin Apocalypse last night, which is what you are really going for with a Munchkin game of any kind. The Four Horsies of the Apocalypse gave me quite a turn – imagine being chased down by a quartet of Apocalyptic My Little Ponies. I’m glad I bought this Munchkin variant, and I’m looking forward to see what kinds of expansions it may yield in the future.

The end is nigh… may as well go out laughing.

Go to the Arkham Horror: The Dunwich Horror page
78 out of 85 gamers thought this was helpful

The first new board expansion for Arkham Horror brings all kinds of new stuff to the game, most obviously the town of Dunwich and the looming threat of the Dunwich Horror for which the expansion was named. I was eager to pick this expansion up for my AH shelf, and I was definitely not disappointed.

Dunwich: A well-known locale for Lovecraft fans, Dunwich is filled with creepy locations and a few equally creepy inhabitants. It also introduces the vortex spaces, located at several areas on the board. If monsters move onto the vortex spaces, they add markers to the Dunwich Horror track (this also advances the terror track). Get three of those, and the Horror will be unleashed as Wilbur Whateley’s even uglier sibling arrives.

Dunwich Horror: A very powerful monster (the Horror doesn’t get a Herald card in this expansion, but the Miskatonic Horror box has one for it), the Horror doesn’t move but instead if its symbol comes up, it has a 50/50 chance of adding a doom token to the Ancient One. The Dunwich Horror is more powerful than a typical monster, though not so powerful as the Ancient Ones, and its combat scores are determined by drawing from the Dunwich Horror cards included in the expansion.

Cards Galore: There are all kinds of cards in this expansion. In addition to new cards to be added to the existing decks, several new cards types are added with this box. Injury and Madness cards are optionally gained when reduced to 0 stamina or sanity; instead of turning up at the hospital or asylum with 1 point in the score, you get to come back with your full score – but with a lingering effect of some sort from your harrowing experience. Condition cards represent ongoing effects that can affect (or afflict) an investigator. Rail passes can be obtained, eliminating those pesky costs to travel between boards, and you can even get a Sheldon Gang Membership if your investigator wants to take a slightly criminal approach to things (though you risk being arrested, of course). There’s also the usual medley of items, spells, skills, Mythos and location cards (some for Arkham, and new decks for the Dunwich locations), new investigators and 4 new Ancient Ones, including Shudde M’ell and Tsathoggua, both of whom can render locations unusable (Tsathoggua through a persistent malaise effect, Shudde M’ell by the more direct approach of levelling the building).

Overall: I loved the Dunwich Horror story, and I’m a big fan of this expansion, which adds both the infamous town and a lot of fun game elements to the game. About my only real complaint about the expansion is that of all the expansion boards, Dunwich seems to come up the least in my game. Through sheer random chance, gates sometimes just don’t pop up in Dunwich, or not many, and without gates and monsters, there’s not much reason to go to Dunwich unless you just feel like going there for clues and for fun. That being said, the two times the Dunwich Horror HAS gotten loose it’s been pure mayhem (also, it’s worth noting that with the addition of the Dunwich Horror as a Herald in the Miskatonic Horror expansion, the Dunwich Horror becomes more likely to appear and can cause a lot more trouble if it does). I’d recommend this expansion, as it is a lot of fun, I just wish that Dunwich was a more active locale in more of my Arkham Horror games.

Go to the Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow page
59 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

The King In Yellow is third in the excellent line of expansions released for Arkham Horror, and another great addition to the game. As always with the small box expansions for the game, this one centres around a Herald, this time The King in Yellow. In addition to the Herald, the expansion includes an assortment of new cards for the Arkham Horror decks as well as some new elements such as Blight and Magical Effects. It also adds a whole new way to lose the game – The Act cards.

Here’s my take on the different elements in the box:

The Herald: The King in Yellow is fueled by the terror track – every time the terror track goes up, you have to place a Yellow Sign into play. You have two choices, either add it to the doom track (in which case it acts like a doom token) or place it onto the just vacated space on the terror track, at which point you have to put a Blight card into play.

