Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein

Game Details
NameAbomination: The Heir of Frankenstein (2019)
ComplexityMedium [3.28]
BGG Rank [User Rating]1341 [7.56]
Player Count2-4
Designer(s)Dan Blanchett
Artists(s)Mikhail Palamarchuk and Tony Sart
Publisher(s)Plaid Hat Games, ADC Blackfire Entertainment and Rebel Sp. z o.o.
Mechanism(s)Dice Rolling, Events, Narrative Choice / Paragraph, Set Collection, Storytelling, Variable Player Powers, Worker Placement and Worker Placement, Different Worker Types

Participants

  • Katey
  • Sean – winner

Rules missed

  • When taking the graveyard or morgue actions in Paris, you may choose any number of cards drawn (0-x). The first few rounds, we only chose one card to collect resources from, and discarded the others.

Photos

About the game

Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein is a worker placement game set in Paris 20 years after the events of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The game is very thematic. A player’s “workers” are scientists and assistants. Most of the game is spent collecting “resources” players use to work towards assembling a creature and attempting to bring it to life. The resources needed for this macabre task are muscle, organs, bone, and blood (as a gruesome “wild” resource, players can substitute animal parts which results in fewer points). Players will also need to purchase and charge leyden jars that are used to roll dice that can bring body parts to life or damage your creature. One interesting aspect of the game are the 3 dials at the bottom of each player board, representing your character’s Humanity, Reputation, and Expertise; all 3 earn points at games end. Reputation will eventually attract new scientists and assistants to your cause (more actions), and Expertise is needed to assemble more difficult body parts, but the Humanity dial is much more interesting. Players need to carefully consider various methods for acquiring parts for their creature lest they themselves become a monster. There are a variety of event and encounter cards used to enhance the narrative during the game and slightly alter game play each round. Abomination is a neat new twist on basic worker placement. If you’ve played other worker placement games, it’s pretty easy to learn to play. It’s 2-4 players, and suggested play time is 90-180 minutes.

Final Thoughts

Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein is a great addition to our library. The game is oozing (see what I did there?) with theme and atmosphere, and managing the dials was a neat puzzle to solve at times. Like many worker placement games, it can take several turns to build momentum, and late rounds can feel full of “filler” actions, but that may have been because we played with only 2 players. Katey and I really enjoyed Abomination, and we’re looking forward to trying it again, with different characters and/or additional players. Until next time!

On Mars

Game Details
NameOn Mars (2020)
ComplexityHeavy [4.62]
BGG Rank [User Rating]81 [8.34]
Player Count (recommended)2-4 (1-4)
Designer(s)Vital Lacerda
Artists(s)Ian O'Toole
Publisher(s)Eagle-Gryphon Games, Angry Lion Games, Giochix.it, hobbity.eu, Lavka Games, Maldito Games, Mosaico Jogos, Skellig Games, TLAMA games and YOKA Games
Mechanism(s)Area Majority / Influence, Hand Management, Hexagon Grid, Point to Point Movement, Tile Placement, Variable Phase Order and Worker Placement

Participants

  • Mark – Winner
  • Curtis
  • Alain
  • Robert

Rules we Missed

  • Building complexes using executive actions on blueprint cards: The corresponding tech must exist on someone’s board in order to build or increase the size of a complex. If the existing tech’s level is toolow to build a complex of the desired size, you can boost it by sending colonists to the working area.
  • If you develop only 1 tile twice, treat each of the movements separately.
  • If you gain a discovery or research tile, resolve it immediately by paying any associated cost, then place it in your play area (put Discovery tiles face down).

BGG Clarifications

  • When 2 players have the appropriate tech tile, the player who uses the tile chooses who gets the benefit
  • If a tech tile is used twice on the same turn, the owner gets two oxygen

Photo

Final Thoughts

Like all of Vital Lacerda’s games, this game has a learning curve. The rules take a while to learn, but they all make sense and seem logical as play progresses. This is a long game but turns can be quick, since you can take one action and one executive action each turn That said, the best turns are ones that can string multiple actions together by moving tech tiles or completing your personal goal. As someone who also likes The Gallerist, I would recommend this game.