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Cthulhu Themed Board Games

Can you escape madness long enough to hold back the return of The Greatest of Lovecraft's Old Ones?

H.P. Lovecraft introduced his most famous cosmic entity, Cthulhu, in a short story published in Weird Tales in 1928. The greatest of The Old Ones, Cthulhu is an evil entity, hibernating in the underwater city of R’lyeh. Worshiped by some cults, feared by most, Cthulhu’s return threatens to cause mankind to suffer madness through unspeakable horrors.

It’s no wonder that the Cthulhu mythos has been a source of inspiration for board game designers for years. Here’s a sampling of games featuring the Great One.

Arkham Horror (Third Edition)

2018
Cooperative game set in the city of Arkham in 1926. Investigators must work quickly to keep eight Ancient Ones from breaking into our world.
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Mansions of Madness: Second Edition

2016
Corey Konieczka’s first game based on the Cthulhu Mythos, players must navigate cards, dice, miniatures, and madness to uncover the truth of the living nightmares within.
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Elder Sign

2011
Players take on the role of detectives in 1926, trying to stop the Ancient One from returning in this cooperative dice game from the designers of Arkham Horror.
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Call of Cthulhu

2008
Fantasy Flight’s Living Card Game pits two players against the raging cosmic powers bent on world domination.
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Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu

2016
Players race around the board to stop twelve Old Ones from awakening into the world in this game set within the Pandemic gaming system.
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A Study in Emerald

2015
Neil Gaiman’s story comes to the table in this game set in 1882 in which the Old Ones have been ruling Earth for 700 years.
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Dreamescape

2023
Players are trapped behind the door of sleep by the Great Cthulhu. To escape, you’ll need to navigate your way through the changing world of the Dreamlands.
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Cthulhu Wars

2015
Players take the part of aliens and gods from the Cthulhu mythos in this miniature-heavy strategy game.
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Cthulhu: Death May Die

2019
A game of stand-alone episodes where players are 1920s-era detectives looking to summon The Old Ones so they can be stopped forever.
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Arkham Horror: The Card Game

2016
Another living card game from Fantasy Flight where you and your friends become characters trying to stop the Old Ones return.
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Don't Mess with Cthulhu

2014
A social deduction game where players are either detectives trying to keep Cthulhu from awakening or as cultists trying to raise the Great One.
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About the author

Tom Franklin

By day, I'm a mild-mannered IT Manager with a slight attitude. By night I play guitar & celtic bouzouki, board games, and watch British TV. I love abstracts, co-ops, worker placement and tile-laying games. Basically, any deep game with lots of interesting choices. 

You can find my middle grade book, The Pterrible Pteranodon, at your favorite online bookstore.

And despite being a DM, I have an inherent dislike of six-sided dice.

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