Geez, this thing is HUGE. There are SOOOOO many pieces to it.
Didn't have anyone else to play with, so, since it can be played with just a single player, I gave it a try.
For my character, I drew Gloria Goldburg, the Author. 6 Sanity, 4 Stamina. Sucky Fight and Sneak, good Will and Luck. Fortunately I also drew the Tommy Gun (+6 to Physical attacks) and Enchant Weapon (Physical Weapons become Magical for 1 turn). During the game I also aquired Tom Murphy (+2 Fight), John Legrasse (+2 Will), and Professor Armitage (+2 Lore) as Allies. I also became the Deputy of Arkham. The Patrol Wagon proved to be a key item, especially later in the game.
For the Great Old One, I drew Ithaqua, probably the easiest of them all to defeat.
It think this game would be a LOT easier with more players. With one player, gates open way faster than you can possibly close them, and once the board fills up with gates, you start spawning tons of monsters, and the terror track just skyrockets. Once it hits 10, the monster limit disappears and the city just becomes one giant mass of monsters.
It got to the point where it was almost impossible to go anywhere by traveling through the strets. Fortunately I had the Patrol Wagon, which lets you move from location to location.
At this point, there was absolutely no way to win without engaging in the final battle. There were just too many gates and monsters and not enough clues to seal the gates after closing them. I finally managed to close enough gates to get them to reopen and push the doom track to 11, awakening Ithaqua.
At the start of battle with Ithaqua, you have to roll a die for each item. I really didn't care about any of my items, except the Tommy Gun. And sure enough, I failed the rolls for everything, but I was able to spend all of my remaining Clue tokens to make a successful role to keep it. Ithaqua is -3 to attack, my Fight was 3, I got +6 for the Tommy Gun, and Tom Murphy gave me an extra +2, so I got to roll 8 dice for each attack. In a one player game, each success takes one token off the doom track. This meant I was kicking major Ancient ass each turn. But after each attack, Ithaqua counter attacks, and you have to make a Fight check, WITHOUT weapons. That means only 5 dice. It starts out at +1, but it adds -1 each turn after that, so by the 4th turn, I was down to just 3 dice. I was also down to just 2 Stamina, one more turn and I would almost certainly lose, but I managed to roll one last success in the attack, banishing Ithaqua and saving the Earth! Whooo!
The game took about 3 hours to play. From what I've seen, this is pretty short.