Arkham Horror: Mother's Embraceby Aethyna Apr 1, 2021 | 1 Votes | 45 Played | 0 Reviews 9 rate Take control of a ragtag party of investigators and track down the mysterious cultists who are involved in the murder and ritual sacrifice of Professor Tillinghast in this story-driven, turn-based adventure RPG! Will you be able to find out what’s really going on and who’s to blame for the murder? Play Now Similar Games Played
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Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace is a story-driven, party-based adventure RPG complete with unique gridless turn-based combat, and a creepy Lovecraftian theme. In this game, you get to control a ragtag team of investigators with varying experiences and talents. The goal here is to track down the mysterious cultists who are involved in the murder of Professor Tillinghast during what seems to be a sacrificial ritual. Will you be able to find out what’s really going on and who’s to blame for the murder?
The game starts off with your chosen character. He (or she) was invited by a respectable professor at Miskatonic University, Professor Wilhelmina Tillinghast, to her home. However, when you arrived, no one answered the door despite seeing lights on the upper floor, which indicates someone’s home.
Being the inquisitive person that you are, you decided to climb into the house using an open window on the ground floor and find out what’s going on. Without spoiling too much of the story, let’s just say that you might not be prepared for what you might find there.
Personally, I find the story to be one of the best parts of the game. As the game’s set in the world of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, the storyline is both mysterious and gruesome; basically, all the hallmarks of a great Lovecraftian story. Plus, the quality voice acting and the creepy dimly-lit atmosphere really made the story so much more immersive and its characters relatable and believable.
I also really love the comments by the professor that apparently the player is privy to but not the characters in the game. She has some interesting observations and quips, and if you pay attention, she even gives you some insight into her background as well.
In terms of gameplay, I’d venture as far as to say that Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace is solidly-fun especially if you enjoy turn-based combat, and if you love some relatively simple and guided investigative work.
The game begins by asking you to pick your “main” investigator. Eventually though, you’ll encounter other characters as you progress through the story and they, in turn, will join your little party as an investigator. There are several scenarios in this game, each featuring a different setting and location. You’ll get to send two investigators per scenario since you’ll usually encounter another new character along the way who will then join your party. The rest of your investigators will then get to “rest”.
Rotating between your investigators is actually a good strategy to employ in this game, mainly because of the game’s sanity counter.
As you may already know, Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace is a game based on H.P. Lovecraft’s universe and as such, your party of investigators encounter some pretty creepy stuff along the way. Every time they do so, the game will force a Sanity Check, and depending on your luck and the character’s Mental Resistance, their sanity level may drop as a result. Note that restoring sanity isn’t something that you can do very often in this game so it’s best to just avoid losing sanity as much as possible.
Once their sanity is drained, your investigator will then gain a Trauma, which typically is a pretty much permanent adverse effect. Each character can accumulate up to 3 traumas that will greatly reduce the efficiency of a character while in the field. That said, you can remove one trauma from said character simply by benching him or her for a scenario.
Unfortunately, sanity checks can come from various interactions in the game, but the most common way to get it is probably by inspecting something. You see, in this game, every time you inspect a gruesome scene or object, a sanity check or drop will be immediately forced on the team.
Plus, there are times when you are presented with at least 2 action choices when inspecting or investigating something, and based on the hint given, you’ll need to choose the right action. Every incorrect action will add to your Mythos Effect dial and once the dial’s filled, your party will be subject to an adverse effect which includes a sanity check or a sudden combat encounter.
There’s also the fact that the game doesn’t really give you a whole lot of ways to restore sanity. Due to this, it’s important to try to minimize sanity loss as much as possible.
Now, when it comes to combat, Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace offers a pretty solid turn-based gameplay but for someone who’s used to tactical-style turn-based combat, the gameplay can feel a tad bit shallow. This means that there’s no such thing as using covers to reduce damage taken, there’s no extra flanking damage, and there’s no hit rating, as in your characters will always hit their targets but the damage suffered varies depending on luck.
The gameplay is also unique in the sense that, unlike most turn-based combat games, there aren’t any visible grids here. However, this doesn’t mean that the position of your characters doesn’t matter here. For instance, you can still use objects in the combat area as funnels to prevent your characters from being hit from all sides.
