Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is a turn-based strategy/role-playing game based on the award winning Call of Cthulhu RPG. Set in the midst of World War One, the game pits your team of investigators and soldiers against an ancient enemy, one older than humanity itself...
User reviews: Mixed (124 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 4, 2012

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February 27

Announcement on Future Development

Hi all. We just wanted to let you all know that for various reasons we're sadly no longer in a position to do ongoing development on the project. We're still able to offer a degree of support for tech problems and plenty for gameplay questions, however the game is 'sold as seen'. This means if you have a technical problem and the solution would need to come from us updating the game, then we're not able to do that. We know the game works for the vast majority of players and it's been tested lots of by us, but if you buy it and have tried the usual (drivers updated, re-install on Steam etc) then there is not much we can do. We do still want people who love Cthulhu games (as we do!) to be able to get the game, but also want to be transparent about the position the project is in. Thanks and do email over questions etc to contact at redwaspdesign dot com and we'll do our best to answer them.

7 comments Read more


“I was totally addicted to this game for weeks….”

“This game is worth your time if you like a good story and RPGs.”
9/10 –

“Stunningly complex turn-by-turn strategy-based SIM”
5/5 – T3

About This Game

" MUST download today...Awesome..." Guardian
"Joyously thoughtful..." 9/10 PC Advisor

The fate of humanity is in your hands...

Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is a turn-based strategy/role-playing game based on the award winning Call of Cthulhu RPG. Developed in conjunction with Chaosium and based their multi-award winning Call of Cthulhu RPG. Set in the midst of World War One, the game pits your team of investigators and soldiers against an ancient enemy, one older than humanity itself... Can your team of investigators keep their grip on sanity long enough to stop these diabolical plans?

The game features:
- Full 3D graphics with high quality textures, images and effects to bring the action alive.
- Select from a range of authentic period weapons, equipment, armour, skills and more.
- Build your team up to match your gaming style; will you shred your foes with massed rifle fire or blast them with powerful spells gleaned from forbidden tomes? It's your choice!

Call of Cthulhu was originally the title of a novella by cult American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) which has, since it was published in 1928, captured the imagination of generation after generation of fans. Returning to the horror from Lovecraft's original 'Reanimator' set during the dark days of WW1, Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land draws the player into a nightmare world where the terror of mustard gas and trench warfare are but a foretaste of what is to follow.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Intel 1.6GHz Processor or equivalent
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL compatible
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 400 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any.
Helpful customer reviews
12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
28.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
H. P. Lovecraft entertained us with stories of madness and the unknown back in the early 20th century. Known for his works of ‘The Shadow out of Time and ‘At the Mountains of Madness’, his other work, ‘The Call of Cthulhu’ is what this game is based on (obviously). Now a registered trademark of Chaosium Inc, this game is centred on The Call of Cthulhu RPG. Originally made for the iOS, the ported PC version is quite reasonable, despite its apparent handset limitations as there are no real extra features to take advantage of the PC. Yet it’s entertaining enough to finish due to its tactical nature.

The game itself has eleven missions and each one can take about an hour or so. Also note that even though the maps are quite small, it’s the nature of turned based combat that makes it longer. And as mentioned before, each mission will test a variety of skills therefore boredom won’t come easily. That said, because it’s a ported game, it’s a decent one at that however it could benefit more if the game has added features to compliment the PC world and not a direct copy from the mobile world, as highly evident from the user interface. But it’s certainly a decent game to play despite the lack of features that you come to expect from a good turned based game like Silent Storm, Gorky or the Jagged Alliance series. Plenty of love was poured into this game so it’s a worthwhile trip that pays respectable homage to H. P. Lovecraft.

Full review here:

7.5 / 10
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Love the theme. Hate the implementation. The interface and controls are clunky. No background music to set any mood during battles. Interface would become unresponsive to clicks at various times. Occasional game lockups during transitions from mission to mission that required a restart of the game.

I'm really on the fence on this one. 5/10
I'll give it a thumbs up only because of the lovecraftian theme, the creepy main menu music and a semi-decent strategy thing going for it. Otherwise, don't pay full price for it. Get it cheap or in a bundle.
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372 of 465 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2014
DO NOT BUY THIS! The controls are abysmal at best. Loved the original paper based RPG, so I felt compelled to try this little strategy game which looks like a turn based X-com style game. After reading how it is supposed to function in the in game guide, I still cannot get my soldiers to do more than walk around. They will not target or shoot enemies. When you attempt to select an enemy target, it does select the enemy; however, it is as if it simply jumps to an information screen about that enemy while forgetting the original player's unit who was supposed to be 'targeting' the enemy unit. Thus no attack options pop up. Reading some of the producer's website, it sounds as if this might have been developed as a touchscreen tablet ap game, where it may work well for all I know. I'm not a touchscreen tablet user. I have a PC. I opted out of the 'new' Windows experience, not wanting a glorified tablet operating system on my PC, and I do not have a touch screen on my PC. The game currently feels unplayable. I may tinker with it enough to get it to 'unwieldy,' or I may just save the data space on my HDD, as I don't feel much need to trouble shoot games that are supposedly post production.

