Call Of Cthulhu Videogame – Call of Cthulhu: The Videogame

I just can’t work out what this product announcement from Focus Interactive is about. It’s called ‘Call of Cthulhu: The Videogame’, which is far too cryptic and oblique to be of any use. What even is it – a book, a game, a film, a museum? And whatever is it about? Jane Eyre? Vampires? Bears? Vampire Jane Bear? WE NEED MORE INFORMATION.

Or perhaps – and I’m taking a wild shot in the dark here – it’s a videogame based on Call of Cthulhu? No, you’re right, it’s too much of a reach.

Amusingly prosaic title aside (though it really is going to prove a mite confusing, given we already have the under-appreciated Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land), precious little has been revealed about the Frogwares-developed title. There’s the concept art above and below – which you may click to embiggen – but other than that all we can do is speculate whether it’ll be a 3D point’n’click adventure like Frogwares’ Sherlock Holmes titles, or explore pastures new.

Whatever it is, I hope it’s more about fear and deduction rather than any kind of monster-basher. Ol’ HP Lovecraft gets more than his fair share of game homages these days, but most are combat-centric – the original stories are very much not. Let’s focus on the protagonists’ terrifying loss of sanity, please.


  1. DatonKallandor says:

    I don’t remember the haunted mansion or evil sacrificial cave parts of Call of Cthulhu. It’s a straight up detective story about a guy trying to unravel a mystery. Only the end has any action at all, but it’s some nice ship-to-ship boarding action which fits right into 2014 Year of the Boat.

    That concept art would fit perfectly for a Rats in the Walls game. Evil House? Evil Caverns underneath? Evil dead ancestors? All the boxes are ticked by those pictures.

    Maybe don’t call everything set in the Mythos “Call of Cthulhu”? Nah that’d be work.

    • tattertech says:

      I could be blending it with other Lovecraft stories, but doesn’t part of CoC involve investigation of the cult in Louisiana? I thought that narrator ended up investigating down there before he even met with the survivor from the boat.

      • grinnock says:

        You got it. It’s the closest it gets to evil sacrificial cave, except it’s a swamp.

    • tk421242 says:

      Well Call of Cthulhu sounds so much better then Call of YcnĂ gnnisssz. Yes… I had to copy paste that name because damn if I can spell it!

      • jonahcutter says:

        Good thing you didn’t try. Just attempting to spell it from memory is enough to induce madness (just look at all those friggin consonants).

        Copy-paste… the only known force in the universe capable of countering the Old Ones.

    • Morph says:

      Well I’m guessing it’s based on the RPG of the same name (though how exactly that works I don’t know).

      • The Random One says:

        Call of Cthulu: The Video Game of the Role Playing Game

        • 12inchPlasticToy says:

          …of the book. With the same name. By H.P. Lovecraft. Printed. Bye.

      • Shuck says:

        Based on the font used, I’d say it’s connected with the pen and paper RPG. Chaosium trademarked the phrase “Call of Cthulhu” relative to games, so someone is making good use of it, I guess. It may have nothing to do with the actual story by that name.

    • Professor Snake says:

      I do recall there being a police raid in some cultist worship location.

      • N'Al says:

        That was the VERY BEGINNING of the game.

        • SRTie4k says:

          I believe the OC (original commenter) is referring to the actual story, not the game.

      • Nenjin says:

        It’s the Horror At Red Hook.

        • DatonKallandor says:

          Horror at Red Hook also has a police investigation yes. Call of Cthulhu has a story about a police raid in a Louisiana Swamp told by a policeman.
          Horror at Red Hook has murder on a cruise ship, demon-weddings and swarthy foreigners performing child-sacrifices in abandoned churches. (Red Hook was deeply in his I hate them non-englishmen pollutin’ my cities phase)

    • Nikita "Hot Stuff" Khrushchev says:

      Really none of Lovecraft’s stories are very action-oriented, which makes the recent wave of “Lovecraft inspired” tentaclely fish monster shoot-’em-ups very frustrating to me. Lovecraft’s work usually deals with facing something much larger and much more powerful than you. You can’t stop the Great Old Ones with bullets!

      • pepperfez says:

        But you can escape them.

        • bitscreed says:

          By shooting one or more of your fellow investigators in the leg, so you only have to outrun them and not the Cyclopean Eldritch Abomination chasing you.

          • agreed says:

            Note to self:

            Do not play co-op with bitscreed.
            Do not investigate strange noises with bitscreed.
            Shoot bitscreed before he shoots you.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        They actually mess up Cthulhu pretty badly (by mythos god standards) in Call of Cthulhu – by driving a boat right through his chest.

