Review: Cthulhu Chronicles (App)

Synopsis:  “How will you fare against eldritch magic, insidious plots and the Elder Gods themselves?”

Review: If you have an I-phone or an I-pad and are on the hunt for a daily dose of Cthulhu horror, look no further than LoveCraft Text Adventures Cthulhu Chronicles from MetaArcade, Inc. and Chaosium Inc.

Just passing its 1-year anniversary, this simple mobile app for Apple gives horrifying text adventures for single-players, flavored around the Cthulhu universe. Done in the familiar choose-your-own-adventure format, the app has a pay-per-adventure design. Each story, which is surprisingly engaging, has a number of different Investigator’s that players can choose from and send out to investigation weird horror. Aside from the text, the app itself has a pleasing graphic design and a mildly entertaining randomized Skill check ‘Wheel of Fate’ setup that gives outcomes a mild bit of uncertainty in addition to a player’s choice of actions. These choices along with clues throughout the story help drive a character towards their eventual success…or early demise.

The App itself is FREE, and comes with a free scenario. However, in order to get the full experience of the game, and to play all the scenarios, you have to purchase bundles of tickets which essentially act as entry into and unlimited play-through of each adventure. The scenarios themselves are built closely around adapted scenarios for the Fifth Edition of Call of Cthulhu. Well-written and set to a good pace, the app and each scenario are a great way to get a daily fix of Eldritch horror! So download it today and get your Lovecraft on!

Now…Is it Horrific?

Fear (Mounting Terror). Built around the Cthulhu mythos, the stories do a good job of laying the groundwork for unknown terror lurking at the edge in each adventure. There is a respect and appreciation for doling out limited information and even providing a sense of ‘time’ whether through traveling, waiting or even investigating which captures the fear of unknown mythos really well.

Setting (Lovecraftian). Pulled from actual scenarios of the RPG game, the app is set in environments from the turn-of-the-last-century that are already steeped in a world painted by Lovecraft. Each setting emphasizes uncertainty, loneliness and adds to the fear.

Consequences (Unknown). The fear in each scenario is accented by the fact that the exact fate (unless you’re familiar with the original scenarios) is unknown. Is your investigator going to end up as a sacrifice? As a life-long prisoner or the next thrall to an unnamed terror?

Suspense (Palpable). The fear, setting and consequences all add up to a slow burn of suspense in each scenario that either explodes in a conflagration (literally sometimes) or peters out into an unknown outcome…A great way of making each scenario different at times depending on the investigator you choose.

Is it a Horror? Verdict: Lovecraftian

 

 

 

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