The Art of Darkness

Woo-Hoo Cthulhu

June 28th, 2011 by Cobwebs

In my online wanderings I’ve run into a number of Lovecraft-inspired games. If you’ve got a soft spot for shoggoths, here’s a roundup:

The Commonplace Book Project is devoted to creating interactive adventures based on the unfinished story ideas that H.P. Lovecraft collected in his “Commonplace Book”. They’re free for download in exchange for user feedback.

For you whippersnappers who are unfamiliar with the concept of interactive adventures, here’s a Wikipedia entry to help fill you in. Kids today, with your fancy-schmancy graphics and your abundance of CPU cycles. In my day, all we had were a brass lantern and an Elvish sword, and we couldn’t even see them.

Uh, heh. Anyway, Lovecraft.

Another excellent example of this type of horror interactive fiction is Infocom’s wonderful The Lurking Horror, available for download here. (The best part of interactive fiction games is that the text-based play looks entirely innocuous when glanced at by, say, your boss. Try doing that with Portal 2.)

Sort of similar is Skotos’ “prose adventure” Lovecraft Country, which isn’t so much a game as straight-up roleplaying in 1930s Miskatonic University. There isn’t really a point to this one, you just sort of wander around and are vaguely menaced.

For the Xbox, there’s Dark Corners of the Earth, which combines a first-person shooter with mystery and investigation. (It’s also available for PC.)

Shadow of the Comet is a PC-based game which combines Halley’s Comet with eldritch horror.

Alone in the Dark is another PC game (a fairly old one) “inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft.”

Arcane is a Web-based “mystery serial” in which you’re trying to defeat the Ancient Ones and their cultists.

If you prefer board games, check out Arkham Horror, a cooperative game in which you’re part of a small band of investigators trying to stop unnamed monstrosities from taking over the world. Apparently the original module isn’t too hard to defeat, but there are expansion packs like Dunwich Horror that significantly up the difficulty level.

Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game is a two-player dueling game which allows players to command both human and monster factions.

The Hills Rise Wild! is a miniatures game in which players vie for control of The Necronomicon.

For sheer weirdness, try Cthulhu 500, which combines the Cthulhu mythos with…stock-car racing. Because, um, why not?

The same game manufacturer (Atlas) also brings us Cults Across America, in which each player commands a separate cult attempting to dominate the U.S.

Chaosium offers the collectible card game Mythos, which includes a starter deck and five booster decks: Expeditions of Miskatonic University, Cthulhu Rising, Legends of the Necronomicon, The Dreamlands, and New Aeon.

:::whew::: That oughta be enough tentacles for anybody.

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. The Frog Queen Says:

    That was an epic post!! Sooooo much good stuf….man,I am really going to miss that free time I had :D

    Thanks for sharing!


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