The word "eldritch" brings up a lot of imagery. Creatures with twitching tendrils the size of mountains, invoking fear from just a glance at them. Eldritch as a word describes something that is unearthly in a weird, and often times scary, supernatural way. When most people think of "eldritch horror" they think of the works of H.P. Lovecraft whose stories referenced ancient powerful deities from space called the "Great Old Ones," like Azathoth and Cthulhu. Lovecraft's mythos has a lot of influence on many other works, including horror games and video games. Here are the Top 10 Eldritch Horror Based Games.
10 Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened
Many Eldrich horror tales hold themes of mystery and dark secrets that usually draw the story's protagonist into the terrifying world of beings from beyond the cosmos. Such gripping mysteries can only be solved by the best of deductive minds, and one of the best literary detectives, Sherlock Holmes, takes his shot at it in the Frogware game Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. The game features Sherlock and Watson investigating several disappearances that are connected to a cult that worships the Eldritch entity Cthulhu, who abduct people to use in a ritual to summon him.
9 Call Of Cthulhu
Set in 1924, the Call of Cthulhu 2018 game, lets players take control of a private investigator named Edward Pierce, who suffers from strange and terrifying nightmares. He ends up with a case in a place called Darkwater, where a family perishes in a mysterious fire.
The only clue he has about the case is a strange and macabre picture, painted by the mother of the family. Call of Cthulhu has players witness the slow descent into madness that Edward Pierce faces as he faces off against a mysterious cult that worship Cthulhu.
8 Alone In The Dark (1992)
1992s Alone in the Dark is the oldest game on this list but it's still one of the best Eldritch horror games out there. Considered the forefather of the survival horror genre. Players can pick between two protagonists who are trapped inside a haunted mansion and must solve puzzles and face against supernatural enemies to escape.
The game takes influences from different literary works, but especially Lovecraft's. Several of the supernatural enemies players face are taken straight out of Lovecraft's Chthulu Mythos as are several items, like the different grimoires that can be found in the game.
7 Eternal Darkness
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is a Gamecube game that came out in 2002. Though it doesn't match up to the horror of a lot of today's game it distinguished itself with its unique gameplay mechanic called "sanity effects". Players have a sanity meter and if it gets too low it'll trigger environmental changes and unusual events, from skewed camera angles to simulated game and TV errors. It has some Eldritch inspired themes, with the plot of the story surrounding the powerful essence of the "Ancients" and the Tome of Eternal Darkness which is likened to Lovecraft's Necronomicon.
6 Cthulhu Saves The World
Just about all the Eldritch games on this list take a more serious approach to Eldritch horror. Cthulhu Saves the World is unique as the terrifying otherworld entity isn't the bad guy of the story, but the hero! Sort of. Cthulhu Saves the World is a hilarious 8-bit RPG where Cthulu has to break the curse of a mysterious sorcerer who sealed his powers away. The ancient sea-dwelling god fights alongside a party of equally interesting (and weird) characters fighting against evil and to reclaim his powers. So he can destroy the world himself.
5 Sunless Sea
Sunless Sea is the spinoff of Fallen London, a game set in an alternate Victorian era where London has sunk beneath the world's surface. Players explore the Unterzee that surrounds London, a subterranean ocean. Players become the captain of their own steamship and explore the dangerous ocean, gathering a crew to help towards their character's goal. Sunless Sea takes inspirations from other places, including very Eldritch elements. Players can battle, or escape, from terrifying sea creatures called "zee monsters" and even darker forces as they try to keep their sanity and set sail for the unknown.
4 Eldritch Reanimated
Ever wondered what a fusion between Minecraft and H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos would be like? No, well there is no need to because the developers at Minor Key Games created that very game, and it's called Eldritch Reanimated. This first-person action game lets players explore dungeons filled with ancient monsters and grave secrets. Players can use weapons and mystical powers to aid them. As cute as these Eldritch monsters appear to be, they're pretty dangerous and being defeated by them earns permadeath and all items in the inventory lost forever.
Conarium is a first-person action horror game that takes inspiration from one of H.P. Lovecraft's novellas, At the Mountains of Madness. Taking place years after what happened, players take the role of Frank Gilman, a scientist who found himself in a room filled with weird noises and sights.
Gilman has no memories of what happened to put him in the state he's in but has a deep feeling that something isn't right. Players have to find clues and decipher dreams and vision to figure out what happened while avoiding all the horrors that lurk in the Antartic base.
Bloodborne is an action RPG directed by the same creator of the Souls series, Hidetaka Miyazaki. Players are taken into the dark and decrepit Gothic Victorian-inspired city of Yharnam. The city is plagued with beasts, created by a blood plague and players create their own Hunter to battle these beasts, uncovering the dark secrets of the city. Miyazaki used Cthulhu Mythos for the themes of the games. The lore within the game centers around "The Great Ones" otherworldly beings who are worshipped as gods and have powers that are desired by many.
1 The Sinking City
The Sinking City is one of the best interpretations of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. Players take control of private investigator and WWI war veteran Charles W. Reed as he investigates the mysterious flooding city of Oakmont Massachusetts, that may have a connection to his terrifying visions. The game's story is what has it rise above other Eldritch based games as it captures the underlying theme's Lovecraft's; existential dread, fear of things one doesn't understand and how it can cause hatred and encourage people to do terrible things to others. And that's more terrifying than any sort of monster.