Lovecraftian Horror Meets Nature In New 'Mansions of Madness' Game Expansion

Call of Cthulhu, prepare to meet the call of the wild. Mansions of Madness, a Mythos-themed adventure board game from Fantasy Flight Games, will be leaving the eponymous mansion and venturing into the great outdoors with its second major expansion, Call of the Wild.

The expansion looks to make some significant improvements to Mansions of Madness, such as a new non-linear approach to map exploration, all while providing plenty of new content to keep gameplay fresh. Call of the Wild will be available in early 2013 at a retail price of $59.99. Read on for more details.

New monsters and investigators give Fantasy Flight a chance to show off what they do best: create awesome plastic miniatures. Making appearances as Call of the Wild's oversized minis are the Dunwich Horror and Dark Young, while Wizard Whateley, Goat Spawns, Children of the Goat, and Nightgaunts round out the rest of the monsters. Four investigator models are included, but the character names have yet to be revealed (although FFG forumites have some of their own theories).

The monster miniatures from Call of the Wild, as shown in Fantasy Flight Game's preview post.

Keepers will be getting an added dose of variety in their strategy, as they are allowed to build a custom hand of action cards and keep them secret from the Investigators, but gameplay-wise, most Call of the Wild changes seems to be blurring the line between Keeper and Investigator players. New challenges and objectives for the Keeper will have him collecting items and solving puzzles, not just causing havoc for Investigators. Likewise, Investigators are no longer restricted to the set linear path of previous Mansions of Madness scenarios. There won't be any more freezer incidents this time around, and Investigators are free to take a more free-form approach in exploring the map.

The last addition shared by Fantasy Flight is the addition of Allies. These new characters have their own cards and can participate in combat, but are neither Investigators or Monsters. The Allies used as storytelling devices, serving as active participants in Mansions of Madness scenario plots. One scenario previewed by FFG even had players deducing which Ally was a secret traitor.

While Call of the Wild was previewed at this Summer's Gen Con, the expansion won't be available until early next year. This could be taken as a sign that Fantasy Flight Games is making good on their commitment to quality, established after Mansions of Madness and its first big-box expansion where wracked with production issues. The game series still has no shortage of fans, though, so FFG would be wise to put their best effort into this release. The only downside would be coming second to the market with an outdoors-themed expansion, given that Flying Frog Productions has just released their Timber Peak standalone expansion for Last Night on Earth, another one-versus-many adventure board game.