The next entry in the Arkham Horror series has been revealed as Unfathomable, a social deduction game that appears to be a remake of the beloved and long out-of-print Battlestar Galactica board game.
Unfathomable was teased last month with a cryptic teaser video, before its cover artwork was revealed piece by piece on social media by publisher Fantasy Flight Games. The full unveiling follows supposed leaks last year of a reimplementation of Battle Galactica: The Board Game set in the Arkham Horror Files universe titled Arkham Horror: Atlantica.
Unfathomable, as the game is now officially called, is a hidden role game set aboard the SS Atlantica, a steamship travelling across the Atlantic Ocean. The game’s setting of 1913 places it before the other games in the Arkham Horror Files universe - which spans the original Arkham Horror, its living card game spin-off, Eldritch Horror, Mansions of Madness and Elder Sign - with Fantasy Flight confirming that the game will feature a cast of ten brand-new characters rather than returning cameos from the series’ recurring investigators. The first new character to be revealed is Keilani Tatupu, the ship’s captain. The upcoming board game will showcase a new visual style from the familiar artwork of previous Arkham Horror instalments.
The game plays with three to six players, who each take on a hidden role; some passengers are humans, while one or more are traitors working to sink the sink on behalf of the ocean-dwelling Deep Ones. Play time is estimated to be between two and four hours.
The human players must attempt to maintain the ship’s resources, such as food, and limit any damage, while the traitors will secretly work to whittle down supplies and ultimately send the ship to the bottom of the sea. All the while, the players will be trying to work out who they can trust.
Each turn ends with the reveal of a mythos card, which introduces a crisis for the group to deal with - examples include the need to ration food or deal with sudden damage to the ship’s hull. The events can involve group decisions or skill tests resolved by the players contributing cards from their card to a facedown pile - providing the chance for traitors to sabotage the outcome.
The structure and gameplay seem to hew closely to that of Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, which was released as a spin-off from the sci-fi series in 2008. In that game, humans aboard the titular starship needed to identify the cylons among their crew, while also jumping the vessel through space towards its destination and dealing with other random events. Out of print for a number of years, with no sign of a return due to licensing complications, secondhand copies of Battlestar Galactica: TBG have continued to fetch high prices on sites such as eBay.
Unfathomable is due for release this September, with its $80 box packing in plastic miniatures of the Deep Ones alongside cardboard standees of the player characters. Fantasy Flight has teased further details on the game to come in the run-up to release, including reveals of the remaining characters and more information on its gameplay.