Jackson's O.P.R #2
Jackson’s One Page Review #2 - Arkham Horror 3rd Edition
Kill monsters, explore the spooks, and don’t go insane in the newest edition of the Fantasy Flight Games classic Arkham Horror.
This review is a big deal for me. The previous edition of Arkham Horror is the game that got me into board gaming. I had bought Catan, Dominion, The Resistance, and Smallworld and enjoyed all of them. However, when I bought Arkham Horror and played through it the first time I thought This is it. This is the hobby for me. It’s also my go-to introductory heavy game for my friends and people getting into the hobby.
Let me start with the basics. What is Arkham Horror? Arkham Horror 3rd Edition is a 1-6 player cooperative game set in the Lovecraft universe. Players will work together to explore the town of Arkham to collect clue tokens, ward off doom, and test themselves against unique encounters. Players know that Arkham is in danger but they don’t exactly know how to win. This new edition of the game will have players challenged in discovering how to beat the scenario.
The production quality is amazing. When I first opened Arkham Horror 2nd Edition, I thought it was the most beautiful game I had ever seen. Now, 3rd Edition is even better. Elements of the game are streamlined to make the game more accessible but this is still not a light game. Arkham Horror is dense. However, the 2nd Edition of the game was clunky with monster movement, a vast array of confusing keywords, messy combat, and many little intricacies made the game hard and confusing. The new edition does away with all of that. Combat, monster movement, beating the game, and overall game play are much more clear.
The other new element of Arkham Horror 3rd Edition is the narrative aspect of it. The previous edition was amazing with how narrative the cards are but every game was the same. You tried to close the gates before Cthulhu came out and ate all of you. Now, there’s no gate sealing, no Other Worlds, and fighting Ancient Old Ones. Instead, the game has you draw a scenario sheet that has a unique story and your party tries to solve the mystery in time. The game has a unique Codex of cards for each scenario and encounter cards will be special for which scenario you’re playing making each experience immersive. It’s amazing.
Set up. WOW. Arkham Horror 2nd Edition was famous for how long it took to set up the game. Now, 3rd Edition made it LONGER and MORE CONFUSING. Had someone told me this beforehand I would have laughed it off, thinking it was impossible to make it any more difficult. I played this with a newcomer to table top and he was shocked at how long it took us just to set the dang thing up. Big piece of advice, if you’re having people over for a game night and this is the game of the night - set up before everyone arrives.
This is a personal one, so you may not feel the same. While the previous edition had it where each game was the same - you’re working to seal gates before an Eldar God woke up the game had such variation that no two games are ever the same. Now, each game is a unique narrative which is great and all but when you solve them all, is there any replayability? I would say no. Which means you’re off to your FLGS to buy more expansion content. I feel like Fantasy Flight Games has really moved in this direction lately and while I understand it gives them more revenue, sometimes it’s nice to buy a game with a narrative arc that isn’t burned up after a few plays.
Should I Buy?
If you love Lovecraft, mystery, or narrative games, and want something for the spooky season that is upon us - YES -but keep in mind, the game is a challenge. However, if you do get a copy and have some rules questions, you can always shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk it over. Feel free to shoot me an email if you want to give me your thoughts as well!