A Study in Emerald

Where there is no imagination, there is no horror.

A Study in Emerald joins its Mythos-related brethren in the Esoteric Order of Gamers game library.

Two Cthulhu-related games in the space of a couple of weeks! What would H. P. Lovecraft think of the worldwide cultural popularity of his creations…

The respected game designer Martin Wallace recently proved himself a man of taste by doing exactly what I did, which was move to New Zealand. Though I have none of his games in my collection for some reason, I was drawn to this one because of its theme, based as it is on a Neil Gaiman short story that briefly and amusingly mashes H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Conan Doyle together—or more accurately their creations, the Cthulhu Mythos and Sherlock Holmes.

The board is a wonderfully lurid mess of pink and green, and the card illustrations are done in lovely period style. A few other things, such as the rulebook, could have been done better—but don’t listen to me, as I offered to do the design and they already had a designer, so it’s just professional jealousy. As for the game, in its reliance on card actions it reminds me of another Wallace game I recently played, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, but there’s a whole mess of control area and deckbuilding ideas in here and it will be interesting to see how it all comes out in the wash when I get it to the table.

Gaiman’s short story can be read here.

What do you think?