The best games set in the H.P. Lovecraft universe "Cthulhu 2024

Looking for a really good game set in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu universe? Then we have just the thing: The best Cthulhu Mythos games.

Who was H. P. Lovecraft?

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 - March 15, 1937) was an American writer of gothic novels and horror stories, known for his creation of what later became the "Cthulhu Mythos" - he himself always called it the "Arkham Cycle". This myth, or rather the whole universe, can be found nowadays in movies, literature, music, computer games and even board games.

Even Batman refers to the works of Lovecraft

Batman and some other works from DC Comics universe have been inspired by the "Arkham Cycle". For example, the prison "Arkham Asylum" is located on the outskirts of Gotham City and is the place where those of Batman's enemies are imprisoned who are considered legally and mentally insane.

Lovecraft was never able to make a living from his works

Throughout his adult life, Lovecraft was never able to support himself on his income as an author and publisher. He was virtually unknown during his lifetime and was published almost exclusively in pulp magazines before dying in poverty at the age of 46, but is now considered one of the most important authors of supernatural horror literature of the 20th century.

Cthulhu Mythos...what is it?

The Cthulhu Mythos is a fictional universe that originated in the short stories and tales of American horror author H. P. Lovecraft. The term was first coined in 1927 by August Derleth, a contemporary correspondent and protégé of Lovecraft. The Cthulhu Mythos revolves around the settings (Arkham), characters (Henry Armitage), objects (Necronimicon), beings/entities (Cthulhu), and stories used by Lovecraft and his literary successors.

The name Cthulhu derives from the central creature in Lovecraft's seminal short story "The Call of Cthulhu," first published in 1928.

Games based on works by other authors

A lot of games are based on works of book authors. Just see our list of games based on authors below.

List of the best board games from the H.P. Lovecraft universe that you can buy 2024

This list was last updated on May 13, 2024. We compared 231 board games for this list and selected the top 30. There's also a print version for this list.
  1. Cthulhu: Death May Die

    All details for the board game Cthulhu: Death May Die and similar games

    Cthulhu: Death May Die is an intense, cooperative board game set in the 1920s, drawing inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft's universe. Players take on the roles of daring investigators, embarking on a perilous mission to confront and eliminate Elder Gods.

    Nominated for 6 awards and won 1.

    More details for Cthulhu: Death May Die
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 90 - 120 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  2. Lovecraft Letter

    All details for the board game Lovecraft Letter and similar games

    Lovecraft Letter transports you into the eerie world of H.P. Lovecraft in the 1920s. This card game, a unique take on the Love Letter system, blends mystery with an "insanity" mechanic that adds depth and intrigue to the gameplay.

    More details for Lovecraft Letter
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 5 - 15 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Lovecraft Letter

    • YouTube Review for the game "Lovecraft Letter" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  3. Don't Mess with Cthulhu Deluxe

    All details for the board game Don't Mess with Cthulhu Deluxe and similar games
    • 4 - 8 Players
    • 1 - 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Don't Mess with Cthulhu Deluxe

    • YouTube Review for the game "Don't Mess with Cthulhu Deluxe" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  4. Mansions of Madness: Second Edition

    All details for the board game Mansions of Madness: Second Edition and similar games

    Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is a cooperative, app-enhanced board game that combines elements of horror and mystery. It's set in the same universe as Eldritch Horror and Elder Sign, offering an immersive narrative experience.

    Nominated for 9 awards.

    More details for Mansions of Madness: Second Edition
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 120 - 180 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  5. Reign of Cthulhu

    All details for the board game Reign of Cthulhu and similar games

    Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is a thrilling adaptation of the classic Pandemic game, infused with a chilling Lovecraftian theme. Players take on the roles of investigators, tasked with a daunting mission to prevent the awakening of ancient evils, known as Old Ones, from their cosmic prison.

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Reign of Cthulhu
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 40 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  6. Tides of Madness

    All details for the board game Tides of Madness and similar games

    Tides of Madness builds on the foundation of its predecessor, Tides of Time, offering a two-player drafting experience that's both quick and engaging. In this sequel, players draft cards over three rounds to assemble a kingdom, with each card belonging to one of five suits and featuring its own scoring objective. What sets Tides of Madness apart is its intriguing madness mechanic. Some of the game's most potent cards also risk your sanity, introducing a critical balancing act between power and peril.