There are other combat features as well that help to make the combat in this game a lot more strategic, including the Refocus feature which bumps a character up the initiative chain, allowing him or her to play out their turn first. Overwatch is another super-useful tool to use, as long as you made sure to position the coverage area properly.
Of course, the fact that the enemies here aren’t particularly bright or devious helped a lot too!
For every round of combat, each character will get 5 action points (APs). Though, there is at least one way that I know of where you can spend 2 APs to consume coffee - if you have it in the character’s inventory, that is - to restore 5 APs. You can use the APs to move or to perform an action, such as using your character’s equipped weapon of choice.
Note that each investigator can have more than one weapon in their inventory and can easily switch between them during combat at no cost. This definitely comes in handy especially considering the fact that ranged weapons, consume ammo and sometimes, you may run out of them. Having a melee backup, in this case, would be incredibly helpful.
Of course, the weapons you place in each character’s inventory should be based on their respective weapon proficiencies. Trying to get someone with a low affinity to magic to use a spellbook is basically asking for disaster. This is especially true for spellbooks as they have a chance of randomly producing an effect that can be beneficial to your team, such as dealing damage to the enemy, or detrimental, such as healing said enemy.
Spells usually don’t do damage in this game, which is unfortunate to some extent, but they will always cause some form of negative effect on your enemy. The one that I’ve found to be most useful so far is the restrain effect, which drastically slows down an enemy’s movement so that my characters will only have to deal with a manageable number of enemies (especially melee ones) at a time. However, some enemies have resistances and may completely resist the effect of a spell. So, in some ways, spells can be pretty much a hit or a miss in this game.
In addition to weapons, your investigators can also carry along some other stuff, namely, consumables such as bandages and coffee, as well as item boosts. These item boosts work by granting the character who’s carrying it in his/her inventory some form of resistance. The thing is though, the inventory in this game is frankly speaking quite limited – only 4 slots - so it can sometimes be hard to decide between bringing along more stuff or leaving the inventory as empty as possible just so you can collect more new items.
Besides the turn-based combat, another aspect of its gameplay is the investigation. This is where you’ll need to inspect objects and glean some info out of them. Most of the time, this part is pretty linear, and that your hand will be held throughout. There’s usually a mini-puzzle in each scenario and they are fairly easy to solve if you don’t skip anything that can be read.
Now, as much fun as Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace is, it is unfortunately marred by several annoying glitches. One such camera-related glitch, which occurred twice for me within the span of just 2 hours, prevented me from progressing any further in the game, forcing me to reload to a previous checkpoint. I’ve also noticed some minor issues such as the presence of placeholder texts or incorrect object labels (a “Bookshelf” is labelled as “Door”, in this case).
Some players have reported even more severe issues, such as a bug where game progress is not being saved properly, but personally, I have not encountered such an issue since I usually play an entire scenario through from start to finish in a single sitting.
There’s also the fact that unlike many of Asmodee’s board game-inspired digital games, Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace might not be as replayable, unless you’re the sort who’d like to try out other characters just to see what’s new. Due to this, I, along with many other fans, would definitely love if there will be DLCs with new scenarios, stories, and possibly characters for this game later down the road.
Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace is a single player game throughout so the game doesn’t have any social aspects. That said, you can always discuss the game’s plot with other fellow enthusiasts via the game’s Steam forum.
For a non-triple A game, I’m completely astounded by the quality of the voice acting in this game. The atmosphere is very well-done too.
The graphics are pretty great in its own right, but as one player have pointed out, it does look a bit like high-quality mobile graphics, which begets the question – was this game initially slated for the mobile platform? Or perhaps Asmodee planned on releasing the game on mobile eventually? I guess we’ll see!
As someone who has not played the board game version of Arkham Horror before, this turn-based adventure RPG is a pretty great introduction. I absolutely love the horror-themed storytelling here and the voice acting is simply brilliant. Since I’m an avid fan of turn-based RPGs, the gridless gameplay here is unique enough to help it stand out. That said, the game is unfortunately marred by several glitches, especially the annoying camera glitch which can only be fixed by reloading a previous checkpoint.
So, to sum up, Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace may not be triple-A level, but it’s a solidly fun game in spite of its bugs and is still worth the purchase.