[After more effort to play and to respond to some comments]:
Oh I've done both. There is some sort of indeterminate lag on input in this game that makes no sense at all. The UI in this game is TERRIBLE. Appearance is fine, but over half the time it doesn't detect the presence of the cursor over a button, or, alternatively, it simply doesn't register most mouse clicks. Since there is no UI feedback to let you know you _are_ hovering over the hotspot for a button, it's anyones guess as to which is the case. I have finally got to see a targeting box, or I'd have deleted long ago. A diehard Cthulu or Lovecraft fan might tolerate this game, and I don't feel cheated at the price I payed for it since I am a Lovecraftian, but most 70's Atari games had better response/detection of user input than this game does, AND IT'S NOT EVEN REAL TIME, it's a turn based strategy game. Clicking a random number of times from 2 to 20 to get the game to acknowledge input, from character upgrade screens, dialogue screens, and combat turns doesn't make for smooth game play. Feels like the developers were pushed to roll the product out before it was fully play tested, like most EA products are done. Don't really expect that in indie type games.
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174 of 221 people (79%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2014
Chaosium should be ASHAMED to have their name splash in the intro to this dreck. The writing is infantile, the controls are almost unusable because they didn't even have the courtesy to polish it for the PC release. It's like they've never designed a game for a mouse before. Baffling.

The statistics, turn-based combat-style and "pen & paper" elements are buzzwords used as a ruse to lure you into purchasing something incredibly shallow.

Halfway through the first level they want you to hold a trench for 15 turns while enemies attack. All you have to do is continously end turn and overwatch will wipe everything. And that's a better alternative to fighting through the multiple clicks to get a single shot off (which ends up being a "miss" anyway.

TL:DR Some crap that would have been slightly better if outsourced to wherever.
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93 of 122 people (76%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2014
Sadly one of those games where the PC optimisation is lacking if not totally absent. Commands work sporadically, focus changes without reason and the keyboard commands are not at all intuitive. It may have been a great tablet game but it is not living up to it on PC.
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87 of 114 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2014
Beaten The Game on Hard in 7 Hours. so this is a final opinion for those choosing to buy the game.
Wasn't Awfully hard, compared to a game of Classic Difficulty XCOM. Which is absolutely titanic in size and im going to be comparing this Sadly but Admitably Inferior Product to. I feel like ive gotten my moneys worth in this game, i'll try the DLC another day but here is my two cents.

The people who are complaining about the game's controls in the reviews are pretty stupid, sure i found problems initally with UI where clicking anything didn't work. Restarted and worked flawlessly. Following the Tutorial, for people who don't get it. You CLICK YOUR UNIT that you want to attack with and then RIGHT CLICK on the enemy you want to attack, you can keep the Attack Tab up at the same time, so you can change weapons which is nice. You can also tilt the game environment with the arrows at the side of the screen. (You know, the ones that are sorta spinning.) Its inconveienent but its not all that bad. The funny thing is if you actually listen to the tutorial it explains it, i think the tutorial should be implimented into the campaign rather than a option of the latter as it helps alot with the UI.

The Combat for the most part is about pushing forward and keeping the team together, if you go in thinking this is like XCOM you will get thrashed by trying to camp in the later levels. The enemies will just continually respawn at certain points until you know nothing but multiple Cthuhid's (Like im telling you what THAT is!) crushing you into dust. Its barely XCOM as we know it, Overwatch is no longer a command you can initalise, instead you simply hold left over points for Overwatch and to my knowledge they do not pass over to the next turn of play. Which means you should leech every single action point out of your characters to maximise efficency. Otherwise your just going to lose it shooting a creature you don't want to shoot at, which is already in your line of sight. Some of the Enemies in the game are strictly for tanking, and they will become a serious hazard if you don't get your guys with shotguns upgraded. Melee units are literally amazing against the later Cthuhids later in the game, but look absolutely silly with a guy with a tiny shovel taking down a abberation half his size.

Sanity becomes a Massive issue towards the end of the game, nearly all your soldiers will go insane if you do not have either your investigators a Sanity Restoration book on them. Also max up any Sanity based ablities as they will help you later on. The enemy pacing is nice, and i like how the gameplay becomes from fighting humans to outright nightmares, especially the slow leaning on taking Sanity more seriously above Mustard Gas protection.