Blight Cards: These represent people from around Arkham, who have been driven insane by the influence of the King in Yellow. Each one has some sort of ill effect on the game when they are introduced (perhaps the most noteworthy being Doyle Jeffries, who when drawn causes three Riots (monsters) to be unleashed into the streets of Arkham). In addition, should investigators draw an encounter that references one of the deranged characters, they ignore the encounter and instead lose a sanity or a stamina due to their encounter with the insane individual.

Act Cards: Perhaps the most influential addition in this expansion, the Act cards represent the King in Yellow play taking place. There are three acts and if the third act enters play the game is over as terror and madness engulf Arkham. Certain Mythos draws (“The Next Act Begins”) cause a new Act card to be played. The rules sheet for the expansion offers two options for integrating these cards into your game, depending if you want the Act to be just part of the game or the King in Yellow to be a focus of the game (I always play with the former option)
(These cards get replaced in Miskatonic Horror with a new set that adjust the mechanics on how they enter play to account for the increased size of the Mythos deck).

Magical Effects: These are some ongoing effects that go with some of the new spell cards that are added with this expansion, such as Third Eye. They represent ongoing effects caused by these spells.

Cards: As always, this expansion includes a selection of new cards to be added to the existing Arkham Horror decks (including “The Next Act Begins!” cards for the Mythos deck, as well as a selection of spells, items and encounter cards).

Summary: All in all, I really enjoyed this expansion (ultimately I enjoyed all the Arkham expansions, truth be told). The Act cards might be a bit frustrating to some players at times, and can certainly add a sense of urgency to the game if they start occurring, but it’s all part of the fun of Arkham Horror.

Go to the Arkham Horror: Black Goat of the Woods page
70 out of 77 gamers thought this was helpful

I actually enjoyed this expansion a lot, more so than other reviewers thus far it seems. Like all the small box Arkham Horror expansions, the theme here centres around a Herald, specifically the “Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young”. The bulk of the expansion’s contents pertain to the cult and monsters relating to Shub Niggurath and the Black Goat itself.

Herald: The Black Goat has some rather distinct effects of the game, the most notable being the creation of a split monster cup. Hexagon monsters (several more of which are introduced with this expansion) are used to form a second monster cup, which spawns additional monsters to the regular ones that appear in the game. It also allows Dark Young (the Thousand Young referred to in its full designation) to move, and defeating Hexagon monsters causes investigators to suffer Corruption. Monster surges advance the doom track, and half of the monsters spawned are from the hexagon cup.

Corruption Cards: This deck is part green (the top half) and part red (the bottom half) and represents the corrupting influence of the Mythos on the investigators. Each card has some sort of effect (triggered by monster movement symbols on the Mythos draws) which are generally negative and get worse as the investigators gain more of them and delve into the red half of the cards.

“One of the Thousand” Cult Membership Cards: Similar to the Silver Lodge Membership from the Arkham Horror base game, the investigators will have occasional opportunities to gain one of these cards. Cult members have cult encounters in the Black Isle, Woods and Unvisited Isle, instead of the regular encounters. As you might expect, while joining the cult may yield benefits, dabbling with the forces of the Mythos is a risky business for investigators.

New Monsters: The expansion adds some additional monsters (Dark Young, Goat Spawn, Children of the Goat and the Dark Druid) to the monster cup. As you might expect these are all hexagon monsters relating to the Black Goat and Shub-Niggurath (the Dark Druid is perhaps the most significant – he’s no Wizard Whateley or Barnabas Marsh, but he can be a real pain, especially with lots of monsters on the board)

Difficulty Cards: These cards are used to make the Arkham Horror game more or less difficult. This is the one part of the expansion I can honestly say I’ve never used, but some people might like them. They are really a very minor element of the expansion, so you can use them or just set them aside and enjoy the main parts of the expansion.

The Usual Card Assortment: As is usual in any AH expansion, this one adds some new spells, items and encounter cards to the existing decks.

Overall: I really liked this expansion, and I usually have a lot of fun when the Black Goat shows up as the Herald. It definitely creates a unique (if monster-oriented) game environment. As the small box expansions go, I feel this one is definitely on par with the other three and one of my personal favorites.