        • solidsquid says:

          In fairness I believe Cthulhu is actually one of the lesser deities in the mythos, not being one of the Great Old Ones. Also, with him being a mythos creature, driving a boat through his chest may well have just been a bit of an inconvenience rather than actual injury

        • Geen says:

          He got better within minutes. The Tabletop RPG comes with rules for what happens if you nuke Cthulhu: He’s down for ten minutes to an hour. Then he comes back. Angry. And radioactive.

      • Turkey says:

        Someone’s going to make a Cthulhu first person hide-em-up. It’s only a matter of time.

      • wererogue says:

        Sez you. Get me an artist/animator and a year of back pay and I’ll give you a breathtaking flight from the Shuggoth in a temple under the Plateau of Leng (or any number of breathtaking flights). Or a tactical assault on the Moon-beast outposts, by Randolph Carter, Richard Pickman and a horde of ghouls.

        It wouldn’t be super horror-y, but there’s plenty of action to be had.

      • harr0p says:

        Yeah I can’t think of many of his stories where action played a big part. Mainly Dreamscapes, discovery, terror, running away, madness followed up with the inevitable never to be seen again.

        My mind runs blank when thinking of decent Lovecraft games. Didn’t the early entry’s to alone in the dark series take much of its spook from his work? and not forgetting dark corners of the earth which I believe was the story “shadows over innsmouth” a fav.

        • drvoke says:

          I didn’t finish DCotE, but I seem to recall that it tied a few stories together. The first scenario was Innsmouth (and it was very much a run-and-hide-and-stay-sane bit) and the second scenario borrowed heavily from The Shadow Out of Time. I imagine it continues to borrow from a variety of Lovecraft stories. The running from from fishmen bit was just the very first level.

    • hypercrisis says:

      Call of Cthulhu is also the name of a major RPG franchise, which I assume is the source here considering it uses the same title font

      • DatonKallandor says:

        You’re right I didn’t realize they had “Call of Cthulhu” trademarked. Though how that works I don’t know considering Lovecraft is public domain.
        It’s pretty fucking weird (and not in the weird fiction way) that they can own the NAME of a public domain story.
        That’d be like owning the phrase “Romeo and Juliet”.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It’s too late to limit use of the name to just the story. Aside from the boardgame, there is also “Call of Cthulu: The Wasted Land,” a recent iPad game set in WW1. So it’s already associated with games set in the mythos.

      I wonder if that’s a registered trademark now, by one company or other. Aren’t the original stories public domain by now?

      • darkChozo says:

        Call of Cthulhu is trademarked because of the TTRPG, while the Cthulhu mythos in general is generally considered to be in the public domain.

  2. SRTie4k says:

    I’m currently making a game about a lady who works for a suicide prevention hotline and receives a call one day, and it turns out the caller is actually the elder God Cthulhu. Through some coaxing the part of the player (who plays the lady), he comes to admit that he feels that nobody in the world understands him, not even his subjects, and that he has felt a constant sense of hopelessness and despair for millenia that his life is not going the way he thought it would. The players objective is to attempt to understand where he is coming from, talk him down and hopefully get him the help he deserves.

    Wanna know what the title is going to be?

    • Nikita "Hot Stuff" Khrushchev says:

      Call of Cthulhu: The Coaxing or Call of Cthulhu the Dissuadening

    • Dog Pants says:

      I give up, but while I was thinking about it I considered the name ‘Booty Call of Cthulhu.’ That could make for a pretty good game:

      “Hey baby, whatcha doing? Oh, you just woke up?”

    • LogicalDash says:

      I guess you were joking, which is a shame because your game would have to simulate communication with Cthulhu, and if you could actually pull that off I would give you a lot of money

      • 12inchPlasticToy says:

        He would lyrically flap His tentacles to enunciate ineffable strophes in the likes of “FLPBLFLPBFLPT… PFLPT.”, or the maddening “FLP! FLP! FLBLFLPTFL, FLP!”, which drove civilisations to their doom.

        I would assume one would have to be speaking to Cthulhu face to face to feel the insanity rising, because on the phone He would just sound like a bowl of angry eels, and people would just hang up. That’s now how you build a cult.

  3. Baf says:

    I’ve always said that the single thing most Lovecraft-based games get wrong is that they’re winnable.

    • golem09 says:

      This why I love Eternal Darkness to this day. Almost everboydy dies. Or worse.

    • bill says:

      Dark Corners of the Earth on PC was pretty much unwinnable…. I always thought that was due to a software bug meaning that it was impossible to escape the collapsing cave in time… but maybe it was supposed to be that way? Hmm…

      I forget the final cutscene, but if it didn’t end with you locked in an asylum or committing suicide, I’d be very surprised.