Its enjoyable but might be frustrating for those who just aren't used to turn based strategy games. You need to plan things out for the long run, looking over the map design and finding what route is easier. I'd say Gas Masks are redundant once you've got your main soldiers kitted out and your investigators their own Gas Masks, especially towards the end of the game. Its also pretty important you build your team specifically to synergise with each other and to keep pushing forward. As long as your team compliments each other, you will always be moving forward or at least working towards a end goal.

Gameplay however has plenty of flaws, the Lack of a Cover System makes human combat rather awkward, moments where your not sure if a bit of a building is cover or a small cubby hole to shoot through are plenty and there are a few hinderance with UI but i found the game pretty much doesn't really have too many of them and looks simple to fix with a simple patch.

The Graphics are a major problem, i mean they look okay for the asthetic but they could defintely be more repulsive or have something more to it. I Appreciate the attempt by the developers but it is definitely not a pretty game and i feel if they put more into the actual graphics, it'd look okay. They aren't really what get in the way.

The Story isn't all that interesting but its not completely dull, often there are these particularly tense( or Annoying.) Sections where your Main Protagonist is taken into a small dream and forced to do a stand against various foreshadowing creatures. Its nice to see it and i found it short but a good way to earn some extra xp, which your going to need. The Antgonist is rather forgettable sadly, i don't really see why he has much of a story to begin with. Im much more interested into one of the investigator's Backstory.(Not going to spoil it for those who are really into this.) Im not going to spoil things but the locations are vaguely interesting, its nice to see a WW1 Scene rather than the sorts of horror locations i typically expect in games these days.

The Music and Voice Acting is next to non-existent, which for a £3 Game.. Im not complaining. I didn't expect to have that much fun with it as i did, but i was pleasantly surprised, being both a XCOM fan and a Fan of the Original works so it practically screamed BUY to me.

Its £3, or $5. Seriously, i can think of ice cream more expensive than that and ive had alot more fun with this game than any amount of Ice Cream ive dared to eat.
(Yes you can use that on the cover or Whatever.)

I think with a few gameplay tweaks, a massive improvement to graphics and sound. Overall a larger and higher quality game, you have a potential competitor to XCOM with a great universe to base itself from.


I Recommend, Lots of Fun for the strategy fan, Cheap ($5 People! 5!) and Short piece inbetween bigger titles. Needs Gameplay Overhauls and a even bigger Graphical Overhaul, with sound for a potential sequel for PC, otherwise.
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148 of 213 people (69%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2014
A buggy mess that plays poorly when it actually plays.
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36 of 42 people (86%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 24, 2014
In Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land, it's basically the characters you control being dropped off for a happy-go-lucky jaunt of shooting eldritch horrors and cultists in the face, learning things man was never meant to know, and spamming lots of Psychoanlysis checks.

Really though, Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is what you pay for. It's a good game, but short and sweet. It has it's replay value, but for most people, once you finish it you probably won't be touching it again, save for the extra missions. As a game, it holds up well, although it's not entirely faithful to the Mythos (we all know that the invesitgators would get their s*** slapped by these things). But, relating to the Call of Cthulhu tabletop game by Chaosium? These are all characters you may very well expect to see in any other CoC tabletop campaign.

I'd say that if you're looking for a quick game with some interesting survival elements and a fun battle system, pick this one up. But if you're looking for something a bit more in-depth and drawn out in your RPG strategy collection, this is a game that wont' be satisfying you any time soon.
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39 of 47 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 30, 2014
This is a game I heard some positive buzz back when it came out on smartphones ages ago, but unfortunately virtually nothing was done to polish and prepare it for a PC release. I won't speak much to writing and presentation, since the controls kept me from progressing very far. They are wildly unintuitive, it seems no consideration was given to updating them for PC gamers.

The many, many developers now porting their smartphone games to the Steam marketplace really need to realize what works on one device does not always work for another. Taking the time to fix up your release for the new audience will earn you a lot of mileage, and a lot less negative reviews.
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46 of 63 people (73%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
played it a fair few hours. Very much a Julian Gollop style Laser Squad game and but with some seriously horrendous input HCI issues,. the controls were clearly done with a touch-screen in mind and it hasnt translated over to the PC well, also, the deal breaker; the ♥♥♥♥er crashes! Crashes to the point where I couldnt get past turn 22 on the 4th level. Screw that, lifes too short to mess around with workarounds and Windows settings. 6/10 for me, would been 8/10 if actually worked and had decent keyboard/mouse control.
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28 of 35 people (80%) found this review helpful
18.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 25, 2014
Longevity: It's unfortunately quite short :( but there is a bit o replayability, cause you want play again a mission to have better result (or try other weapons and characters)
Fun: It's really enjoyable with nice quotation from lovecraft's work
Gameplay: A Tactical game in some ways similar to X-Com, but not so challenging, complex and difficult (but it's not easy at all)
Story: Very Linear but solid and in pure Lovecraftian style.
Sounds and Ambient Music: Not excellent but well done and very immersive.