Go to the Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror page
56 out of 63 gamers thought this was helpful

The Innsmouth Horror is the sixth Arkham Expansion, the third “big box” expansion (and the last one to incorporate a new board into the game). It’s also possibly my favorite (Dunwich Horror runs a close second, but I find DH doesn’t become an “active” area in a lot of games)).

Thematically, this expansion is extremely well down, depicting the title settlement from Lovecraft’s Shadow Over Innsmouth and its degenerate residents. It also introduces some very cool game elements to Arkham Horror.

Ancient Ones: Innsmouth adds 8 new Ancients to the game, I believe the most of any single Arkham expansion, including a few personal favorites like Ghatanothoa, Chaugn Faugn and Cthugha, as well as Quachil Uttuas (considered by many to be the most difficult Ancient One in the game).

Innsmouth Look Cards: Very much in keeping with the theme of Shadow Over Innsmouth, and Innsmouth itself, these cards represent the possibility that, like the protagonist of Lovecraft’s tale, the investigators may carry the taint of Innsmouth blood in their veins. Over the course of the game, certain events may cause the investigators to draw one or more Innsmouth Look cards and possibly succumb to the call of their Deep One ancestors.

New Heralds: Innsmouth, quite naturally, introduces Dagon and Hydra, the rulers of the Deep Ones, as new Heralds. In addition to adding combat bonuses (potentially big ones) to Cthulhu if he’s the Ancient One, they also accelerate the Deep One Uprising track. Hydra can add monsters to the game when investigators fall, and Dagon can boost the doom track as the terror level rises. What makes them truly dangerous is unlike other Heralds, Dagon and Hydra are built to be used in tandem (and their abilities are both cumulative and complimentary)

Personal Story Cards: I really loved this fun addition to the game. Each investigator has a “story” with some flavor text and a pass/fail effect. Depending on the investigator, these can range greatly in difficulty and the degree of bonus/penalty for success or failure. These cards appeal to the role-player and the storyteller in me, giving each investigator their own motivations and involvement in the tale that unfolds as you play Arkham (and the outcomes of the stories can have any number of impacts on the game, as well)

Innsmouth Board: Innsmouth is an interesting place, with its residents and their ties to the Deep Ones (once the Doom Track reaches a certain level, the town goes under Marsh-all law, forcing investigators to sneak through the streets). It also has the looming threat of the Deep One Uprising (which can be countered by spending clues to load the FBI investigation track), and Devil Reef and Y’ha-nthlei which are difficult to access unstable locations (careless investigators can get stranded there for a few turns if no one comes to send a boat for them). Tread carefully in Innsmouth!

Go to the Arkham Horror: The Lurker at the Threshold page
62 out of 69 gamers thought this was helpful

The Lurker at the Threshold is the third small box expansion for Arkham Horror (or fourth, if you count the Dark Pharaoh un-revised edition), and like the others it introduces a new herald and some related cards. It’s a bit unusual amongst the Heralds, as the basic theme of the Lurker is that investigators can draw on eldritch powers in their efforts to thwart the Ancient One, provided they are bold, foolish or desperate enough. As you might expect, meddling with ye forces of darkness can carry a terrible price.

Here’s my take on a few of the major components of the expansion:

The Lurker at the Threshold: The most unusual thing about this Herald is that other than drawing a Reckoning card with each new Gate, and a -1 penalty to close/seal gates, the Lurker’s other two game effects can be avoided – unless the investigators give in to the temptation and form Dark Pacts with the Lurker. Of course, it can be tempting to risk it in order to get a little boost, and in keeping with the feel of eldritch pacts with dark powers the more dire your situation is, the more alluring the benefit of a Dark Pact might seem (some cards, like “An Offer You Can’t Refuse, can force a Dark Pact to be taken, too).

Reckoning Cards: Reckoning cards represent occurrences tied to the Lurker and its influence, particularly upon those who have accepted Pacts. Generally speaking, these are bad, and the more your investigators have dabbled with Dark Pacts and the Power from the Lurker, the more dangerous Reckonings can be.

Relationship Cards: Though a minor addition to the game, these are fun. Relationship cards provide small bonuses reflecting the relationship between the starting investigators (replacement investigators don’t get one). These are usually minor bonuses, and you need to remember to use them, but they can be helpful and for the roleplaying gamers provide a little extra something to the investigator team. These cards remind me of the bit in a lot of RPGs where they suggest that the players establish pre-game connections between their characters.

