As a companion piece to our deep-dive
on what it means to be a "Lovecraftian" game, featuring background on the man himself, H.P. Lovecraft
, we tasked Crowland Publishing
's Christian D. Read
to submit his top 10 best Lovecraftian games, and boy he didn't disappoint. This is an eclectic list with a few entries you might not have ever heard of, so jump in and take a look.
From the list:
Click here for our full Top 10 Lovecraftian Games list
OK, showing my age with this one but 98s ‘Anchorhead,’ a text-based game, was and is a classic from a game genre that’s vanished like radio plays. Fond memories of playing this on an old 486.
In this age of achingly beautiful games that require hundreds of highly trained developers, there’s something quite relaxing about a low fi text with quirky, simple graphics.
The game is about a woman whose husband (wait for it) inherits a cursed house. What she discovers is a body jumping spirit who has a habit of possessing his heirs, in shades of Lovecraft’s The Thing on the Doorstep. And this evil bugger worships a sort of gnostic-Lovecraftian horror who’ll come to the world in the form of a monstrous meteorite.
The game lightens up the text with some grim black and white illustration and maps. If you never played the likes of Zork and other complex text-based puzzle solvers, they take some getting used to, a kind of linguistic ‘pixel bitching’ but Anchorhead is a bit more ambitious than that.
For those of you interested in a retro experience, this is worth it. Affecting and atmospheric story. But also -- you rarely see well-written prose in games. The Torment series and Dark Souls have some lovely writing, The Last Of Us, too, but Anchorhead would have made a solid novel.