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Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein

Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein
Year Published
Plaid Hat Games

It's been twenty years since Victor Frankenstein died on a ship in the arctic, but his vengeful creature lives on, as does Robert Walton, the sea captain who vowed to kill the fiend before mercy stayed his hand. 

It's now 1819, and a sinister darkness descends upon the city of Paris. A mysterious benefactor of gigantic stature has emerged in the scientific community, never showing his face, claiming to possess the late Frankenstein's research. He sponsors a grand competition, offering an even grander prize: unlocking the mystery of mortality!

Renowned scientists from around the world come to take part: some drawn to solve this eternal riddle, others coerced against their will. But a certain captain comes as well, one deeply suspicious of the secretive patron, hoping to finally fulfill his vow.

Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein is a competitive game of strategic monster building for 2-4 players, inspired by Mary Shelley's classic novel of gothic horror. In the game, the creature demands your help to accomplish what his own creator would not: to bring to life an abomination like itself, a companion to end its miserable solitude. Through worker placement and careful management of decomposing resources, you'll gather materials from the cemeteries and morgues around the city, conduct valuable research at the Academy of Science, hire less-than-reputable associates, and toil away in your lab - all in an effort to assemble a new form of life and infuse it with a "spark of being". Do well, and the creature may reward you during one of its surprise visits; do poorly, and you may come to regret not putting forth more effort. Narrative elements come into play throughout the game, guided by your decisions, leading to potentially unsavory outcomes.

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Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #300756 14 Aug 2019 14:42
I've got this and while I haven't been able to try it yet, I've looked it over and it seems like the kind of thing I go nuts for. Flawed in ways that will turn alot of people away (it's got a long playtime, a grim theme and realistic, grotesque art to back it up) but it will be so weird and the Frankenstein theme will speak to me so much that I overlook it and champion the game anyway, like I do with Bloody Inn or Last Friday.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #300758 14 Aug 2019 15:26

Plus, it is by Plaid Hat, which always produces interesting games.
Jexik's Avatar
Jexik replied the topic: #300761 14 Aug 2019 16:51
Interestingly enough, this last GenCon marks 10 years since Colby first started showing people an advance copy of Summoner Wars, complete with the paper mat and illustrations-that-looked-like-dudes-posing-for-daguerreotype.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #300762 14 Aug 2019 17:23
This thing sounds fucking wild---people around here know I love really out there worker placement games (e.g. Argent). Will be waiting to hear if any contributors or members play it.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #300769 14 Aug 2019 18:22

Gary Sax wrote: This thing sounds fucking wild

That was my exact reaction when first hearing about it.

It’s no secret that I love the classic Universal Monsters and any source material they were based on, but the story of Frankenstein has always been my favorite. Love the book, the Jack Pierce make up, the Universal films, the Hammer films, the creature as he is in The Monster Squad, etc, etc. Dracula has been fairly well represented in gaming but I’ve always wanted to see someone take a stab at Frankenstein. Reading up on this game, it was a series of me sitting there saying, “Of course!” Of course worker placement, of course the object is creating a mate for the creature. The resources decay, getting fresh resources have a moral cost, it all sounds very cool and spot on. I was the target audience for this thing, dead center.

You can’t get through a review of the game without hearing about the artwork. Looking through mine, yeah, it’s going to be a barrier to entry for a lot of people. It’s way more gruesome than any other mainstream game out there, but I’m kind of glad they went that way when they certainly didn’t have to. Our desensitization to the story of Frankenstein has lessened the idea of what this guy was doing, making a living thing out of dead parts. The first Hammer film did a better job of handing that than most, and I welcome this game in immersing you in that often sugar-coated part of the story.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #300770 14 Aug 2019 18:28
Looks like a fancy paint job on a familiar set of mechanics.
gversace's Avatar
gversace replied the topic: #300772 14 Aug 2019 18:29
I played it at GenCon, and it's good, but very, very long. We played (2 player) through the beginning of round 5 of 12, and it took a little over 2 hours. It's easy to learn, has a great theme, and the actions themselves are fairly straightforward. But each action leads to multiple decisions on how to use it, some of which you don't know the options until you've taken the action.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #300797 15 Aug 2019 10:00
It seems thematically appropriate for The Heir of Frankenstein to be a slow, heavy euro.