Monday, October 07, 2013
Android Games I Really Like #2
2. Elder Sign: Omens (Fantasy Flight Games).
Elder Sign: Omens is a mobile version of Fantasy Flight's popular board game based on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. The object of the game is to prevent an "Ancient One" from awakening by taking a group of four characters through various missions in an old museum. From what I've gathered, the play of the game follows the board game rather closely, with you "rolling" glyphs to match and beat obstacles.
I've never played the actual board game that this draws from. However, I did end up getting the board game for Arkham Horror after playing this. I had read several positive reviews for it, even before I stepped into the Elder Sign universe on Android. I was quite pleased (and surprised) that all the investigators in Arkham Horror are in use in Elder Sign: Omens, as are the Ancient Ones.
I've attempted to play Arkham Horror a couple times by myself. It's a very complex game and it takes a couple of plays just to get the mechanics down. And really, you should play it solo a few times. Especially if you want to teach someone else how to play.
Strangely enough, Elder Sign: Omens, while just a bit different from Arkham Horror, actually helped me grasp a lot of the core mechanics of the board game. If I were to get someone to play the board game, I would probably first hand them my tablet and let them play through Omens a few times to get a feel for the game first. It really helps.
When you purchase the game for $3.99, you get four Ancient Ones (Yig, Tsathoggua, Azathoth and Hastur), each with different levels of difficulty, and sixteen investigators. These initial characters are the same ones featured in the Arkham Horror board game, right down to the same artwork and stamina/sanity points. You also have access to a character that can be unlocked by defeating Azathoth.
Further expansions are also available to get three more Ancient Ones. These all come with five more investigators, one of which is a locked character rewarded for beating each campaign. These expansions are $2.99 each.
Elder Sign: Omens is a great game with a concrete objective to win and it can be quite challenging at times. It can be replayed as many times as you like, giving you an opportunity to try out different investigators. Plus, no two games ever run the same, as the encounters are randomly determined as you progress.
The game brings a high quality board game experience to tablets with the added bonus of not having to set up or put the board and pieces away after playing.
Another feature I really like is that it plays perfectly offline and doesn't need an internet connection unless you're needing to update or download an expansion.
I really like what Fantasy Flight did with Elder Sign: Omens and really wish they would add more mobile ports of their games. It's a great way to enjoy them alone or to learn the various rules and mechanics. I'm sure if they did, all the games would quickly be "devoured".