Arkham Horror vs Eldritch Horror: Gameplay, Complexity Comparison & Playability Guide

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Often, there are games that leave a lasting impression on the players, be it a PC game or a board game. Story based board games where the players are given choices have been on a rise now. But, there are pioneers in the field that can’t be replaced.

Today we have brought you two such amazing board games- Arkham Horror & Eldritch Horror. The two games are created on the theme of terror and adventure! Even after years of the release of these games, the fanbase and number of players actively playing kept on increasing.

Let us help you understand each game separately. Further, we will also do a quick comparative analysis of Arkham Horror and Eldritch Horror. It will help you know which game is most suitable for you!

Let’s unveil the games below!

Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror is a cooperative game that pits you against the elder gods. The player’s goal in Arkham Horror is to complete the chosen scenario centered around an ancient unknowable elder god by accomplishing the goals laid out for players on cards known as a codex.

Arkham Horror the card game
img src : Amazon

Usually, this includes researching clues warding off the doom, and making lots of dice rolls known as skill checks. Each player begins with a character card and some items and money into their character figure. Then the player starts in a specific section of the board according to the scenario.

  1. The Gameplay

The playing time of Arkham horror is about 2 to 3 hours. Each game has a different scenario, different maps, different monsters and cards, and a set of story card codex. Players win or lose according to what the cards tell them to do. Clues help players to win and get dooms to make them fail. Each turn has four phases, the first of which is the player’s action. Each player can take two steps. The most common action taken by players is to move up to two spaces on the map. Players can spend a dollar for extra space. Players can advance the story by encounters once all encounters are done. Players have to draw a mythos token which players draw from the cup and don’t go back until it’s empty.

Clues are needed to drive the story along and get on the board from the mythos cup. This means the length of this game is fixed in any way, leading to turns where your actions are obvious.

2. Game type

As explained above, Arkham Horror is a cooperative game! Thus every player works together to defeat the servants of an old one. This game has a lot of encounters based on stories. Dice is the core resolution mechanic in this game based on matching skills 5 and 6 as success in dice. Players have to focus, and it also allows players to increase their skills.

3. Complexity and Number of players

Arkham Horror can be played between 4 to 6 players. Arkham Horror is a complex game where players have to investigate and observe a lot. Arkham horror comes up with a lot of content in the box. The best thing about the game is that each scenario has its own set of unique clues based on encounter cards; however, this game is very managed.

Eldritch Horror

Eldritch horror is a strategy-based board game published by fantasy flight games. It is quite similar to Arkham Horror. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Arkham Horror inspires it. Eldritch horror is also a cooperative game. An eldritch horror, players play the role of investigators defeating Lovecraftian. Horrors close gates for other dimensions and look for ways to stop an ancient one from awakening and destroying the world.

Eldritch Horror
imgsrc: Amazon

Let’s move ahead and see how to play this game!

1. The Gameplay

In Eldritch, horror teams win by solving three mystery tasks. And players have to be aware of the boom. If the boom track reaches zero, it will make the victory impossible. Each player controls one investigator with health, sanity, five stats, and two special abilities in this game. Eldritch horror is a 2-3 hour-long game. The game plays on the course of the round. Each round has three phases:

  • The Action Phase
  • The Encounter Phase
  • The Mythos Phase

2. Game type

Eldritch Horror is a game full of adventures. Three phases of the game have their uniqueness. In this game, players test their will and the Number of successes; if it is less than the monster’s horror value, they will make the difference in insanity damage. If any player runs out of health or sanity, that particular player is defeated. Once every player has their encounter, at last, it’s the time for the final phase, which is the mythos phase, and they are close to victory.

3. Complexity and Number of players

Eldritch Horror is a game for one to eight players, and it is less complex than the Arkham horror. You can play eldritch horror solo, which is most preferable. It is a quite shorter game, but one needs to have a deep strategy and more in rules, and it takes a while to process. Eldritch horror is simple to learn; it allows players to make interesting decisions and situations. In Eldritch Horror, players have more independence for building up the difficulty.

How are Arkham Horror and Eldritch Horror different from each other?

Arkham Horror is an old classic board game with a very rich history. It’s a very long game. In contrast, Eldritch Horror is not that long. Despite being shorter, the world of Eldritch Horror games is comparatively bigger. Arkham Horror’s actions are stuck around the fictional city of Arkham while Eldritch Horror is worldwide, which makes it more demanding among players. Eventually, the idea and creation of both these games are more or less the same.

Arkham Horror and Eldritch Horror both games are both based on HP craft which is quite good if you love sci-fi. But in Arkham Horror, you can get killed, unfortunately by bad luck unknowingly. However, in Eldritch Horror, this does not happen. Eldritch has its way. Eldritch horror has a good rulebook, whereas the rulebook of Arkham Horror is very confusing. Eldritch Horror has double-sided cards for conditions on the other side; nothing like that in Arkham Horror. The similarity between both games is that if players lose, the world ends.

Arkham HorrorEldritch Horror
The game takes place in a town.The game takes place worldwide.
Multiplayer gameCan be played solo, or with other players.
Longer playtimeShorter playtime
Confusing areas in RulebookWell defined rulebook
Convoluted gameplayMore streamlined and easy to understand gameplay
Lesser features comparativelyHave double-sided cards for conditions

Wrapping Up,

We have discussed two games here Eldritch Horror and Arkham Horror. Every Horror board game is complex to understand, so do these two. Both have their uniqueness which makes them loveable. Arkham Horror is based on one town only, while the Eldritch Horror is worldwide, so it is less complex. Although mechanics are not complicated, in both games, there are a lot of similar rules.

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