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Horrified brings the hunt stateside in cryptid-infested board game sequel American Monsters

Kill Mothman and we riot.

Frankenstein and Dracula are so two centuries old. Why not trade the literary spooksters for something more contemporary, such as the creepy cast of adversaries in Horrified: American Monsters. The cooperative board game pits would-be hunters against urban legends when it releases later this year.

Horrified: American Monsters was announced today ahead of a retail release in October, according to publisher Ravensburger who takes over design duties from original entry creator Prospero Hall. It follows 2019’s Horrified: Universal Monsters (one of Dicebreaker's best cooperative board games) and brings forward the team-based survival puzzle gameplay, but the cast of classic antagonists has been sidelined for something more at home in a roadside attraction than a 19th-century novel.

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The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Wolf Man have been traded for Bigfoot, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, the Chupacabra, the Banshee of the Badlands, and the Ozark Howler - otherwise popularly known as cryptids. The word is derived from cryptozoology, the study of beasts that are only rumoured to exist, but Horrified imagines a world in which the stories are true and every one of them have decided to crash the same sleepy town.

One to five players will don the hiking boots and aversion to skepticism of monster hunters in Cross Creek, which has found itself overrun by urban legends and without protection. By working together, the group will defeat, banish or subdue each of the threats before they are all picked off. No one strategy is universal, though. Like its predecessor, half of the battle is sussing out a weakness to exploit or method of luring the cryptid away from vulnerable townsfolk. While It might eventually come to violence, some of these elusive mysteries are largely misunderstood.

The game board stretches the breadth of Cross Creek, forcing the group to (gulp) split up and tackle different tasks if they hope to see morning alive. The difficulty of a session, which takes around an hour to complete, can be scaled by adding or removing monsters from the game, each represented by a sculpted miniatures that will stalk the shadows and empty halls as the group prepares.

Horrified: American Monsters is designed by the team at Ravensburger and Mike Mulvihill, who has previously worked on both Disney and Marvel entries in the popular Villainous board game series, along with the 2014 app-assisted miniatures game Golem Arcana. Puzzle and game designers Gaby Weidling and Gal Klapfer have also contributed to the new title’s mysteries.

Horrified: American Monsters will hit Target first in October of this year and cost $34.99 (£25). There’s no word yet on when other stores might expect to receive it. Ravensburger also announced a new app-assisted board game line, Echoes, that will launch with two entries. The Dancer takes players to a haunted Scottish manor, where they will scan the cards with a mobile device to uncover clues, while The Cocktail focuses on a New York-based speakeasy and a mob character named Cruel Steve.

Edit: Ravensburger and Mulvihill designed Horrified: American Monsters, not Prospero Hall. The article has been modified to reflect this.

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