Games I bounced off – Eldritch Horror

eldritch horror review

Sometimes a game just doesn’t work for you, despite critical or popular acclaim it just doesn’t scratch that itch. Today’s game is Eldritch Horror. 

What was I looking for?

When I purchased Eldritch Horror, I was looking for a game that I could play solo and that had a good theme. From the research that I did Eldritch Horror was the game for me. Highly rated, dripping with theme and great artwork. So I bought it, but it really didn’t meet expectations. 

Other suggestions that were given to me were Arkham Horror The Card Game (hadn’t played it at the time), Robinson Crusoe (already owned it) and Nemo’s War (which I should have bought instead) 

What I got

  • On rails – I like games (video and board) that I feel like I have some agency in my decisions. For some reason I just felt that Eldritch Horror was too restricting and didn’t allow me to explore other options. Turns felt mechanical – here are the moves that you can make in a turn, then pass on to the next player. After your turn, the AI takes it’s turn to make things more dire than they were before and then rinse and repeat. 


  • Overdone – At it’s core Eldritch Horror uses the Pandemic mechanisms, player turns, infection turns in a solo or cooperative environment, however Eldritch just takes it too far. There were far too many things in play at any time and the setup of just the base game was a drain. I felt exhausted by the time I even had the chance to sit down at the table with it. 


  • Is it an adventure game? I have a hard time with this because an adventure game has a sense of urgency and immersion. Unfortunately I have never felt immersed in Eldritch Horror and find games like Pandemic and Robinson Crusoe far more adventure laden. There is something about in the setup that just drags me totally out of the experience and makes me wonder why I set it up at all. 

I will probably make a few enemies with this, but this is how I also feel with Arkham Horror The Card Game, there is just too many things to setup and prepare in order to get what is technically Spooky Pandemic.

What are your thoughts on Eldritch Horror, what am I missing or not giving a fair enough consideration of? 

Cameron B Author



    (12/07/2020 - 5:26 pm)

    I think you raise some interesting points. The longer I have been in this hobby, the more I have come to resent setup time. I found it colour my opinion of games quite a bit, and it seemed unfair to the game, so I have recently adopted setting up the game as a separate activity to actually playing the game.
    Now of course you need the space to do this, but coming to a game already set up makes me feel a whole lot better about the play, and I have enjoyed certain games more as a result. Interesting that you mention Arkham Horror the card game, as this is definitely on my hit list and one I arrange separate to playing.
    As for Eldritch as a game, I agree with your ‘on rails’ sentiment, but to be honest Pandemic is no different is it. In fact there is a certain ‘peeking behind the curtain’ that lets you see these games (and particularly their mechanics) for what they are – dry and luck-driven. I find I play games for story more often than not though, so f I can sit in that frame of mind instead I thoroughly enjoy Eldritch Horror (and Pandemic for that matter).
    And then again, like you said, sometimes we just bounce off a game. There are plenty of those for me as well.

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