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Video Games You Should Play If You're A Fan Of H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft's tales of ancient evils and cosmic malevolence have inspired decades worth of films, books, and games, a lasting legacy of terror equal to masters like Edgar Allen Poe or Bram Stoker. If you're a fan of the seeping dread that Lovecraft imbues his best work with — and you're also a fan of video games — consider yourself lucky because there are tons of H.P. Lovecraft inspired titles out there.


There may even be too many choices out there for Lovecraft enthusiasts. A search on Steam for Lovecraft nets over 300 results. In contrast, a search for the horror legend Dracula barely offers 100 hits. Not all of those games deal directly with Lovecraft-based stories, however. Lovecraftian is a term that has come to envelop a lot in modern horror, and ambitious developers love tossing it into press packages to draw a little more attention to their newest offerings.

To help you sift through all of the Lovecraft-inspired video game experiences out there, here are three video games that fans of H.P. Lovecraft should play.

Call of Cthulu

This open-world RPG received mixed reviews when released for PC and PS4 in 2018, but even its detractors had to admit it's "as haunting and consuming as you want a good Lovecraft tale to be." Meanwhile, a more positive review for IGN called the game "one of the finest cosmic horror experiences in modern gaming."


Mixed reviews aside, Call of Cthulu undeniably pays respect to its source material. The game uses elements of the Call of Cthulu pen-and-paper RPG that has been around since the early '80s and tells the story of Edward Pierce, a tortured private detective and military veteran. Players must balance Pierce's unstable mental state and tenuous connection to reality while he encounters Lovecraftian horrors.

While some bad stealth mechanics and clunky action sequences kept the game from transcending the source material, Call of Cthulu is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a solid ride through a terrifying universe. The game is now available on all major consoles, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.


The Sinking City

The Sinking City, released in 2019, is an open-world detective story held back by some questionable design decisions that nevertheless tells a satisfying Lovecraftian story steeped in menace. Players explore the fictional city of Oakmont, Mass. to try and figure out the source of the town's unstoppable flooding before uncovering a plot by the Great Old Ones that threatens humanity.


Main character Charles Reed must navigate the sinking city's by boat, use bullets as currency, and keep a close watch on his sanity. The Sinking City received praise for its immersive world-building, exploration of Lovecraft's more questionable themes, and deductive problem-solving puzzles. The city of Oakmont is home to memorable and haunting characters, all connected by a supernatural evil that drives the main story.

The game suffered from technical problems, such as long load times and inconsistent combat that frustrated reviewers. However, with new consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X promising reduced load times on backward compatible games, it may be worth giving this Lovecraftian survival horror game a try.



While many games based on H.P. Lovecraft's stories use high production values and carefully plotted environments to evoke dread, Eldritch is a roguelike with a randomly generated world.

This 2013 title was released at the height of the roguelike revival in the 2010s, and used Minecraft-esque visuals steeped in Lovecraft lore. In Eldritch, every level players fight through is composed of 16 rooms, each of which has three floors. The multi-leveled approach to the random world is essential, as the boxy Lovecraftian horrors you encounter quickly overwhelm your abilities to defeat them, requiring stealthy avoidance and a lot of vertical movement.


Eldritch is a challenging but beatable roguelike, making it a rewarding playthrough. If you want a Lovecraft video game that you drop in and out of quickly, soaking up a tense atmosphere and then setting it down, Eldritch may be a better option than a longer form adventure such as The Sinking City or Call of Cthulu.