      • dskzero says:

        Yup it was. You could get around it by lowering your screen resolution, which is how I finally beat the game.

        I also got the “NO TARGETS TO SHOOT IN THE DAMN ISLAND” bug at the end of the ship sequence… which was such a shame as that part was awesome.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        It did in-fact end with committing suicide in Arkham Asylum. No happy ending for the guy who is dropped into A Shadow out of Time and Shadows over Innsmouth at the same time.

    • Geen says:

      Infraa Arcana is a roguelike, and it’s goddamn hard. And by the time you find the object you are looking for, The Shining Traphedron, you’ll be a half-dead gibbering, diseased mess with more phobias than fingers, wading through the blood/ichor/??? of god knows how many cultists and beasts, desperately trying to keep your final few percentiles of sanity.

  4. golem09 says:

    As long as it isn’t Call of Cdhuty, I’ll take it.

  5. Jake says:

    Dark Corners of the Earth was great, if quite hard to play due to bugs. I’ll try any Lovecraftian game, but with reservations.

    Cthulhu himself has become a kind of Godzilla analogue nowadays, people just like the idea of a giant octopus monster stomping on cities, which is obviously a nice idea but it really isn’t what the Mythos was all about. Lovecraft, like Poe before him, tapped into a previously unexplored areas of horror – in his case the sense of cosmic insignificance that beings like Cthulhu generate. Nowadays it is hard to appreciate that this was a new and unusual type of horror as the whole thing has been over-exposed somewhat. I think Thomas Ligotti is the modern day equivalent of Lovecraft, his stories are unknown and his brand of horror is more relevant to today’s society and anxieties. But there are no octopus monsters.

    • drvoke says:

      Wow, another Ligotti fan by way of Lovecraft. And your analysis of where Cthulhu as an antagonist/idea/concept has gone wrong in popular culture matches mine as well, as people with no understanding of the literature behind it are exposed to Mythos ideas and appropriate them in turn.

      You probably don’t feel this way, but as an aside, I’m usually not possessive of my cultural trappings, but as a fan of Lovecraft since I was 12, and given how his ideas about horror and weirdness have had the most impact on my life out of any author or artist, Cthulhu plushies and knitted Cthulhu hats and other cutesy Mythos shit make me see red when I spot them “in the wild”. I remember when I first picked up a Lovecraft book off the shelf at a bookstore, randomly, and spent the rest of the evening sitting on the floor reading it, until my mom was ready to go home and I made her buy the book plus one more for me. Most people’s first exposure to the Mythos today is via cutesy hipster bullshit, and that makes me sad.

    • solidsquid says:

      The impression I got of Cthulhu is that it’s similar to the force of nature idea of Godzilla rather than the big monster that stomps cars, but viewed through the lens of having appeared centuries ago and the people being left only with stories of this great creature which could eclipse the world, but knowing very little that is certain about it

  6. rebb says:

    These look r’lyeh nice.

  7. SillyWizard says:

    Ah, possibly from the same people responsible for MagRunner! Expect awful voice-acting but an otherwise enjoyable experience.

  8. bill says:

    Dark Corners was really great – the first third especially.
    I heard the development was pretty troubled, and it showed in the later stages where there were bugs and many good ideas weren’t that well fleshed out. But overall I thought it was ace!

    I haven’t played Amnesia yet, but I get the impression that the first 3rd played out quite a bit like that. (But with more people around).

    • harr0p says:

      Play both amnesia’s you won’t be disappointed. I’m currently going through ” a machine for pigs” and its truly some dark fucking stuff.

      • 12inchPlasticToy says:

        By the way, Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Penumbra before it were running on the HPL Engine created by Frictional.
        In relation to Call of Cthulhu, can you guess what HPL stands for? =)

        • gombicek says:

          Hmm, let’s see. HPL..HPL..It must mean Horny Pig Lovers no?

  9. Shooop says:

    It’s about fhtagn time we got another Cthulu game.

  10. fenriz says:

    It’s so satisfactory to think that only puzzle adventure can narrate realistic human life.

    Unless it’s cutscene/punch-punch-punch/cutscene.

    and that’s always been ridiculous.

  11. JamesTheNumberless says:

    Please somebody make a Lovecraft game that’s as good as the first Alone in the Dark, or at least as good as Dark Corners is up until the point it degenerates into counterstrike with fishmen.

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      Now that I think about it, even Alone in the Dark degenerated into a platformer with fishmen… Maybe let’s leave the fishmen alone this time, eh?

    • Geen says:

      There’s Eternal Darkness, but it’s not Lovecraft. It does draw a bunch of inspiration from it, though.

  12. Ergates_Antius says:

    Call of Cthulhu: Monster Warfare?