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H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos is perhaps one of the largest lores to be drawn from in terms of both tabletop and video gaming. Just type Call of Cthulhu into a web search and you’ll soon see pages upon pages of games, tabletop board games, card games and lore on the subject. So it’s no surprise that I am here to talk about another video game that’s being developed by indie studio Strange Matter called Rise of the Elders: Cthulthu (ROE).

A brave ganf of adventurers fend off what seems to be a mass of tentacles in a darkened room

Fighting off tentacles will be the least of your problems in ‘Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu’

Details Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu

  • Title: Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu
  • Studio Name: Strange Matter
  • Platforms: PC (Windows and Mac) and mobile
  • Price: TBC
  • Release Date: 2017
  • Genre(s): RPG, Turn-based, adventure, fantasy

About Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu

Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu is set within the rich lore of the “love-craftian” universe and promises to be a “deeply challenging turn-by-turn combat game wrapped in an exciting world full of player choices”. Currently in kickstarter, it is being developed by french indie studio Strange Matters which is at present made up of a team of four dedicated developers and artists.

ROE is set to be a tactical turn-based RPG where players take on the roles of detectives, scientists and the like to travel across the globe investigating all things strange and maddening. Being built around games such as XCOM and other Call of Cthulhu board games, ROE has taken several of the mechanics and mixed them up into a big bowl of gooey Cthulhu soup for you to enjoy.

Use something called “action points” to move, attack and interact within your environment to win your battles against the Cult. You will also find yourself picking up handy artifacts and spells to aid you on your various journeys. Be cautious, as this will cost you your very sanity. Once your health or sanity reaches zero, that’s it, game over for you.

The Call of Cthulhu games are mainly themed around sanity and in ROE’s case, there is no difference here. Sanity is a “crucial resource” that you will be spending whenever you face the dark and nightmarish creatures on your travels. Players must manage this resource wisely, as losing too much of your sanity will…well, cause you to be mentally distressed a.k.a insane. This can trigger a highly disruptive random events within ROE.

The world map of Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu.

Travel across the entire globe in search of all things Cthulhu…just don’t go insane in the process…

Main Features: Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu

  • Base Management: Assign your Investigators to a variety of tasks from working and training, to studying relics and researching new spells. Establish new contacts all over the world in order to access even more possibilities.
  • Character Progression: Carefully choose your skills, spells and inventory as you level-up. Seasoned Investigators become more powerful but also more complex to manage as they most likely accumulated some mental disorders.
  • Turn-by-Turn Combat: Outwit your enemies in a unique top view combat mode that will put your tactical skills to the test. Every Investigator can draw from a large combination of items, weapons, spells and abilities to make a difference on the field.
  • Permanent Death: If your Investigators lose too many health points they permanently die. Likewise, if they lose too many sanity points they become mad and turn on you.
  • Sanity Points: Sanity is a very important resource used for all kind of things, from withstanding morale attacks from your enemies to studying blasphemous relics and casting spells. Spend it wisely!
  • Retro comic book art style: Dive into the Lovecraft lore through our critically acclaimed art style. Although the interface is in 2D it will make you travel like no other game.
  • High replay value: Thanks to our randomly generated characters and events you will be experimenting a different story for each of your game sessions.
  • Play on mobile and PC: The game has been designed right from the start to fit the mobile platform which means you can play on PC or mobile alike! If we reach our critical mass of users we would also like to add cross-platform saving.
A group of investigators take on something called "Shantak" during a perilous encounter

You’ll be fighting off giant gruesome creatures such as “Shantak”, some sort of gruesome take on a dragon!

Current Thoughts on Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu

Though ROE is still in it’s kickstarter phase and has yet to have a releasable demo, I can already tell this is going to be a title to look out for. From screenshots and footage, the story is deep and rich. The RPG-like mechanics are solid as is the engine. The real interest here is what Strange Matters mentioned about cross-play, this is a great step and seeing as ROE is essentially an electronic board game, I think this is a fantastic step forwards and makes the game massively accessible from anywhere. Which you don’t tend to see a lot these days, as most titles tend to stick to one core platform and don’t allow true cross-platform play.

The promise of further sequels is in the works, should the initial game do well. I have several Cthulhu-based board and card games, personally, so seeing yet more love-craftian themed stuff coming out has me reaching for my shrine to the Great Old One already…praise be to Cthulhu!

You can check out more development information by visiting the Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu website, kickstarter and Twitter page. Oh and you can also vote for them on Steam greenlight!

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