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Horrified: Universal Monsters Board Game Review

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22 Aug 2019 09:00 #301024 by Michael Barnes
I don’t want to spoil it too much, but when...

Ravensburger and Prospero Hall strike again!

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22 Aug 2019 09:24 #301025 by ubarose
I am looking forward to playing this.

I wish Prospero Hall was around when my daughter was younger.

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22 Aug 2019 09:41 #301026 by Josh Look
Between this and Jaws, this has been the clear winner in our house. We like them both but my wife has request Horrified more than any other game we’ve played recently. I’m too biased to offer an opinion.
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22 Aug 2019 13:43 - 22 Aug 2019 13:44 #301032 by drewcula
I stand by my early assessment from Gencon.
There ain't much here.
It seems only a little heavier in weight than Forbidden Island.

But my love for Universal Monsters is strong, and if spouses and children can appreciate them more because of this department store game - it's all good.

I just can't get over the production discrepancy. Great board and character standee illustrations. Perfectly fine minis. But the mix between the two is just sad.
Last edit: 22 Aug 2019 13:44 by drewcula.
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22 Aug 2019 14:36 - 22 Aug 2019 15:29 #301033 by Josh Look

drewcula wrote: I just can't get over the production discrepancy. Great board and character standee illustrations. Perfectly fine minis. But the mix between the two is just sad.


What????? I don’t see what you’re getting at here whatsoever.

Production is the second best thing that Prospero Hall has been bringing to the table for the last few years, and they’re getting better at it all the time. There is so much charm to their stuff. THIS is how licensed games should look, and sorry to lift so heavily from Michael’s playbook that even I find tiring from time to time, not how $130+ Kickstarter projects handle them. There is legitimate love for the material in Horrified, in the game play and production, and in the minis, which I love. As a kid who grew up making the re-released Aurora kits in the 90s, I can’t help but love these “just-off-enough” versions of the monsters.

What Prospero Hall is doing best, without a question, is making games that pack pure FUN in the box without the weight of useless, overly complicated and ultimately unnecessary mechanics. More rules, more effects, and more overhead does not equal more fun. It doesn’t even equal more depth. Prospero Hall clearly gets this, and in a time in which more people are sitting down to tabletop games, what they’re doing is nothing short of important.

Horrified uses tried and true pick up and deliver mechanics and a clean AI deck to deliver a game that has just as much tension as other co-ops with rulebook that are twice the size or more of Horrifieds. The monsters still have spot-on personalities and follow story beats straight from the movies. I’m 8 plays in, it’s still hitting the right notes, it’s still exciting and it’s still got variety to be mined. I love this game.
Last edit: 22 Aug 2019 15:29 by Josh Look.
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22 Aug 2019 14:56 #301034 by Sagrilarus
Did anyone sing Puttin' on the Ritz when you played? If not, you're dead to me.
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23 Aug 2019 10:00 #301039 by drewcula

Josh Look wrote:

drewcula wrote: I just can't get over the production discrepancy. Great board and character standee illustrations. Perfectly fine minis. But the mix between the two is just sad.


What????? I don’t see what you’re getting at here whatsoever.


I don't see how I could have been any clearer. I'm not staking the game. It' fine. I'm pinning a silver bullet into the physical components.

This is what I wrote earlier in the month:

Ravensburger is certainly killing it with Jaws and Villainous. Good on them. Horrified? Mmmmm... I'm torn. I'm the biggest nut for Universal Monsters, but this game is just 'meh' for me. I left my demo thinking it was too light of a co-op for my tastes. Mind you, I don't like co-ops. On the positive, its lightweight approach and availability at Target may get it into kids' gaming rotation. And if the younger generation gets any exposure to some good looking Universal Monsters? I'm all for it.

My Horrified rub is ultimately a production rub. It seems Ravensburger wants it both ways, and the end result looks dumb as fuck. I've grown my hobby into a painting past time, so I was initially excited to see my favorites in plastic form. The minis look good. I think I'd like to paint them. Except there's 'only' seven of them. The big bads get the sculpts. Townsfolk and Players? They get standees. God damn do I hate that. Pick one, and commit. It looks like a kit bash, prototype product when bits are mingled. I honestly would have preferred the streamlined and sleek meeples treatment that Jaws received. All of the illustrations are handsome.

Regardless, I'll keep an eye out at Target. Once Horrified goes on sale, I may pull the trigger just to have a fun little painting project. Dracula is my spirit animal.

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23 Aug 2019 10:12 #301042 by Vysetron
Standees and minis together is some weird visual dissonance. Doesn't bother me personally, but I get why it could bug folks. I actually like the art on the standees more than the sculpts and would have been happier with oversized monster standees, but I'm not into plastic in general.

Horrified is fine. Above average for sure. It's not anything impactful, but it's well designed for its market/audience and it's really well produced. The art and presentation is fantastic and that goes a really long way.
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23 Aug 2019 10:28 - 23 Aug 2019 10:58 #301043 by drewcula
Yeah, that's kind of where I land on all of it. I'm such a nut for the Universal*, I really would have enjoyed painting an entire box of baddies, goodies, and NPCs. But then I still don't think I'd play it that often.

I have a hard time jiving with my copy of Gloomhaven for similar reasons. Plastic player minis, and the baddies are standees. I think Gloomhaven's 1st edition was more visually cohesive.

Meh. Co-ops aren't my favorite. Maybe I should do another cull.

* "Dark Universe" made me sad.
Last edit: 23 Aug 2019 10:58 by drewcula.

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23 Aug 2019 10:46 #301044 by Shellhead
I don't think the discrepancy between minis and standees would bother me, but if it did, I would just make wooden tokens for everything. Horrified isn't an auto-buy for me, it's one that I would need to try before I buy. Early reviews are positive, but the details about gameplay make it sound a bit thin to me. The short play time would make it easier to get on the table, but also makes it seem like there isn't enough depth to the game play.
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23 Aug 2019 10:47 #301045 by ubarose

Vysetron wrote: ... but it's well designed for its market/audience ...


This is an important point. I think these games coming out from Ravensburger/Prospero Hall are great because they are interesting, well designed family games that kids can also play on their own. You can just hand the box over to a 10 year old who can read the rules, figure out how to play on their own and go play with their friends and siblings.
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23 Aug 2019 10:57 #301046 by drewcula
I acknowledge that I need to distance myself as a hobby gamer at odds with a beloved franchise turned into a mass market, light weight co-op.

I just wonder how the production discussions developed.

Had they replaced the minis with more gorgeously illustrated standees, could costs have been significantly decreased? What if they chose meeples?

Family games and impulse purchases seem to have a price tag threshold. In 2019, Jaws seems to hit the sweet spot. But I don't know. I welcome input.

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23 Aug 2019 11:24 - 23 Aug 2019 11:32 #301048 by ubarose
Having a combination of standees and minis is fairly common in mass-marketed games. The standees keep the price point down, but including a couple of minis makes the game more appealing to kids and collectors.

It's a selling point - "Includes X number of toy figures!"



We have quite a few mass market kid/family games based on TV shows that do this.

ETA: Here's one. All the Power Puff girls are minis, but Mojo is a standee.

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Last edit: 23 Aug 2019 11:32 by ubarose.
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23 Aug 2019 14:43 #301053 by n815e
- I know there’€™s no such person as Dracula. You know there’€™s no such person as Dracula!
- But does Dracula know it?
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