New Gates: The Lurker expansion replaces the Gate markers with new ones, and gates now tend to have special effects linked to them (some gates move, some devour investigators if they open on an occupied space or cause sanity loss if an investigator fails an attempt to close a gate). This adds a little added flavor to the game and makes gates more interesting.

Cards: As usual, there are some new cards to add to the Arkham Horror decks – a few items and spells, encounter cards, etc.

Overall Impression: I liked this expansion. It is definitely unique amongst the small box AH expansions and adds some fun, new twists to the game. Thematically, it’s a very cool set, and players can have a lot of entertainment from the temptation of fighting the Mythos by delving into the very powers they are struggling against.

Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: 4th Edition page
56 out of 73 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve been playing role-playing games (and Dungeons & Dragons) for nearly thirty years now, and I’ve seen a lot of games including all four editions of D&D and the non-Advanced versions. I picked up the D&D 4th ed. when it was first coming out, mainly because I needed to rebuild my game shelf, having lost most of my old games. I also picked D&D because it’s basically the ‘mainstay’ RPG (when dealing with new gamers or casual players who aren’t very familiar with gaming, each category has that one game even non-gamers seem to know – D&D for RPGs, Magic the Gathering for CCGs, WoW for MMOs). I bought lots of the early 4e books, but soon lost interest.

My first impression of this edition is that it was clearly marketed and designed to try and find a foothold in a time when the tabletop RPG market is diminished from its former glory of the 80s and 90s, where MMOs have gained more popularity and publicity. The 4e D&D system made me think “World of Warcraft for D&D players”, in terms of the way character roles and parties are laid out, and just the whole system. Personally, while this isn’t necessarily bad (I certainly see the marketing advantage by appealing to MMO players), I myself don’t care for it.

I’m also a huge advocate of encouraging people to play “the other games”. I go out of my way to NOT play D&D, WoW or MtG, because in my experience “best known” isn’t the same as “best game”. I’ve sat at more than a few game tables where the group refuses to try anything new, and sooner or later someone says “let’s just play D&D”. There are a lot of really great RPGs out there that have better game systems, are more fun, and are more creative and innovative than D&D. I’m sure D&D will always be there (5th edition is supposed to be just over the horizon), but I would encourage people to try something else – Pathfinder seems to appeal even to a lot of former D&D gamers, and there are some really great systems out there like Savage Worlds, Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu (and the Basic Roleplaying system in general), all of which can provide great gaming experiences (Savage Worlds and BRP are also frankly a lot easier to teach to new players than a system like D&D).

D&D has a respectable history as an RPG, but in my opinion its day may have passed, or at least diminished, and I would rather give support (and my money) to other game systems.

Go to the Elder Sign page

Elder Sign

108 out of 120 gamers thought this was helpful

I was hesitant at first to add Elder Sign to my Mythos game collection. I’m a huge fan of Lovecraft and the Mythos, but dice games have never really been my thing. That being said, I’m glad I made an exception in this case. Elder Sign is a lot of fun, and makes a great addition to the Arkham Horror Line from Fantasy Flight Games.

The game has a lot of common elements to Arkham Horror, including artwork – the investigators face a series of adventures in the Museum in Arkham seeking to prevent the Ancient One from awakening by sealing off the way using a series of Elder Signs. The game is quite rich in story and atmosphere, both good points for someone like me when evaluating a game. It doesn’t have as much to it as Arkham Horror (especially if you are used to playing AH with its large array of expansions), but Elder Sign is every bit as fun while being a lot faster to set up and play. Unlike the board games in the Horror line, Elder Sign also requires significantly less space to play.

All in all, for fans of the Arkham Horror game line or Mythos games in general, Elder Sign gives you a rich, fast, fun game that will leave you coming back for more. There’s already one expansion, Unseen Forces, which adds some very cool elements to the game, including a new set of cards of the Museum Entrance, blessings and curses.

