So, after a revelation that Location Icons on the game board might not be entirely truthful, I decided to compare several locations to see how they fared. While the Graveyard has several encounters that offer Clue Tokens, the game rules indicate that all Unstable Locations offer Clue Tokens in their encounters, which makes it unremarkable,… except that only one encounter offers a Unique Item.

The General Store, at least, lives up to its claims, offering Common Items at a price (“guaranteed” by the rules), and quite a few encounters can earn the Investigator money. Which is a small wonder, considering how money is generally considered useless in Arkham Horror. Curiositie Shoppe encounters don’t grant any Common Items for free, and generally cause you to lose them. I give it a fail.

The Newspaper proves to be an excellent source of both money and Clue Tokens, which should at least partially explain why I’m so keep to spend time there in most games. The Train Station is pretty even-handed with its encounters, but offers at least one free Unique Item. The others you have to pay for, so I wouldn’t waste my time.

Several Administration Building encounters offer money, which is nice. Like the Train Station, the Library is fairly even-handed with its encounters, but at least provides what it claims to, in addition to Clue Tokens and some truly ridiculous overdue book fines. The Science Building offers exactly one Unique Item. Waste of time.

The Witch House offers exactly one Spell encounter. Fail. One Clue encounter, and one Unique Item encounter at the Silver Twilight Lodge. Near-fail.The Inner Sanctum offers exactly one more of each encounter. A couple of the other Inner Sanctum encounters are cool, though. But are they worth a membership? I wouldn’t say so…

It’s a good thing Ye Olde Magick Shoppe sells Spells, because you can’t find any in encounters. You also have to buy any Unique Items in encounters, which gets this location a fail. The Woods will give you money and Common Items, but do yourself a favor and avoid them. And don’t go looking for Clue Tokens at St. Mary’s Hospital because you’re just as likely to lose them. Leave as soon as you’ve been healed.

Velma’s Diner is even-handed with encounters … and therefore not worth your time. The Police Station is actually probably worth hanging around if you don’t mind the chance you might lose all of your weapons. Hibb’s Roadhouse is a waste of time. There are a couple encounters that give you Common Items at the River Docks, but you won’t need the money. I mean, you really won’t need the money.

The Unvisited Isle is actually worth a look, since you can get two encounters with Clue Tokens and one encounter with Spells (plus a chance to recruit John Legrasse). Just make sure you’ve got Sanity and Will, ’cause wow. Just … wow. The Unnameable doesn’t offer an ally despite being an Unstable Location, and it punishes you a lot.

One of the South Church encounters might allow you to remove a Doom Token. It’s almost worth it. The location is worse for your Sanity than it can possibly do you good. Go for the blessings, but for heaven’s sake, don’t stay. Ma’s Boarding House is pretty even-handed. Don’t waste your time. There is one Skill encounter and one Spell encounter at the Historical Society. Waste. Of. Time.

Staying at Arkham Asylum is … mostly not worth it. Get your brains back and then leave. There is only one blessing encounter at the Bank of Arkham, and you should know by now that money isn’t worth it. Independence Square has one Unique Item encounter and one Clue Token encounter. Say it with me now: Waste. Of. Time.

…So there you have it. I’ve reviewed every encounter in the basic Arkham Horror game, and there are, what? two locations that are worth visiting? The Newspaper and the General Store? Maybe the Police Station and the Administration Building? The Unvisited Isle? Five encounter locations out of twenty-six. If you buy this game, you’re going to wind up getting the expansions just to fix its clear and obvious problems.