- Alone in the Dark, I-Motion (1992)
- This well-crafted game takes place in a mansion in Louisiana that is beset with Lovecraftian
horrors. The elegant interface, cinematic points of view, and wonderful atmosphere make this
game a must. The front of the box reads, “A Virtual Adventure Game Inspired by the Work
of H.P. Lovecraft.” Two more games followed in the Alone in the Dark series, but
only this first one contained Lovecraftian elements.
- Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, Infogrames (2001)
- Although the makers of this game claim that it goes back to the Lovecraftian roots of the first
“Alone in the Dark” game, it’s more accurate to say that it merely goes back
to that game’s horror roots, since there are no overtly Lovecraftian elements in
this new game.
- Arcane, Sarbakan (2001)
- Unlike the other games here which are purchased for a specific computer or platform, Arcane is
an online “interactive horror/mystery adventure” which is played on the web.
- Blood, Monolith Productions, Inc. (1995)
- A 3D horror game that makes several passing references to Lovecraft. These include the
Miskatonic Railroad Station and Pickman’s Rare Books and Maps.
- Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the
Earth, Headfirst Productions
- A first-person horror adventure game whose setting is based on Lovecraft’s “The
Shadow over Innsmouth”. The game’s “Dynamic Sanity” system and lack of
heads-up display lead to a highly immersive experience. Follow-up games, “Destiny’s
End” and “Beyond the Mountains of Madness”, are planned.
- Castlevania 64, Konami (1999)
- The “Castlevania” series of platform games began back in 1987 and now continues
with this release for the Nintendo 64. Although the game revolves around the vampire myth and is
set in Transylvania, the Necronomicon is featured.
- Daughter of Serpents, Electronic
Arts/Millennium/Eldritch Games (1992)
- Set in Alexandria, this game is rich with Egyptian and Lovecraftian atmosphere, even though the
box gives no indication that there is any connection at all to Lovecraft. Designed by the same
team that made the mostly text The Hound of Shadow, the graphics of this game are
wonderful. Unfortunately, the game is very linear and can be played to its conclusion in very
little time. The instruction manual includes a two-page biography of Lovecraft, as well as a
short, paper-based role-playing adventure, “The Alchemist of Istanbul.”
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s
Requiem, Silicon Knights
- The game’s storyline revolves around the “Ancients”, which have been
imprisoned on earth until the time is right for their return. The Tome of Eternal
Darkness bears a resemblance to the Necronomicon, several characters are from
Providence, Rhode Island, and one of the characters is an Inspector Legrasse—the game also
explicitly mentions Lovecraft.
- The Hound of Shadow, Electronic Arts/Eldritch Games (1989)
- This game takes place in England in the 1920s and the box invites you to “Enter the
sinister world of H.P. Lovecraft.” This is primarily a text-only adventure game with some
occasional graphics. The instruction manual includes a two-page biography of Lovecraft.
- Lovecraft Country,
- An online, text-based, role-playing game set in Arkham, as envisioned in Chaosium’s
“Call of Cthulhu”. Players act as students at Miskatonic University and interact
both with other players and with non-player characters. The main game is called “Arkham
by Night”, but separate sub-games, such as “In the Tomb of the Desert God”,
allow players to go on expeditions in other locales.
- The Lurking
Horror, Infocom (1987)
- Trapped during a snowstorm on the campus of G.U.E. Tech (modeled after Cambridge’s
M.I.T.), you struggle against horrible entities that lurk in the tunnels beneath the school.
The back of the box mentions that, “THE LURKING HORROR recalls the ghastly visions of H.P.
Lovecraft and Stephen King...” Although no overt Lovecraftian references are made, the
tone of this classic game is very Lovecraftian.
- Necronomicon: The Gateway to Beyond,
Dreamcatcher Games (2001)
- Set in Providence and Pawtuxet, Rhode Island, this game appears to be based primarily on
Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
- Necronomicon Digital Pinball, KAZe
- One of KAZe’s “Digital Pinball” series, “Necronomicon” includes
three different tables—Arkham, Cult of the Bloody Tongue, and Dreamlands—whose
themes are all Lovecraftian in nature. John Petrucci, guitarist for Dream Theater, played some
of the music for the game.
- Prisoner of Ice, I-Motion
- Something monstrous is discovered frozen in the Antarctic ice and you must prevent the Nazis
from releasing it. The box makes it clear that the game is “Based on the bizarre writings
of horror master H.P. Lovecraft” and invites you to “defeat Cthulhu and save the
world.” With some clear inspiration from Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of
Madness, this game is full of stunning graphics and animations.
id Software (1996)
- Id’s follow-up to their highly successful first-person combat game, Doom. Due to
the influence of Sandy Petersen, creator of the “Call of Cthulhu” role-playing game,
Quake has a number of Lovecraftian elements, including such creatures as Shub-Niggurath.
- Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of
Darkness, Sierra Online (1993)
- This game is not overtly Lovecraftian like the other games here, but does have a number of
Lovecraftian references. The primary bad guy in the game is the tentacled Dark One,
Avoozl—a name much too similar to the title character of Clark Ashton Smith’s
“The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan” (Weird Tales, June 1932) to be mere
coincidence. The founder of The Cult of the Dark One is the mad monk, Amon Tillado, a character
similar in concept to Abdul Alhazred, but whose name is an homage to Poe. Amon Tillado is found
dead in a pool of his own blood next to the Necrophilicon. Included in the game manual is
a section called “Call of Avoozl” and an article by “P.H. Craftlove.”
There’s even the phrase, “In his Vacation resort at Club Dead, Avoozl lies
- The Scroll, Millennium Interactive/Nova Spring (1995)
- Another game from the creators of The Hound of Shadow and Daughter of Serpents.
Like Daughter of Serpents, this game is also set in Alexandria and uses many of the same
graphics, and thus appears at first to be the same game. However, it is a separate game that
merely uses the same setting. The box explicitly mentions Nyarlathotep, but not Lovecraft.
- Shadow of the Comet, I-Motion (1993)
- Created by the same group that created Alone in the Dark, this game uses a more
traditional graphical adventure interface. Taking place in the New England town of
“Illsmouth,” you must discover the relation between the return of Halley’s
Comet and the “resurgence of the Great Ancients.” Licensed by Chaosium and
prominently bearing the “Call of Cthulhu” logo, this game makes it clear that it is
“An Adventure Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft.” Many of the characters in the game have
faces that are oddly reminiscent of a variety of actors...
- X-COM: Terror from the Deep, Published by MicroProse, Developed by Mythos Games
- The spaceship T’leth crashed on earth 65 million years ago, imprisoning the Great
Dreamer. Now the Deep Ones are attempting to awaken him, “the ultimate alien whose
darkness will engulf the globe.” Sound familiar? Steve Goss, Project Manager of Hothouse
Creations Ltd., had the following to say about
influence on the game:
Yup you’re dead right we couldn’t get copyright clearance on the Cthulhu
names (R’lyeh and the like) so I monkeyed around and gave them “almost” names
and types. The Deeps ones are straight from Lovecraft, the other creatures display features
similar to well known creatures in the mythos. The Great Dreamer is there, his head (replete
with tentacles) is in the casket at the end of the maze.
Steve admits to being a fan of Lovecraft and says that, despite the Lovecraftian elements in the
game, “It was
never meant to be really hardcore Cthulhu...”