Hello all! This will be my first time posting. My name is Keith and I hope to bring you a few off beat links. Craig and company have films based on lovecrafts work covered pretty well, so I intend to concentrate on other Cthulhu related merchandise, or cosmic horror films not directly made from Lovecraft’s fiction. As this months poll is based on what everyone’s favorite game based off of Lovecraft’s work is, I thought I’d point out a few not mentioned so much. In the last decade or so his creations have been the inspiration for quite a few games out there.
We’ll start with Board Games. Everyone here probably knows Arkham Horror by Fantasy Flight Games, so normally I wouldn’t mention it. However, it will soon be getting a new expansion: The Lurker at the Threshold (http://store.fantasyflightgames.com/productdetails.cfm?sku=VA63 ) with 110 new Ancient One Cards. It also has new Gate markers designed to give Gates variety, and Relationship cards that will foster more cooperation among players. It should be out soon.
From Atlas Games you have Cults Across America (http://www.atlas-games.com/product_tables/AG1210.php ), a game for 2-6 players in which you play cults hellbent on world domination via tanks, Pope, Cthulhu, or some other method.
From Mayfair Games there is Witch of Salem (http://mayfairgames.com/game.php?id=83&stock=MFG3309&name=Witch+of+Salem), a game for 2-4 players who are the helpers of the master witch of Salem trying to locate and close portals to the other side that are letting minions of the Old Ones through.
Twilight Creations has 2 games. Cthulhu Rising (http://www.twilightcreationsinc.com/cthulhurising/) is a 2 player game where one player plays cultists trying to summon Cthulhu, and the other plays the investigators trying to shut them down. The other is Innsmouth Escape (http://www.twilightcreationsinc.com/innsmouthescape/) where 1 player plays a victim trying to escape Innsmouth, and the other 1-4 players are in charge of groups of Deep Ones trying to catch him.
Next up are card games of which seem to be quite popular with Mythos inspired game designers:
First up is Atlas Games’ Cthulhu 500 (http://www.atlas-games.com/product_tables/AG1260.php) a card game for 3 to 8 players, it allows you to choose one of several Mythos inspired racing vehicles, drivers, and pit crew before you tear off on a race across space/time to the finish line while trying to annihilate the competition.
Over at Steve Jackson games The Stars Are Right (http://www.sjgames.com/starsareright/) is the American translation of a German card game for 2-4 players. Its artwork is done by Goomi of The Unspeakable Vault of Doom
(http://www.goominet.com/unspeakable-vault/vault/295/). Players try to manipulate the patterns of the sky to summon the Old Ones and their minions.
They also have Chez Cthulhu (http://www.sjgames.com/chezcthulhu/) which is based off their popular line of Chez Geek card games, this particular one being inspired by the Mythos. Your goal as usual is to accumulate Slack by performing various activities, some of which are quite disturbing…
Their third card game Munchkin Cthulhu (http://www.worldofmunchkin.com/munchkincthulhu/) follows the usual Munchkin formula of kick open a door, fight monster, take it’s stuff. It has three sequels, one of which is also drawn by Goomi.
Toy Vault has Do You Worship Cthulhu (http://www.toyvault.com/cthulhugame/main.htm) a party game for 5-30 people in which one or more of the players is secretly a cultist and everyone attempts to convince each other the cultist is anyone but themselves.
Fantasy Flight Games has the Call of Cthulhu Living Card Game (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp?eidm=11&enmi=Call%20of%20Cthulhu%20LCG) which allows one player to portray the evils of the Mythos whilst another represents the Investigators trying to stop them.
Playroom Entertainment has Unspeakable Words (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UC8BPE?ie=UTF8&tag=purplepawn-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000UC8BPE) a card game for 2-6 players in which you win by forming ever more complicated words in the R’lyehian tongue. The more complicated the more points there worth, but the more likely you go crazy (sorry about the Amazon link I couldn’t find an official site link).
Third World Games has The Testimony of Jacob Hollow (http://www.thirdworldgames.com/html/tojh/index.jsp) a game for 2-6 players trying to solve the mystery of the destruction of Castle Bay.
Steve Jackson Games also has a Dice Based game called Cthulhu Dice (http://www.sjgames.com/dice/cthulhudice/). It’s a game for 2-5 players where in the players roll the dice and try to avoid Cthulhu showing up and draining their sanity.
Several sites also have downloadable games based on the Mythos, usually for free, sometimes in the playtesting stage:
Book Ranger has the Cthulhu Boardgame (http://www.bookranger.co.uk/Cthulhu/CthulhuHexAndCounter.htm), a downloadable print and play wargame that lets one player be the investigators and the other one be the monsters.
Warpspawn Games has Cthulhu Skirmish (http://www.angelfire.com/games2/warpspawn/CS.html), a board/card game for download in which two players assume the role of one of eight factions within Lovecraft’s universe fighting one another for whatever reason.
At Board Game Geek there are links to download and play Cthulhu: Tora! Tora! Tora! (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/39780/cthulhu-tora-tora-tora), a two-player board game pitting kamikaze pilots against Cthulhu. Pity the fighter pilots…
Invisible City productions has Cthul-B-Q (http://www.invisible-city.com/bulletins/494/cthul-b-que-game-of-the-month-for-september-08), a bizarre hybrid of the Mythos and Iron Chef in which you attempt to summon and then cook various extra-dimensional critters.
The Island of Wak Wak has Cthulhu Miniatures (http://www.island-of-wak-wak.com/) combat rules downloadable for playtesting.
S-P-O-N-G-E has their own Fight the Evil card game (http://www.s-p-o-n-g-e.com/cardgame.php) downloadable for play.
Several of the gaming sites also have various Cthulhu related goodies for sale along with their games.
Atlas Games also carries Where the Deep Ones Are (http://www.atlas-games.com/product_tables/AG2703.php). It’s a retelling of The Shadow over Innsmouth, but done as a children’s story (obviously given the parody inherent in it’s name).
Q Workshop has custom dice for Arkham Horror, Call of Cthulhu, and Munchkin Cthulhu (http://q-workshop.com/main.php?lang=EN&sell_type=DETAL).
There are also a few Role Playing games.
Pelgrane Press has Trail of Cthulhu (http://www.pelgranepress.com/) which offers a slightly different take on the genre.
1KM1KT has Apathy: The Calling (http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/apathy-the-calling), a bizarre take on the Mythos wherein slacker youth confront the minions of the Old Ones with inertia and boredom.
There are more RPG adaptations of the Mythos as well as many online games but those will wait for a future article. Let me know if you want to see more.