Universal Monsters fans have a new experience to pick up, as Ravensburger has released Horrified. The tabletop game aims to have given players the experience of being chased by the Universal Monsters themselves, including the Creature, Wolf Man, Dracula, Invisible Man, Mummy, Frankenstein, and the Bride. You must work together to defeat 2, 3 or even 4 of the monsters before they can raise their terror level and defeat you. Ravensburger was nice enough to send us over a copy to play, and we did! So let's take a look.
Right when you open the box, you get a real sense that they had a lot of fun developing the designs for this game. Such a throwback to the old style trailers for these films, and I love it.
The Universal Monsters miniatures included are very well sculpted, although I do have to question some of the color choices. Shouldn't Creature be lighter green? Invisible Man clear? Ehh, it is not a big deal at all, just nitpicking really. All of them look amazing, that is all that matters.
Set up for the game takes literally five minutes tops, and most of that is arguing over who gets to be which character. The game comfortably plays up to five players, which is the amount my gaming group played with. As far as difficulty, it is recommended that you start with playing against two monsters for easy, three for moderate, and four for hard. Those who have played Pandemic before should fit in comfortably with the rules. Players take turns moving around the board, gathering items to help defeat the Universal Monsters. You can also save people to gain advantage cards and such. Each turn consists of two steps: the players turn is when you can take actions and move however many are listed on the cards. The second part is the Monster turn, where players draw cards to allow the UM they are facing to affect the game.
One thing I will say is this: this game will play much easier with fewer people. The more that are on the board at once, the monsters will affect the game on almost every turn. It kind of takes some of the strategy out of it, and it becomes a bit of a free for all. It is really fun working together as a group instead of keeping it a more solitary experience. It is a quick experience too, with the average game taking no more than 45 minutes. A couple of things that I would implement in your games that are not in the rulebook: if you defeat one of the monsters on the board, reward the group by lowering the terror level one spot. The game does not do that itself, which is kinda not cool. It is really hard to get hits on the Monsters themselves to begin with, so if you defeat one you should be rewarded. Also, if you are in a group make sure you use the Explorer.
I can see this game becoming a regular fixture in our rotation, however. It is so fast-paced and fun that to not play it more often would be a crime. As a huge Universal Monsters fan, it feels tailor-made for me, from a design standpoint it is fantastic. Even by yourself, this is a fun game with an easy to pick up system for novices to experts to pick up. Highly recommend.
You can pick up a copy here.