So, you could say I had a new experience recently. As you might remember me and a few friends I’ve made here in Canterbury get together for a semi-regular boardgame night, previous it was A Game of Thrones: The Boardgameofthrones, although in random case of impulse buying, they’ve also bought this game called Arkham Horror. It’s not, as you might think, related to Batman or anything like that, but instead is a game based on H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional town of Arkham, and deals with a lot of themes associated with the universe he created. First published in 1987, doncha know, although we’re playing an updated version published by the game people as Game of Thrones.
I have to say, it’s not usually the kind of game I go for. For starters, it’s co-operative as opposed to competitive, whereby the players have to work together to ‘win’ the game. There’s limited room for trolling, which can be funny at times, but if you try and screw over people too much then you will lose the game for everyone. Not to mention the fact it’s horror-based, and horror-based media is not something I usually go for (It’s actually less of an issue with boardgames as nothing’s trying to scare you, but still, I wouldn’t have spent my money on it) And I’m also a bit of a pop-fiction kind of guy, so boardgames base on IP’s I know and love (aside from classics like RISK or whatever) are also what I tend to gravitate too.
Still, it was interesting… you have to choose from a selection of characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses (and you can lightly role-play them if you want, although we don’t really do that unless we’re being ironic/trolls to each other), and there’s also items and equipment you can acquire or buy… you basically spend the whole game running around the map fighting monsters and going through dimensional portals so you can seal them. If things go horribly wrong though and you let too much bad shit happen, an ultimate ‘final boss’ encounter is triggered and you have to beat it in order to win. You can win before that by making sure the ‘Elder God’ doesn’t get a chance to spawn, which is preferable.
It’s a bit of a grind of a game though… sometimes it seems too easy, and then you can suddenly spend two hours stuck in limbo for various reasons. Monsters blocking off access to a gate, a special environment card that stops you sealing said gates, repeatedly being hospitalised or going insane, forcing you to effectively ‘start again’ (you’d need to go acquire more items to be useful)… during my second go at the game, I got hospitalised, and then hospitalised again without even being given a chance to return to the board. Yeah, that wasn’t fun.
Not sure how long we’ll run with this one… this group is mainly uni students so a lot of them are probably going to be going home for the summer soon, plus the lack of competitiveness isn’t really my thing – give me the armies of westeros any day, or at least the Battlestar Galactica boardgame which at least has the Cylons vs. Humans element.
In other news, E3 is next week! Huzzah! I don’t really know what the current rumours are at the moment, what’s supposed to be revealed or what’s not… should probably sort that out. I’ll probably do my usual E3 ritual of loading up on snacks and caffeine and watching the live streams. I like to watch those as they happen… I wonder what new heights of showmanship will be seen this year.