18 April 2018
Reiner Knizia’s push-your-luck game marks return for Call of Cthulhu studio Chaosium
The first Lovecraftian board game from the studio behind Call of Cthulhu and the original Arkham Horror in more than three decades has landed on Kickstarter.
Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection is the first board game based on the Cthulhu Mythos from Chaosium since Arkham Horror made its debut in 1987, despite its continued support of its flagship Lovecraftian roleplaying game in the 31 years since. The publisher made its return to card games last year with Khan of Khans, set in the Glorantha setting of the RuneQuest and HeroQuest RPGs.
Miskatonic University was designed by Reiner Knizia, the prolific Tigris & Euphrates, Lost Cities and Ra creator who was also behind Khan of Khans.
Set in the titular section of the university’s Orne Library, it’s a quick-playing set-collectio game with elements of push-your-luck, as players search for fragments of a grimoire required to banish a monster while avoiding losing their sanity, in that classic Lovecraftian manner.
The game lasts for five rounds, with players selecting library cards and placing them on their player mats. The cards include sigil pieces, grimoire fragments and graduate students, which earn lore cards and defence cards needed to achieve the highest score.
Picking up duplicate sigil pieces or girmoire fragments leads to expulsion from the library, forcing players to lose points and cards and wait until the next round to rejoin. Why the library administrators are so keen to expel students trying to fight back an inhuman monster isn’t obvious – but hey, ho, that’s games for you.
Players can also choose to leave the library voluntarily, collecting the lowest remaining score card – making holding out longer than your opponents crucial.
The game plays in around 30 to 45 minutes with two to five people and comes in a neat book-shaped box, which will cost you $25 (£18) via the Kickstarter.
The crowdfunding campaign is only a few hundred pounds away from its £17,479 target with 20 days left to run, so it seems a sure bet it’ll be funded successfully.
Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection is due to arrive with backers this November, with a retail release to follow.