The Darkness Over Arkham

Previewing the first Arkham Horror Investigators Gamebook.

Take on the role of your chosen Investigator and battle cults summoning terrors from beyond the stars in the first of a brand-new series of Arkham Horror gamebooks from Aconyte Books.  

When a renowned professor is found dead, his body melted, it’s up to the Investigators of Arkham to discover what occult horrors were behind his fate. But this book is a little different. This time you are the Investigator…  

The Darkness Over Arkham is the first in a new series of Arkham Horror Investigators Gamebooks from Aconyte Books, written by renowned gamebook author Jonathan Green. If you’ve played a gamebook before, the basic concept might be familiar – the book guides you through passages of evocative narrative, before asking you to make choices about which path to follow next, presenting you with tests of skill along the way. But The Darkness Over Arkham features a number of twists on this basic formula, designed to offer players the full Arkham Horror experience.

Firstly, in The Darkness Over Arkham, you take on the role of one of the famed Investigators already familiar from the Arkham Horror series of games. In this first volume, players can choose from the waitress Agnes Baker, the reporter Rex Murphy or the boxer Nathaniel Cho. Like in any other Arkham Horror game, each of these three Investigators possesses their own blend of strengths and weaknesses, meaning the challenges each faces – and the difficulty posed in overcoming them – will be different depending on which Investigator you choose as well as which paths you decide to follow.  

This all adds to variety and replayability. What’s more your choice is not limited to the three Investigators featured in the book. Future volumes will introduce more of your favorite Investigators, and other Investigators will be available to download for free, starting with three more upon the book’s publication. (You can see the first of these DLC Investigators below, and Aconyte will be revealing the others soon – follow Aconyte Books on social media to find out first.) Since all the books in the series will be compatible, you will be able to play as whichever of the published Investigators you choose, in any adventure you want.  

Gameplay will also be familiar to existing fans of Arkham Horror series, as the system used in the Investigators Gamebooks has been designed to evoke iconic mechanics from other games in the series. Investigators possess three skills – Willpower, Intellect and Combat, as well as stats for Health and Sanity. Each Investigator also possesses a major ability and major weakness, as well as a starting item, which provide them with a handful of flavorful special rules that bring to life each Investigator’s unique personality and backstory. All other abilities, weaknesses and items in the game function as keywords, explained in the text, meaning that while possible paths through the text and possible outcomes to your investigation are varied and numerous, there’s no need to learn lots of rules to play. Fans might also be familiar with clues, resources and doom – all of which an Investigator accrues as you play through the book. Clues and resources can be spent to give an Investigator a greater chance of success in the tests they face, while a growing level of doom reflects a worsening world and is likely to make some of those tests rather more difficult…  

Each Investigators’ stats, abilities and weaknesses, as well as any items, clues and resources they’ve picked up, are recorded on their character sheet. There’s a blank character sheet included in the back of the book. Pre-filled character sheets for each Investigator can also be downloaded from the Aconyte website. There are even mobile versions of the character sheets you can use on your phone, tablet or other device, without the need to print them out.  

The Darkness Over Arkham is available to pre-order now from the webstore and your local bookstore, and will be on-sale in the US on May 7. Check the Aconyte website for more information and details of release dates elsewhere.  

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