Go to the Arkham Horror: Miskatonic Horror page
62 out of 69 gamers thought this was helpful

Miskatonic Horror is the eighth expansion, and fourth big box expansion, for the Arkham Horror board game. All appearances from FFG and MH itself suggest this is the final Arkham expansion, containing a vast selection of new cards that includes new cards for all the previous expansions, as well as the Institution cards.

The Pros:

Miskatonic Horror has a little bit of everything in it, and makes a nice rounding out expansion to the previous boxes. The Institution cards add a little something new and fun to assist the investigators, though their play value can vary drastically from one game to another. All in all, the cards in this box round and, update and flesh out elements from the other expansions in a really good way.

The Cons:

While not really a “con”, because Miskatonic Horror has cards for all the other expansion content in it, you won’t get the full benefit from this one unless you have already purchases the previous seven expansions. I’d recommend investing in this one last.
The only real negative point I can say about MH is that while it was issued as the fourth “big box” expansion, this almost feels like it was done out of an aesthetic need for balance (4 small expansions, 4 big ones). Unlike the other three “big box” Horror expansions, there is no new board with this one. The larger box might be justified because of the quantity of cards included (and there are a LOT of cards in the box), but for some it might seem overpriced or not as “shiny” as the Dunwich, Innsmouth and Kingsport boxes.

Overall Opinion: Well worth it.

All things considered, I am glad I bought this expansion. The contents round out the Arkham Horror game well (and it satisfies my need to complete sets of my games). This is essentially the “wrap up” product for the Arkham Horror line from FFG. It has the feel of being the expansion into which they included all the odds and ends of ideas the game designers had for the game so that they could get them out there to the AH fans, and now it looks like FFG is moving on to other products (the most obvious being the launch of the new Eldritch Horror game to their Cthulhu Mythos lineup).

Go to the Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh (Revised Edition) page
71 out of 78 gamers thought this was helpful

When I bought Curse of the Dark Pharaoh, it had already come in the revised edition, so I can’t compare to the original. The revised box is a good small box expansion for Arkham, easily on par with the others in the game line. Like the other small box expansions, the theme of this expansion centres around a Herald, the Dark pharaoh (obviously), one of Nyarlathotep’s Masks.

The Dark Pharaoh: I love the heralds, and the Pharaoh is one of those ones that is both terrible and fun (I figure, in a Cthulhu Mythos game, the eldritch horrors are always overwhelming, and struggling against the sanity blasting horror is part of the fun). The Pharaoh, like most Heralds who have a corresponding Ancient One, lends a lot of extra power if Nyarlathotep is the Ancient. The Pharaoh also makes gearing up harder – his hat trick is to cost you Sanity for taking a Unique Item (even in your starting gear), try to curse you if you take the Exhibit Items, and cost you Stamina if you are Cursed (Rex Murphy in a Pharaoh game is in for tough run)

The Exhibit Items and Ancient Whispers: These are a fun addition to the game, kind of a wandering encounter location with a chance to gain some artifacts that can help you in your struggle with the Mythos. The only downside to the Exhibit Items, in my mind, is that oddly they are best in games in which the Pharaoh is NOT the Herald, and not really worth it when he is.

The Cards: There are some fun cards for various decks, as well as Benefits and Detriments, which flesh out the expansion nicely. Like most of the expansions in Arkham Horror, these are enjoyable little add-ons that introduce some new aspects to the decks, which keeps the game fresh and diverse.

All in all, I recommend this expansion as a welcome part of the Arkham Horror game, though I found I enjoyed it more after I had added some of the other heralds to the game (you probably wouldn’t want to face the Pharaoh every time you play)

Go to the Zombies!!! (2ed) page

Zombies!!! (2ed)

17 out of 17 gamers thought this was helpful

Zombies!!! is a fun game, and has a pretty easy learning curve. Basically, you race to get out of town, avoid/kill zombies while gathering weapons, ammo, etc. and (in true zombie apocalypse style), mess up the other players in order to ensure that you are the one to get away alive. (“If zombies are chasing us, I’m totally tripping you.”)

The game is easy to set up and plays fairly fast paced, though it lacks the color and depth of gameplay of some other zombie games (such as Last Night On Earth). There are a vast array of expansions, but some of them (such as Zombies!!! The End and Zombies!!! 7 Send In the Clowns) don’t integrate terribly smoothly and are better as stand alone games, in my opinion. The basic premise of the game remains the same – get to the helicopter and escape before your fellow survivors. So no matter how many expansions you add, it remains more or less the same game.

