Now, it may be fair to say I am guilty of a fair amount of hyperbole, but I’m not overstating it when I say I have been excited for this game for far too long! With a lot of waiting and most of the press going to Star Wars Destiny, FFG’s new Arkham Horror The Card Game has felt almost like the forgotten pet during Destiny’s new baby anticipation.
Destiny has all the potential of being worth the hype, if early spoilers and test plays are anything to go by, but finally, Arkham Horror has landed and it’s time for this Lovecraftian LCG have a strut. There has already been talk of monthly expansions, play mat pictures gave been seen and the new Mythos packs discussed, but the most crucial moment of the whole game is here. The core set has landed.
So let’s take a look and see if this budding living card game will make the cut or if it will just fade to black (ha ha).
First up, presentation is everything and the box itself is everything you would expect from an FFG offering. The front shows two characters in a Victorian street with the hordes of darkness around them and the tentacles of an Elder God encroaching. Despite the male character firing a weapon, the pair don’t seem to be fighting as much as desperately battling through the street, a fight for survival. Very fitting for the subject. Below reads the words “A Card Game of Arcane Mystery and Supernatural Terror for 1-2 Players,” although we have seen player mats for up to 4 players, while the back has the expected array of examples of cards or tokens. The box is sturdy and good quality, always a sign that the creators are really paying attention to every detail.
Lift the well made lid off the box, and the first thing we see is the expected marketing from FFG, but don’t expect anything exciting and new, since this is the “Winter 2015 Catalog”. One would have expected the fairly savvy company to have something a bit more up to date. Not wanting to let this sour the experience, I moved past the year old marketing and next up is a Learn to Play guide. 16 pages long and a good size text inside, this will tell you all the lovely stuff you just got yourself, as well as how to turn them into a (hopefully) good game.
At twice the size the 32 page Rules Reference will give you everything you need to know about the details of the game’s technicalities. Everything you need to know about the game is in here, logged in alphabetical order. Card Anatomy is towards the back showing you the layouts of the 10 different card types. Both booklets are well presented and printed to a high quality, echoing the presentation so far seen.
It seems and FFG game is nothing without an array of tokens, and Arkham Horror is no different. Vacuum sealed and held in two boards, one large, one small, all the tokens you need are ready to be popped out and used, with tokens representing madness, horror, chaos, resource, clues and doom.
Tokens are well made, but only cardboard. It certainly won’t be long until 3rd parties offer their own versions for you to pick up, but good care of your original tokens will see them last long enough if other FFG tokens are anything go by. The Clue tokens flip to become Doom tokens, and there are two tokens that aren’t illustrated in either booklet. The quality remains high and so far FFG haven’t disappointed.
Finally we get on to the main bulk of the Core Set, the cards. Separated into two groups and stored in resealable bags, each of the 229 cards feels resilient and flexible without being flimsy the coating is enough to lend come protection, but sleeves are a definite must for these cards. The art work is gorgeous and each card is a feast for the eye, with realistic portraits of characters, creepy horror scenes and plenty of grisly detail to please anyone.
The interior of the box has an insert that bulks out the large box with areas for up to three separate decks, although it seems made for two decks with room in the middle, possibly for your tokens. The box itself then will serve as storage for your brand new collection.
While it may be true that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, if the contents of this box is anything to go by, Arkham Horror is a high quality game that has already had a lot of thought put into it. Speaking for myself, I can’t wait to get a deck together and start playing through a few games. Of course once we have we’ll be letting you know what we think.
If you want to find out for yourself how horrifying this game is head over to the store page and grab yourself a core set now!