It's a good game :)
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40 of 63 people (63%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2014
I am not sure why everyone is having issues - this game is great! Controls are the absolute easiest thing to do. Reading through I saw a lot of "thumbs-down", of course that made me go get it. Sure enough. It is enjoyable. I love the artwork (hand drawn?). It is your typical tactical style game. It doesn'thave the "board feel" that some board-games-to-pc do. Story line is good, not outstanding. I thought it had a FIRE EMBLEM (snes) feel to it. simple maps, but the story drove you.

I must have got the game after the bugs? were fixed, as I have yet to experience any. I got this off steam for $5 for my collection - glad I did. I'll probably make a walk through of it for those that are stuck.. but for $5, get it and see for yourself.
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25 of 36 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
cheesy dialogue!
weapons like the Carrier Pigeon!
vague directions like 'go east', but with no compass, pointer or map, so east is.... effing well where? (grrrrrr)
(did I mention frustrating at times)
user unfriendly in places
....... strangely addictive
ia ia Cthulhu ftaughn!!

TLDR - well worth it when on sale if you remember Call of Cthulhu paper and dice or have read teh books/played other mythos games/enjoy pain :P
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 22, 2014
Great little old school turn based game. I've not read any Lovecraft, but I played a little Cthulhu tabletop RPG back at Uni, and I found the game most atmospheric. I agree the UI is bad, but its far from unplayable, I was only half way through when the new version came out that's supposed to fix the UI, but I didnt bother downloading as didn't need to. Be warned, if you don't like old school games you possibly won't enjoy this.
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31 of 53 people (58%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2014
Make no mistake, this game borrows a lot from classic XCom. The style of the turn based action is the same from the action points to the need to find cover between turns. That said, it's a fun little game. There isn't much depth to the game play itself, but if you like the Cthulhu mythos, you'll enjoy this title.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 10, 2014
I WOULD recommend this game, except for one glaring flaw. If you hit ANY button on the keyboard, you lose any ability to interact with menus or actions outside of movement. You cannot end your turn in this state, save the game, or even quit without hitting Alt+F4. Shame, it looked fun, but I've played the first level three times before I habittually hit escape and crapped the game up.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 13, 2014
There are two things to consider when buying this game. First, this game is more of an arcade game rather than a deep strategic squad based tactical game. And the second thing is that it is a low price game. What this means is that while the game doesn't have lots of features and options, the things it does have however are quite well done.

I would say that the average person would play this game twice, first time for the story and the second time to perfect the squad build to maximize their potential. But for such a low price the game is worth the experience you get from it. While the game wont be raking in any game of the year awards, one will also not be thinking that this is a game they shouldn't have spent money on either.

It is worth a play through and I hope this will lead to further more complex squad based tactical games.
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47 of 85 people (55%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 6, 2014
At first this game had its issues with install and random problems, but after a quick response from the Devs I was able to update my game with a fresh install and now I am not having any issue.

The game is old style turn based with a good adaption of the HP Lovecraft Story.

It has stages in which you progress the story with a chance to upgrade investigators,buy equipment from QM, swap equip among players, and later hire investigators in between stages.

Combat and some of the controls take a little bit of a learning curve but the game has a "?" on every page which does a great job of explaining lots of the game, there are also player manuals installed, and a learning mode at the beginning for first time players if needed.

This game has a lot to offer for $5 and is definitely worth the price and time if you are looking to buy the PC version which is the only version i have tried.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
A long time ago these controls sucked hard, but with new update it is much better now. The atmosphere feels great with Lovecraftian themes, not just from Cthulhu but also from Herbert West: Reanimator. Gamplay wise its a LOT like XCOM. Its a port straight from a mobile game, so don't expect triple A graphics. Has some pretty good music in it. Overall, if you like XCOM type gamplay and lovecraft then this is the game for you.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 10, 2014
So far, the game has earned its $5 price tag. Any more than that and I would be hesitant to recommend it. In a way the game reminds me of Final Fantasy Tactics and Xcom but of lesser quality. The controls are buggy, moving your character into position can be a pain and one wrong click can literally wreck havok on the mission (an undo or an ARE YOU SURE? prompt would have been good). Would have also liked more fleshed out tutorials or explanations. Was shocked to find spell books in the shop without any reason for them being there.

That being said, it captures a decent amount of the flavor from the PnP game and provides an excellent and sometimes challenging diversion. If you are a fan of CoC and turn based games who can spare $5 - it is worth picking up. However if bugginess drives you bonkers - steer clear.
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