Alone Against the Dark, published by Chaosium INC., is a single player scenario for players of Call of Cthulhu. The story takes place in Arkham, New York, Athens, and Cairo. It is an adventure where time is of the essence, as one of your close friends is in Prison in Greece and it is up to you to rescue him. This one is less of a ‘choose your own adventure’ and more of a single player and Dm module. It is very good for beginners, especially if you are learning how to run complex games. If you are playing alone set up is minimal, and you may require some set up if you choose to have a player. You will need a pen and paper for this one as there is a lot to remember.
You have a choice of 4 different characters, Professor Grunewald, Ernest Holt, Lydia Lau and Devon Wilson. Each have their own character sheet premade. You begin the story as Professor Grunewald, and as the story progresses, if your character dies, you take over the next character until the story ends. If all four perish, you start again with the professor. This means that the game doesn’t end when your character dies. If you make mistakes early in Alone Against the Dark, you can always try again. The characters are well rounded, each of them has their own special set of skills which can benefit different scenarios, or indeed hinder them. There’s something quite funny and challenging about being in Greece and not understanding Greek.
Each in game hour requires tracking in Alone Against the Dark. This isn’t really a module you can play casually. Each location in the cities takes a specific amount of time to complete research, to talk to people or to visit amenities, like restaurants or the hospital. You will need to track how many days you spend in each place as the date can affect which options are available to you. If you leave Arkham after a certain date the option changes making a difference to your story. Many of the locations do not have any deeper descriptions or meanings as they are a simply taking into account normal human behaviours like sleeping and eating which take up precious investigating time.
The story itself is very enjoyable. A kind of race against time and forces of evil in an attempt to save a friend from a precarious situation. The characters are interesting and very different, no carbon copies and each of their backstories are enough for you to play them with ease. While the tracking time was difficult to get a handle on, once I knew how it worked it became much easier. Alone Against the Dark is a race against time across the globe and well worth adding to any Call of Cthulhu collection.