    Nominated for 3 awards.

    More details for Tides of Madness
    • 2 Players
    • 20 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Tides of Madness

    • YouTube Review for the game "Tides of Madness" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
    • YouTube Review for the game "Tides of Madness" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  7. Arkham Horror: The Card Game

    All details for the board game Arkham Horror: The Card Game and similar games

    Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a Lovecraftian horror card game that blends role-playing and card game elements. Set in the eerie town of Arkham, players face mysterious, monstrous, and maddening challenges.

    Nominated for 13 awards and won 4.

    More details for Arkham Horror: The Card Game
    • 1 - 2 Players
    • 60 - 120 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn

    Video reviews for Arkham Horror: The Card Game

    • YouTube Review for the game "Arkham Horror: The Card Game" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  8. Mythos Tales

    All details for the board game Mythos Tales and similar games
    • 1 - 10 Players
    • 60 - 120 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Mythos Tales

    • YouTube Review for the game "Mythos Tales" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  9. Sticky Cthulhu

    All details for the board game Sticky Cthulhu and similar games
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 15 Minutes
    • 6+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  10. Unspeakable Words: Deluxe Edition

    All details for the board game Unspeakable Words: Deluxe Edition and similar games
    • 2 - 8 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  11. Cthulhu in the House

    All details for the board game Cthulhu in the House and similar games
    • 3 - 6 Players
    • 10 - 20 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  12. Cthulhu Wars

    All details for the board game Cthulhu Wars and similar games

    Cthulhu Wars is a grand strategy board game inspired by the Cthulhu mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. This game is notable for its physical scale, featuring an array of detailed figurines representing cultists, monsters, aliens, and the Great Old Ones themselves, varying in size from about 20 mm to a towering 180 mm. Players assume the roles of different factions, each unique in its set of monsters, spell books, and special abilities.

    Nominated for 4 awards and won 1.

    More details for Cthulhu Wars
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 90 - 120 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Cthulhu Wars

    • YouTube Review for the game "Cthulhu Wars" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  13. Elder Sign

    All details for the board game Elder Sign and similar games

    Elder Sign is a cooperative dice game set in the universe of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, specifically the year 1926. Players assume the roles of investigators in a museum filled with occult artifacts and eldritch symbols. Their mission is to prevent the arrival of an Ancient One, a powerful entity from another dimension poised to wreak havoc on Earth.

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Elder Sign
    • 1 - 8 Players
    • 90 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  14. Eldritch Horror

    All details for the board game Eldritch Horror and similar games

    Eldritch Horror is a cooperative board game that plunges players into a world of mystery, terror, and adventure. It's based on the themes of global exploration and cosmic horror, with players working together to thwart the plans of an Ancient One.

    Nominated for 5 awards.

    More details for Eldritch Horror
    • 1 - 8 Players
    • 120 - 240 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Eldritch Horror

    • YouTube Review for the game "Eldritch Horror" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  15. Arkham Horror: The Card Game (Revised Edition)

    All details for the board game Arkham Horror: The Card Game (Revised Edition) and similar games
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 45 - 180 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn
  16. Stay Away!

    All details for the board game Stay Away! and similar games
    • 4 - 12 Players
    • 15 - 60 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  17. Lost in R'lyeh

    All details for the board game Lost in R'lyeh and similar games
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 45 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  18. UNDO: Forbidden Knowledge

    All details for the board game UNDO: Forbidden Knowledge and similar games
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 45 - 90 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  19. Gates of Delirium

    All details for the board game Gates of Delirium and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award and won 1.

    More details for Gates of Delirium
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Gates of Delirium

    • YouTube Review for the game "Gates of Delirium" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  20. The Cards of Cthulhu

    All details for the board game The Cards of Cthulhu and similar games
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 90 Minutes
    • Easy to learn
  21. Cthulhu Fluxx

    All details for the board game Cthulhu Fluxx and similar games

    Cthulhu Fluxx immerses players in the eerie and uncertain world of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, where sanity is fleeting and the risk of doom is ever-present. This iteration of the popular Fluxx card game series brings the thematic elements of cosmic horror and the supernatural into the ever-changing rules and gameplay that Fluxx fans adore. Players will navigate through the chaos, attempting to fulfill strange and shifting victory conditions while warding off madness and the disruptive influence of Creepers like Cthulhu itself.

