Universal’s plan for a “Dark Universe” of films connecting all its monsters may be kaput, but there’s new life in the franchise with Leigh Whannell’s recently-announced Invisible Man project. And thanks to a new board game, you can soon build your own shared universe of monsters on your coffee table.
Horrified: Universal Monsters comes with the tag line “The Stakes Have Been Raised,” which presumably also means literal stakes, since one of the creatures that players work together to defeat is Dracula.
However, the gang’s mostly all here; in addition to the bloodsucking Count, the game comes with “high-quality sculpted miniatures” of Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
(Sorry, Lon Chaney superfans, there’s no Phantom of the Opera or Quasimodo.)
A mini-sized posse of Universal horror all-stars is reason enough to pick up Horrified, but the Ravensburger release is first and foremost a strategy game, where 2-5 players (ages 10 and over) work together to take down each monster. While that basically means that players are the equivalent of pitchfork-and-torch-bearing villagers, the village in question is being plagued by seven iconic monsters, so you can kind of understand the need for creature-defeating teamwork.
In the movies, the monsters usually have very good reasons for being pissed off — the Mummy’s trying to win back his long-lost love; the Creature doesn’t take kindly to scientists poking around his watery lair; the Bride is terrified at the mere thought of being alive - but presumably the game will up the menace while also teaching players more about horror-movie history.
Horrified: Universal Monsters is set to release in the U.S. on August 1 and will retail for around $50.