There are lots of fun references to the genre (including a card called “They’re coming to get you [insert name here]”) that are bound to entertain zombie movie fans. The artwork on the cards is good, though the game board pieces and figures are fairly basic.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy to play zombie game that will give you some laughs with your friends, this can be a fun game. Make sure you play with good friends who have a sense of humor though, because winning this game almost always involves doing some pretty underhanded and horrible things to screw up the other players. Those seeking a more elaborate or story-based game may not find it completely satisfying, but if you just want to run for your life, kill some zombies, and leave your friends to die horribly, Zombies!!! will provide you with some good, albeit not-terribly clean fun.

Go to the Elder Sign: Omens page

Elder Sign: Omens

55 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

I have Elder Signs : Omens for the iPad, and it can be a lot of fun. I’m more fond of the regular, table top dice version of the game, but ESO is nice to have when you are on the go and looking to play a good Cthulhu Mythos game.

I have found that despite several updates, the game still is prone to occasional bugs, most of which have been pretty minor. The earlier version was prone to crashing at times, and while the stability is better now my most recent version has the minor problem of resetting the scores every time I exit the game.

The add on content for Cthulhu, Pharoah and Ithaqua are a lot of fun, adding completely new dimensions of play. In fact, the three new Ancient One stories can make the original four games set in the museum seem almost plain by comparison. They are also considerably more difficult, and the Ithaqua game can even take difficulty to a frustrating level – there are random events at various points in the game, and I once had three consecutive games in which I lost all my supplies as I entered the “home stretch”. Having said that, when you do beat him, it’s that much more rewarding.

Go to the Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror page
62 out of 70 gamers thought this was helpful

I’m a big fan of Arkham Horror and all of its expansions, and highly recommend them all. Kingsport Horror is a solid addition to the game, though perhaps my least favorite of the seven expansions. The new guardians, ancient ones, investigators and heralds are all great, and the gameplay in Kingsport is the most unique of the four boards.

My only real complaint about Kingsport is that the Rifts can cause Kingsport to really dominate other aspects of the Arkham Horror game. Unlike the Dunwich Horror or even Innsmouth, Rift activity in Kingsport is pretty much a given and often feels like a constant issue to take on. I often find in most games that one investigator ends up relegated to almost permanent assignment in Kingsport to keep the Rifts from getting out of control, which effectively takes them out of the equation in terms of closing/sealing gates and can hamper their ability to really gear up. By comparison, the Dunwich Horror is comparatively uncommon (in fact I have played games where almost nothing happens in Dunwich, depending on the card draws)

I think Kingsport is a really good component to the Arkham Horror game, but some players may find the Rift system to be distracting or frustrating. It may not be as popular as the other expansions, but still tons of fun.

Go to the Arkham Horror page

Arkham Horror

111 out of 128 gamers thought this was helpful

As a huge fan of H. P. Lovecraft and of Cthulhu Mythos games in general, Arkham is one of my favorites. The base game is a lot of fun and has considerable replay value, courtesy of the different combinations of Ancient Ones, Investigators, and the way Location Encounters work. Add in some or all of the many great expansions and the odds of seeing the same game twice are virtually non-existent. Familiarity with Lovecraft’s stories can add to the fun as you encounter characters and places from the stories, but is hardly essential.

Arkham can take a while to learn in its entirety, not because the rules are complex but simply because there is so much that you can do in the game. The expansions are well worth adding, but you may want to add them one at a time to give yourself time to familiarize yourself with the new elements each one introduces. The only drawback of the expansions is with all the boards and card decks, the game can take a while to set up and requires an unusually large play area for a board game. That being said, the game is well worth it.

Other than the story rich environment of the game and the diverse ways in which each game can play out, I also really like the way the game scales itself based on the size of the play group. With anywhere from 1-8 investigators involved, the game manages to be challenging to any sized group. In a few cases, some Ancient Ones actually are more or less formidable against larger or smaller groups. You really never do know how the game will play out or what to expect, and every time you play it’s a new story.

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