    More details for Cthulhu Fluxx
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 5 - 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable
  22. AuZtralia

    All details for the board game AuZtralia and similar games

    AuZtralia is an adventure and exploration board game set in an alternate 1930s, inspired by Martin Wallace's A Study in Emerald. In this unique setting, players are intrepid adventurers colonizing Australia after the northern hemisphere has been devastated by war and the Old Ones. Gameplay involves building ports, constructing railways, mining, and farming, all while preparing for the awakening of the Old Ones and their human armies. Time is a crucial resource, and as the game progresses, the Old Ones awaken and become active, posing a significant threat. Players must strategically prepare for their arrival, possibly cooperating with others to fend off these nightmarish beings using military units and recruited personalities.

    Nominated for 1 award.

    🔥 Deal: 7% cheaper than the best Geizhals deal, likely for a short time only!

    More details for AuZtralia
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 120 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  23. Cthulhu Realms

    All details for the board game Cthulhu Realms and similar games

    In Cthulhu Realms, players dive into a world of eldritch horror where the goal is to drive your opponents mad or be the last bastion of sanity when the cards run out. Each player begins with a modest deck of initiates, goons, and followers. The gameplay unfolds with a central row of cards available for acquisition, adjusting based on the number of players to ensure there are always new options for each pair of players.

    More details for Cthulhu Realms
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 25 - 45 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  24. Arkham Horror (Third Edition)

    All details for the board game Arkham Horror (Third Edition) and similar games

    Arkham Horror (Third Edition) is a cooperative board game set in the atmospheric backdrop of 1926 Arkham, at the height of the Roaring Twenties. This edition offers a rich narrative experience based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, where players become investigators battling against the encroaching darkness of the Ancient Ones, otherworldly beings threatening to overrun our world.

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Arkham Horror (Third Edition)
    • 1 - 6 Players
    • 120 - 180 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Arkham Horror (Third Edition)

    • YouTube Review for the game "Arkham Horror (Third Edition)" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  25. Unfathomable

    All details for the board game Unfathomable and similar games

    Unfathomable is a suspenseful and thematic board game that immerses players in a mysterious and treacherous journey aboard the steamship SS Atlantica in 1913. This game blends elements of horror, strategy, and deduction, as players navigate both external threats and the hidden treachery among them.

    Nominated for 6 awards and won 2.

    More details for Unfathomable
    • 3 - 6 Players
    • 120 - 240 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  26. Ancient Terrible Things

    All details for the board game Ancient Terrible Things and similar games
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 60 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  27. Pocket Madness

    All details for the board game Pocket Madness and similar games
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 Minutes
    • 8+ years old
    • Immediately playable

    Video reviews for Pocket Madness

    • YouTube Review for the game "Pocket Madness" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  28. Smash Up: The Obligatory Cthulhu Set

    All details for the board game Smash Up: The Obligatory Cthulhu Set and similar games

    Smash Up: The Obligatory Cthulhu Set dives into the deep, dark corners of the Cthulhu mythos, bringing a tentacle-filled twist to the Smash Up universe. This expansion pack is a love letter to H.P. Lovecraft's work, integrating iconic elements of the Cthulhu lore into the chaotic and strategic card game where different factions vie for dominance.

    More details for Smash Up: The Obligatory Cthulhu Set
    • 2 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  29. Cthulhu Gloom

    All details for the board game Cthulhu Gloom and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Cthulhu Gloom
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 60 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  30. Munchkin Cthulhu

    All details for the board game Munchkin Cthulhu and similar games

    Munchkin Cthulhu is a humorous and quirky standalone game in the Munchkin series, this time diving into the eerie and absurd world of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. Players navigate a realm filled with classic monsters and oddities from the mythos, vying for treasure and the chance to level up.

    More details for Munchkin Cthulhu
    • 3 - 6 Players
    • 90 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

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