Card game Arkham Noir turns H.P. Lovecraft's horror stories into hardboiled detective cases

13 July 2017
pic3601472-43110.jpg Arkham Noir – Case File 1: The Witch Cult Murders
Solo title casts player as author himself, attempting to solve mysteries by collecting clue cards

It might seem impossible, but Arkham Noir may be about to breathe a little fresh air into the stale state of H.P. Lovecraft on the tabletop.

Designer Yves Tourigny’s single-player card game has one of the more original takes on the oft-adapted horror writer’s work we’ve seen to date – to be honest, we can’t believe nobody’s done this yet.

Arkham Noir recasts the Cthulhu creator himself as a noir detective in the vein of hardboiled classics such as The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon, investigating crimes in Lovecraft’s fictional town often beset by cultists and monsters.

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Gameplay involves adding cards to open cases, forming links between evidence and suspects to crack the investigation by completing five puzzle cards before Howard Lovecraft runs out of time or – in typical Lovecraftian fashion – loses his marbles. The deck can be adjusted to change difficulty level, and offers a different challenge when reshuffled.

The first case, The Witch Cult Murders, is inspired by three Lovecraft stories – The Dreams in the Witch House, The Thing on the Doorstep and The Unnamable – and concerns the multiple deaths of Miskatonic University students studying the occult. The case must be solved before the supernatural Walpurgis Night, when the witches will meet for their Sabbath.

Tourigny has expressed a desire to adapt the stories of other authors in future cases, linking the stories together in each otherwise standalone half-hour scenario.

Arkham Noir – Case File 1: The Witch Cult Murders should be out later this year from Ludonova.


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