I’m not going to write a blog this week because Cthulhu destroyed the world yesterday.
... Okay, fine, I’ll write one, but only because the previous sentence needs some explanation (we don’t want another War of the Worlds incident, after all).
Yesterday, Colleen, some friends, and I were playing an excellent board game called Eldritch Horror. Someone who is not a fan of the horror genre (such as me) might think that a game with that title might not be their cup of tea, but they are quite likely wrong. It is one of the best board games I’ve ever played.
The game is set just after the First World War, and the players are a co-operative team traveling around the world trying to save the world from H.P. Lovecraft type monsters. They travel to cities, collecting items and spells while trying to close portals to other dimensions and fighting the monsters that keep coming in through those portals. All the while more portals keep opening, bad things keep happening across the world, and the doom counter keeps going down. If the doom counter reaches zero, a cataclysmic event happens (which is different each game, depending on the Great Old One who is trying to break through). The only way to prevent the cataclysmic event is to solve three “mysteries” which allow the players to save the world.
In this instance, we were going up against Cthulhu. And, as you may have guessed, out doom counter reached zero.
We put up a valiant fight, though! In fact, we were so close to winning, it was a heartbreaking loss. We solved the third and final clue on the exact same turn that our doom counter reached zero, releasing Cthulhu into the world. If the order in which event occurred had differed just a little... but they didn’t.
Surprisingly, this is actually what I like so much about the game – it is a challenge. At any moment in the game, your team is on the brink of failure. It makes the game exciting, and forces you to be both careful and reckless at the same time. My character actually went insane close to the end (putting that investigator out of the game and making me bring in a new one), but even as I went down I saved two others from the same fate as a last hurrah. It was glorious.
If you ever get the chance, I highly advise trying out Eldritch Horror. Who knows? You may win. Or Cthulhu could destroy the world, giving you a perfect excuse to not write your weekly blog.
Click here to find the charity anthology containing a couple of my short stories.