With Halloween tomorrow, I thought I’d share a review of the spookiest board game in our collection, Elder Sign by Fantasy Flight Games. This game is inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft, particularly the Cthulhu mythology he created. (If you’re unfamiliar with this author, here’s a handy Wikipedia link!) The game is a cooperative for 1 – 8 players, where you play various characters in a museum, trying to prevent an ancient monster, an Elder One, from awakening and destroying the Earth. Along the way, you go on different adventures and fight all manner of scary monsters.
The aim of the game is to collect 14 elder sign tokens before the doom track is filled with twelve tokens. You get elder sign tokens by completing adventure cards and you achieve this through rolling the right dice and also using various special items and skills.
Husband and I really enjoy this one. While to an extent, the roll of the dice is a matter of luck, there are elements of skill too. You have to pick the adventure that most suits your character skills and the items you currently hold and also which would give you the rewards that would most benefit you. Like all of the cooperative games we’ve tried, I really like the element of working together and sharing information with each other.
The game mechanic works really well and there are always points in the game where there’s some genuine tension created, partly created by the clock slowly turning towards midnight every four turns, when some terrible mishap might befall your characters!
The game is very aesthetically appealing with rich illustrations throughout and a real creepy atmosphere created by the descriptions on each adventure card. There’s plenty of replay value, with lots of different characters to play and lots of different Elder Ones to attempt to defeat!
As someone who has read a very limited amount of Lovecraft’s work, I really think this game would appeal to anyone, regardless of being a fan of the author or not. This is a brilliant game and perfect for a spooky Halloween!