Reviews | Written by Callum Shephard 03/06/2018

FHTAGN! – TALES OF THE CREEPING MADNESS

You have to wonder how Lovecraft might have reacted if he could see the Cthulhu Mythos now. While revered and respected for its accomplishments, the verbose author’s creations have led to plush toys, webcomics and internet memes. Also video games, such as today’s example. Fhtagn! - Tales of the Creeping Madness! is a game where you effectively play as the villains, a varied ensemble of characters set in a parody of a Lovecraftian tale. You have a set time before a cosmic horror awakens, and can even assist with its rise for your benefit.

Fhtagn! is a release very much in the same vein as The Yawhg, in that it is a very choice-driven experience with minimal mechanics. You have certain segments where you can completely alter key events or impact minor moments in the narrative, but everything will clearly fall to bits. The drive to continue stems from what sort of story you can create in the time you are given, what events you find and what outcome results from your actions. A multitude of unlockable elements are all hidden away behind certain requirements, which gives you the incentive to keep coming back and trying things differently. This further enhances an already considerable degree of replay value, and to keep exploring just what stories are hidden away within its narratives.

The only true mechanic, aside from the choice based systems, stems from the skill based menu. Various decisions can help to bolster various abilities, with everything from magic to sanity, thus furthering what you can accomplish in a single playthrough. As it has been built to be played over and over again, there are a wide variety of choices present, but Fhtagn! does suffer from a few issues you will not notice at first.

The major one among these is the co-op element. This is a brilliant choice, and many of its greatest strengths stem from just what happens when multiple individuals are experiencing several stories at once. However, this is purely limited to local co-op meaning that. Because of this, more than a few buyers will not be able to utilise the game’s strongest elements much of the time. This means that it needs to stand out on its single-player component, and because of this after a while, you are likely to notice a flaw within its storytelling. Experiences seem to favour certain paths over others, and you can find yourself repeating the same general story despite a very different starting point.

Fhtagn! is still a fantastically humorous take on Lovecraft and with a fantastical art style despite these problems, but just keep in mind that it does have its shortcomings.

FHTAGN! - TALES OF THE CREEPING MADNESS / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: DESIGN IMPS / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW