Arkham Horror: Final Hour is the Lovecraftian board game classic in under 60 minutes


01 August 2019
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ah-final-hour-83336.png Arkham Horror: Final Hour
Hour of power

A new Arkham Horror board game has been announced that aims to skip straight to the action of the Lovecraftian epic.

Arkham Horror: Final Hour is pitched as a condensed version of Fantasy Flight’s classic sprawling horror game, in which players’ investigators gather clues, battle with cosmic monsters and attempt to stop the arrival of a terrifying Ancient One.

In Final Hour, a cultist ritual is already underway and it’s down to the investigators to collect clues in order to put a stop to the ceremony before – you guessed it – the world is doomed.

Final Hour’s hook is that it’s much, much shorter than Arkham Horror, which could run on for two or three hours even in last year’s streamlined third edition. Final Hour, as the name suggests, is expected to wrap everything up within 60 minutes. 

As in Arkham Horror, Final Hour features different scenarios and objectives based on a roster of Lovecraftian monsters. (Yes, Cthulhu is in here.) Smaller foes spawn through gates that need to be closed by the players, with a stronger focus on combat than other games in the Arkham Horror Files series thanks to the shortened play time. Rather than the whole of Arkham city or the entire world, as in Eldritch Horror, Final Hour’s stomping ground is the classic Lovecraftian location of Miskatonic University.

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Six investigators from the Arkham Horror Files universe make a return in the game, with Jenny Barnes, Michael McGlenn and Lily Chen among the roster revealed so far. Driving the gameplay are decks of actions cards specific to each investigator. Each of the cards is divided into two halves, with beneficial effects on top and negative repercussions on the bottom that can cause further trouble for the group.

You might not have a choice, though – the team has to perform two top effects and two bottoms effects each round, balancing fighting monsters with investigating and managing the order in which the cards are activated. But the players can only communicate using separate priority cards, which they use to determine when their card should be played – the two lowest-priority cards have their tops resolved, followed by the bottom effects of the two highest-priority cards.
 
Finding the ritual components needed to stop the event and win requires searching locations on the board to determine which two of six symbols have been secretly removed during setup. Players move to spaces, flip over tokens and reveal clues or items to narrow down the possible solution – there is the choice to take a guess earlier, but with the risk that it might lead to defeat.
 
Arkham Horror: Final Hour will be released in Q4 2019. Expect to pay $40 (£33) – around half the price of full-blooded Arkham Horror.

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