In this entry we recommend the 10 best games based on the world of cosmic horror of H.P Lovecraft and The Cthulhu Mythos.
This list is a top , so I will comment from tenth to first what I consider to be the best games in ascending order. I have also included both board games and role-playing games. Without further ado we start:
10 – Witch of Salem
Witch of Salem is a cooperative board game. The board represents the city of Arkham with different locations. Players play different investigators who must move around the city to prevent the portals from opening that allow entry to the Greater Old Ones to win the game.
9 – Eldritch Horror
Eldritch Horror is a cooperative board game. Players play investigators who, this time, will have to travel (Pandemic style) around the world to stop the invasion of cosmic horrors.
8 – Arkham Horror
Arkham Horror is a cooperative game that puts us back in the city of Arkham. The players also play the investigators, but the difference is that in this game the board that represents the city locations is modular, and I like it better visually.
7 – Cthulhu Wars
Cthulhu Wars is a strategy and miniatures game. It is a competitive game where this time it puts us in the shoes of the Greater Old Ones. Each player will have under his control a faction that represents a Old One God and his minions. The board represents the Earth and is divided into territories that the players must control with their different units. A game that uses Risk but with many more options and lots of monstrous miniatures from the Lovecraft universe (and with an equally monstrous price…).
6 – Elder Sign
Elder Sign is a cooperative dice and card game. The cards represent the different characters, tools, places, etc. On this occasion, players will also embody the investigators who must complete the missions to stop the primal horrors and win the game. However, this time the game introduces custom 6-sided dice to perform different actions as the main mechanic.
5 – Mountains of Madness
Mountains of Madness is a cooperative board game. This game is set in the novel by H.P. Lovecraft of the same name and players will have to play the characters to reach the top of the intriguing mountain in the arctic. The difficulty with this game is that it adds limits to communication between players, making it quite immersive. This special mechanic and the visually different aspect make the game very original and very well themed.
4 – Rats in the Walls
Rats in the Walls is a Role-Playing Game that uses a 6 dice system. This system is based on Powered by the Apocalypse’s 2d6 which is very narrative focused. It is very easy to learn and easy to play. The manual introduces its own setting and elements of Cosmic Horror that add or complement H.P. Lovecraft‘s The Cthulhu Mythos, so it has a fresh and modern feel that works very well especially for one-shot games.
You can see our review of Rats in the Walls to find out more 🙂
3 – Arkham Horror (The Card Game)
Arkham Horror is the collectible card game version of the aforementioned board game. The cards represent the characters, creatures, places and narrative events. Players play different investigators who must overcome the tests shown on the narrative cards to overcome the scenario.
2 – Mansions of Madness (2nd edition)
Mansions of Madness is a board and miniatures game. The modular board represents the different rooms and places in the mansion through which the characters and monsters will move. These characters and monsters are represented in miniatures. The 2nd edition integrates the game with an Application that will indicate the players’ options, the control of the monsters and the narrative progress of the mission, virtually replacing the figure of the Game Master (or Keeper). The combination is a very attractive and immersive game that is close to a dungeon-crawler in the Hero Quest and Descent style but with a Lovecraft setting.
1 – The Call of Cthulhu (7th edition)
The Call of Cthulhu is a role-playing game with a 100 dice system. Players play different agents and investigators who must solve the mysteries or challenges of the adventure directed by the Keeper/Game Master player. It is a classic role-playing game with an easy yet realistic percentage system. The 1st edition was genuine and the one that introduced the world of H.P. Lovecraft to many of us (even before reading his stories). This 7th edition is very respectful of the 1st but adds elements and mechanics more typical of modern role-playing games (for example, “pushing” rolls). It all started and it all ends with The Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, and for me it is still the best Lovecraft setting game by far.
Bonus – Chants for the Old Ones
At the time I proposed this top, a Kickstarter for a very interesting game appeared: Chants for the Old Ones. A strategy board game where players will have to play different cultish characters and worshipers of the Greater Old Ones. A competitive game that puts us in the role of the ‘bad guys’ and that looks very interesting. So we support the project with a great desire to try it… and who knows if I will have to edit this top in the future.
The setting of Cosmic Horror by H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu mythos is one of my favorites. Perhaps what scares me the most is knowing how insignificant we can become despite all our arrogance. Lovecraft board games precisely have that element in common: they put us in the role of investigators who do everything possible to stop the inevitable, the arrival of powers beyond the unimaginable. Against this, who could not lose their sanity? I already did it! But if you still have something, let me know what you think in the comments 😉