Arkham Horror (Third Edition) (Board Game)

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The year is 1926, and it is the height of the Roaring Twenties. Flappers dance till dawn in smoke-filled speakeasies, drinking alcohol supplied by rum runners and the mob. It’s a celebration to end all celebrations in the aftermath of the War to End All Wars.

Yet a dark shadow grows in the city of Arkham. Alien entities known as Ancient Ones lurk in the emptiness beyond space and time, writhing at the thresholds between worlds. Occult rituals must be stopped and alien creatures destroyed before the Ancient Ones make our world their ruined dominion.

Only a handful of investigators stand against the Arkham Horror. Will they prevail?

Arkham Horror (Third Edition) is a cooperative board game for one to six players who take on the roles of investigators trying to rid the world of eldritch beings known as Ancient Ones. Based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, players will have to gather clues, defeat terrifying monsters, and find tools and allies if they are to stand any chance of defeating the creatures that dwell just beyond the veil of our reality.

The game is split into a series of rounds made up of four phases.

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

The Action Phase sees your investigators fighting back against the dark power of the mythos. During this phase, each investigator can perform two different actions.

  • Move – Investigators can move up to two spaces in the city, spending money to hire speedy transport and move additional spaces. The space where you end your turn will determine what encounter card you draw later in the turn.
  • Gather Resources – Gain one dollar token, which can be used to purchase items and goods as well as increase how far you can move
  • Focus – Focus one of your skills, increasing its value.
  • Ward – Attempt to remove doom from your location. Increasing doom means danger for the investigators, and removing doom can delay these apocalyptic heraldings.
  • Attack – Attack a monster engaged with you.
  • Evade – Try to escape from a monster engaged with you.
  • Research – Search for clues at your location.
  • Trade – Trade money, clues, items, and more with other investigators at your location.

—description from the publisher

Product Details

Boards & Dice
1 Nov 2018
Game Mechanic
Year Published
# of Players
1 - 6
Suggested Ages
14 and up
Playing Time
120 - 180 minutes
Game Designer
  • Richard Launius
  • Nikki Valens
  • Kevin Wilson
Game Artist
Anders Finér
Supply Source
South Africa

Customer Reviews

Super game, not recommended for casual gamers

Reviewed by on

First off this is a great game. Very very well thought out, well designed and excellent as far as thematic games go. It is much more streamlined that the first two editions and certainly less fiddly. Its a co-operative game so all the players are a team against the game. Bear in mind it is a fairly complex game and there are a lot of rules but if you muddle your way through at least two plays you'll start to get the hang of it and thereafter you will start to enjoy your games.

Some Things To consider
There is some setup time. Making up the board, creating the decks of cards, laying out tokens. You might need 10-15 min to setup the game.
Its a long game. As much as the first two editions sometimes had marathon games in excess of 4 hours, this edition is much more streamlined with an archive/codex (cards that give players objectives and determine your victory or loss). Still prepare yourself for at least a 2.5 t 3 hour game. Longer in your first few plays as you figure out rules etc)
5-6 player games are quite chaotic and require much skill on the part of the players in order not to be overwhelmed by the mythos phase of the game in which two events occur per player (usually bad things that players have to mitigate in order to succeed).

There is a learning curve to getting the hang of this game. I think that is good because you will not master it so easily and then have it sit on your self till expansions are released. Lots of replayabilty as there are 12 investigators (characters) to choose from so you can play the same scenario (there are 4 in this base set) with different investigators and have a different game experience.

Final Thoughts
If you already own any games in the Arkham series this is still a good buy. It borrows the best of the mechanics from the other editions to create a more streamlined faster paced game.
If you are considering your first Arkham Horror purchase, think no further than this edition. It is all you will need.
I do not recommend this game to the casual game group,. They are likely to get bored trying to learn or remember so many rules and with all the strategic possibilities and decision making needed.

My group (we play with 4 mostly) enjoy it tremendously. Its not easy to beat (our win rate is about 60%) but it is always a ton of fun.
Highly recommended to gamers who don;t mind the long play time and games with somewhat complex mechanisms and strategies.

FFF - Fury, Frustration, Fantastic

Reviewed by on

I'll be honest - after setting everything up, reading all the seemingly complex rules/instructions and staring at the board, I scratched my head and almost packed everything up again. "How the heck do I even move in this game?"

After trying and failing to get into the swing of things, I DID pack the game up, but a while later I decided to watch a YouTube playthrough of it and thankfully so, because it all started to become clearer. I'm now enjoying it a lot!

Moral of the story is that you need to give this game a chance, because there's a 99% chance you'll want to bash your skull in at all the complexity and learning curve at first.