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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > October 2018 (#23) > Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror

Nikki Valens has confronted Eldritch Horror and ventured into Mansions of Madness, but her next Lovecraftian adventure takes her back to the original home of nightmares


The first time Nikki Valens played Arkham Horror, she really didn’t enjoy it.

“My largest criticisms were about the ambiguity of the rules and just the sheer amount of small fiddly rules interactions,” she admits.

Upon joining Fantasy Flight Games, Valens’ first project was an opportunity to craft an heir of sorts to the studio’s venerated Lovecraftian classic. Eldritch Horror, which Valens codesigned with Corey Konieczka, magnified the citywide battle against cosmic horrors to a global scale, but streamlined elements of the unwieldy gameplay present in Richard Launius’ 1987 co-op board game, itself descended from seminal RPG Call of Cthulhu.

“When I found out I would be working on Eldritch Horror as my first project with the company, I was kind of intimidated,” Valens says. “I knew it would have a lot of spotlight on it as a sibling game to Arkham. But Corey encouraged me to explore that space in my own way, which meant refining what I saw to be the rough edges and unnecessary complication. My goal was to capture the feeling that players loved about Arkham, but making the system easier to learn and to play.”

Eldritch Horror instantly cemented itself as a modern classic of horror board gaming, spinning off a slew of big-box expansions and serving as one of the strongest pillars of the shared Arkham Horror Files universe. Valens would go on to overhaul Konieczka’s story-focused Lovecraftian haunted house adventure Mansions of Madness in 2016, replacing the first edition’s human GM with a mandatory companion app that would become one of the most applauded – and controversial – examples of the encroaching physical-digital trend.

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About Tabletop Gaming

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