Miskatonic University - The Restricted Collection

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Miskatonic University The Restricted Collection is a push-your-luck, set collection card game set in the world of Call of Cthulhu by world-renowned game designer Reiner Knizia.

  • 2-5 Players
  • 30-45 minutes
  • Ages 13 and up.

Set in the treacherous and terrifying Restricted Collection of Miskatonic University's Orne Library, the game features grimoires, elder signs, academic politics and madness — and that endlessly renewable resource, graduate students! 


It’s an old adage that academic politics are so vicious because the stake are so low. But as leading scholars at Miskatonic University, the fabled seat of learning, nestled in witch-haunted Arkham, you know the stakes couldn’t be higher.

47eab2c6a8243ae9e8e293ad44eef9c3-original-1-.jpegIn Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection, you are all vying with each other for the prestigious position of Head of the Library Committee. This evening, you are gathering in Dr. Armitage’s office, where he will decide who is to receive the coveted position. But just as the meeting is about to get underway, you hear blood-curdling screams...

The game is a quest.  An extremely dangerous quest. Dr Henry Armitage, Chief Librarian, needs you to search the perilous Restricted Collection for fragments of lore from among the grimoires, and recover pieces of a particular sigil to help him defeat the foul abomination that has invaded the university.

You explore the Restricted Collection for the things he needs. However it is a perilous journey and you must be prepared to flee before you are driven mad! The victor is the professor who finds the most sets, while retaining a semblance of sanity. Also, look out for hapless wandering graduate students as they can aid in your defenses!

What's in the box?

  • 5 Player Desk Boards 
  • 84 Library Cards
  • 5 sets of Defense Cards 
  • Scoring Cards 
  • Rule Book (features English, German, French, Spanish and Italian rules)

There are five rounds in the game. Each round continues until no-one is left in the library, having left voluntarily or having been expelled. 

Basic play consists of taking turns to select a Library Card and placing these cards face up on your player mats. There are three types of Library Cards. Sigil Pieces, Grimoire Fragments and Graduate Students, that fit neatly into the player mat.

Defense cards are a key part of the game: you can use them to drop the card you just picked up, steal from other players, give them gifts and other useful actions.

Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection’s distinctive design is by the award-winning graphic artist Ian O'Toole, whose work includes such games as 'The Gallerist', 'Vinhos Deluxe' and 'A Study in Emerald' 2nd edition and Chaosium’s double Gold ENnie award-winning Khan of Khans.  

What the Critics Say

"A very pleasant surprise in a package that befits much more complex products. To say that it punches way above its weight is a major understatement. A cool, simple yet demanding filler, it will appeal to both Call of Cthulhu players as well as casual gamers… The game has a very high replayability…. Just like Khan of Khans, younger audiences can end up playing this non-stop all day long. It's a great game for outings, for non-gamers, for train trips and what have you."—Antonios S., RPGNet review.

"There’s even wandering graduate students you can sacrifice, just like in real academia!"—Fandomentals '13 Spookiest Games of 2019'.

"…fast-playing, easy to learn, and compact… Maybe the forbidden knowledge of the Restricted Collection is right up your alley if you’re willing to wager your sanity."—Pop Culture Uncovered’s Tabletop Tuesday.

"For all its simplicity of design... Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection forces a player to think about his ‘action’ on each and every turn primarily based on what he thinks is still left in the Restricted Collection. There is a constant balance between going too far and being expelled after a Sanity draining discovery or pushing on to find the last Grimoire Fragment or Sigil Piece... Physically, [the game] is really nicely, thematically presented. The artwork is excellent, the rules are clearly explained, and that fact that it comes in a box that looks like an ancient mythos tome is not only pleasingly satisfying, it also adds to the feel of the game."—Reviews from R'lyeh.

"The game was created by Reiner Knizia – a true mastermind of lighter games... There is thrill in the game and a bit of risk, [with] well thought and tested mechanics. ...The book-shaped game box is fantastic – very ergonomic and very thematic!"—The Board Games Chronicle.


Game Play

Our Board Games Line Editor, Susan, shows how the game is set up to play:

and Susan explains how game play unfolds:

Product Configuration

Physical Product Settings

Is Physical Product: [Y]
Has Inventory: [Y]
United States: [Y]
United Kingdom: [N]
Europe: [Y]
Australia: [N]
Canada: [Y]

Is PDF Available: [N]
PDF Product Name: [Down Darker Trails - PDF]
PDF Product Link: [/down-darker-trails-pdf/]

PDF Settings

Has Physical Product: [Y]
Is Physical Available: [N]
Physical Product Name: [Down Darker Trails - Hardcover]
Physical Product Link: [/down-darker-trails-hardcover/]

Product Footer

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Year Released:
Game Design:
Reiner Knizia
Game Development:
Susan O'Brien
Additional Development:
Mike Mason, Michael O'Brien
Graphic Design:
Ian O'Toole
Victor Lesa, Goomie
  • 5
    Miskatonic University Card Game

    Posted by Tim Clark on 16th Aug 2022

    Fun 2-5 player 5 round set building card game where you push your luck exploring and researching in the Restricted Collection of the Miskatonic University Library. Hugely flavourful and nicely presented.

  • 4
    Miskatonic University - The Restricted Collection

    Posted by Joe on 1st Apr 2021

    This is a fun, quick playing, push-your-luck game. I really enjoyed playing this as a 3 player game. Highly recommended!

  • 5
    Loads of fun packed into a small and beautiful set!

    Posted by David on 27th Jan 2021

    Reiner Knizia has come up with a really neat way to utilize the push-your-luck style (not typically my preferred type of game) and make it really fun, quick, and intense - all within the context of Lovecraftian horror! And, as an added bonus, it looks absolutely gorgeous on my bookshelf.