Arkham Horror: The Card Game - Labyrinths of Lunacy
Teaching Time: 20 mins
Playing Time: 60-120 mins
Setup Time: 20 mins
Value For Money: Low
Solo Play Review
Generally, the stand alone Arkham Horror scenarios are of a higher quality and hit rate than the longer campaign runs with Curse of the Rougarou and Carnevale of Horrors being some of the best scenarios in the whole series. Sadly, there is not a lot to say in review about highly successful scenarios, but Labyrinth of Lunacy is far from being a highly successful scenario.
The plotline is essentially Saw, with players trapped in a torture maze by an evil genius, except the genius has some glued on gribbly bits so it can claim to be a Lovecraft story. Its not a Lovecraft story, personally I don’t think any of the pulp Cthulhu stories are but this one strays far enough to annoy Lovecraft fans who accept the pulp stylings.
Labyrinth was designed to be played across several groups at once which was no doubt an excellent idea at the large convention it was invented for. However, Fantasy Flight have boxed up the scenario and sold it as a 1-12 player scenario, which is a problem because you can’t play it 1 player normally or with 3-5 players in simultaneous mode. In one section 1 player has to be released by their fellow players from a trap they start the scenario in, if played solo they just sit there and die. If all sections are played at once across multiple tables with randomly shared out scenarios to avoid this happening at least 6 players are needed. Since the average home Arkham game will max out at a few players this is a huge problem meaning that the majority of players will be unable to play this scenario as intended. Of course, you shouldn’t discover this until you go to the effort of getting together 4 or 5 players and one of them has to sit there grumpily dying and probably undermining the whole session.
The scenario lists 13 playtesters, which means either not one of them played it solo, despite it being listed on the game’s instructions, or they didn’t care to correct the problem. Clearly it is important to Fantasy Flight that every release in this series has an available player count of 1, but if they are going to label a game with that count the contents need to support it. This could have been fixed by changing the player count and making this already unusual pack an exception or since half the cards in the set are single group/multiple group alternate, putting in a solo player alternate.
Aside from all of that, is it a good scenario? Frankly no, it feels too far from a Lovecraft story and no scenario makes less sense of a player’s deck. Pulling allies or guns is occasionally odd, when trapped in a glass cylinder its just plain bizarre. If you’re desperate for a 9-12 player game of Arkham Horror it does an okay job of it, but honestly how many people is that even almost true for?