Nice try, Lao Che.

Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu hoping to bring new Lovecraftian horror to digital

iOS, Android, PC/Mac •

When I wrote about my love for Fantasy Flight’s latest foray into the Lovecraft universe yesterday, I seem to have opened a gate allowing news of other Cthulhu-themed games to ooze into my inbox like the tendrils of a great otherworldly and indescribable beast. Yeah, it was pretty cool.

The developer playing Nyarlathotep in this scenario is a new one, Strange Matter, who came together last year in France. Their first game is currently in development and, more importantly, now on Kickstarter. It’s called Rise of the Elders: Cthulhu and promises the tactical feel of XCOM, the globe-hopping adventure of Eldritch Horror, and the RPG depth of Call of Cthulhu. It should come as no surprise that I was interested in hearing more.

Rise of the Elders puts you in charge of a team of intrepid investigators who are willing to travel the globe to confront a slumbering evil that is slowing awakening. You’ll send your gumshoes out to explore strange happenings using their weapons and spells to tackle whatever’s out there waiting for them. Investigators can be of 9 different classes, and have 15 slots that can be filled with different skills and spells, ensuring your team is customized to solve any crisis.

The game itself will contain a real-time travel phase in which your investigators will traverse the globe, and a turn-based phase that encompasses everything that happens once they get there. Yes, this includes turn-based combat on a grid which should, frankly, be the cornerstone of every game. Think of how much better Angry Birds would have been with a hexmap.

The goal of Strange Matter is to make a AAA game that works in a mobile world. Thus, we can expect deep gameplay with a complex, mature story but presented in a way that it can be played in short bursts.

The game will focus more on the global implications of an awakening Great Old One than the struggles of a solitary protagonist.

The year is 1929. A dismal Cult is sprawling around the world. Blinded by their folly these madmen seek to awaken one of the Elders – an alien abomination buried deep below the sea.

You control a secret society whose sole purpose is to prevent the awakening. Send your Investigators to travel the world, study ancient texts and forbidden relics, find a way to contain this evil.

There’s a lot more to learn about the game over at their Kickstarter page. While the game is planned for Mac and iOS, the Kickstarter concentrates on the PC and Android version mainly because of what a pain it is to get rewards to those of us using Apple devices. Don’t let that stop you from heading over, though. They’re still about $40K short of their funding goal, but the list of features is long and it sounds like they’ll need the capital to make it all happen:

  • 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.

Expected release date is October of 2017.

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Notable Replies

  1. My main concern when it comes to tactical RPGs is tiny battlefields and rudimentary AI. If they can avoid those things, I will be interested. If it’s going to be another “Snipe at this enemy who is fifteen feet away.”, forget it. I understand it makes the job more difficult, and it makes the game more difficult, but I’ve put up with battlefields totally out of whack (in terms of scale) with the weaponry used on them for decades now. I’d like sprawling maps with diverse tactical options, please.

    Oh how I laughed.

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