Elder Sign: Omens: dramatis personae

Title Elder Sign: Omens: dramatis personae
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Game diaries
When January 12, 2012

If you've played Fantasy Flight's Arkham Horror cooperative boardgame, some of Elder Sign: Omens will be familiar to you. This is basically a dice-based iPhone solitaire version of Arkham Horror (available here for $4)..

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My mainstay team at the moment is the woman who can do multiple tasks in a turn (great for ordered tasks or adventures with lots of small tasks), the woman who's immune to terror, the woman who can swap an item for red and yellow glyphs, and the guy with the peril glyph ability. I find this covers most eventualities and means I can almost always be plugging away at elder signs and staying ahead of the doom clock.

Miss Yellow, for the duration of this game diary, I maintain that real men choose random parties.

But previously, I was fond of bring the doctor and psychiatrist to keep everyone moderately healthy and sane. It saves trophies and keeps me from burning turns to shop at the entrance. Of course, I've never won a game...

There's an android version, too, you know. Sadly, my phone isn't compatible. :(

Could this be the next great iPhone tabletop game port? It already bests Ascension in the category of readability.

I eagerly await your Rutger Hauer joke in the next entry.

Oh wow, a single player Arkham Horror game I can play on my phone? I didn't even know I wanted that!

I wish my phone could play this. It sounds like a better format for the game than the original boardgame (which is awful).

"Could this be the next great iPhone tabletop game port?"

No. It's freaking terrible.

Thanks for posting this. I am gonna go get thissssss.....

It's got some issues as a port. I'm having some stability problems, but that's true of many, many games these days. More importantly, it's not configurable at all. I can't stop it doing its tedious animations between turns. It refuses to remember that I don't want to listen to the music. It doesn't seem to auto-save within an adventure when you switch apps, so if the app gets killed while you're doing something else, you go back to the start of the turn. It's nothing game-breaking, but it does feel a little lazy.

"It plays a bit like Clue..."

This is a very strange thing to say. Your justification seems to be that it has characters, places, and weapons...

Anyway, I have the analog version of the game and I'll stick to that. Why would you want to play a Cthulhu game with no only one Great Old One?

Not to nitpick, but to clear up some expectations, rather than being a version of Arkham Horror it's actually a port of the dice game Elder Sign (made by FFG and obviously using the same artwork/characters as AH).

It's a blast, and I too maintain that random parties make it that much more fun. I've played it maybe a hundred times, but only won about three of those. Some of the rules aren't explained well, but it's definitely a great mobile game for airports/coffee breaks.

Yeah, Clue is an odd comparison, considering that Elder Sign is basically Cthulhu Yahtzee. Maybe they made it more clue-esque for the mobile version.

Ginger, I haven't had those stability or auto-save issues myself. Is it possible that you're talking about issues with an earlier version of the game? Either that, or maybe I've just been lucky so far.

Why is it an odd comparison? As I wrote, you're arranging characters, tools, and locations. "Mr. Mustard in the dining room with the candlestick" isn't terribly different from "Ashcan Pete in the administration office with the shotgun".

Good lord, this is the second time I've had no idea an iPhone game wasn't just an iPhone game. I had no idea Ascension was an actual physical game when I started playing it on the iPhone...

Not only that, but some of the rules between the two are different. People find the physical version easier because of these rules. It turns out that the two designers actually have differing opinions on how the game should be played. I know the recently released FAQ changes some of the rules for the physical version to be more in line with the iOS version. Also, the iOS version features 1 elder god, Azathoth (sp). The physical version has several different 'villians' who all have their own special rules. I believe if the elder being does show up, you can battle them, except for Azathoth. I think thats why they picked him, better streamlining.

"It's likely I will branded as one unhinged for what I am about to do."

Isn't there a word missing?

Yeah, on the board game you pick a villain (at random or select it) from a pile. Azathoth is the one that says that when he wakes up, we lose the game right there ;_;

The others however send us into a boss battle where pretty much all the rest of the game is discarded and you fight the boss SORT OF like an investigation.

I need to read the new FAQ changes because i found the board game pretty damn easy :(