April 4, 2006
|Posted: Post subject: Horror Clix
|While nto really a "board game", it doesn't really fit into any of the other forums. I looked at these at Dragon Con and found a review of it on scifi.com. I have played some of the Hero Clix and they are pretty fun although I avoided it turning into an addiction. With my love for horror films, this just may be right up my alley and definitely could fuel a new addiction!
Vampires vs. werewolves. Freddy vs. Jason. Alien vs. Predator. These are the monster battles that horror geeks have obsessed over for years, and the sort of fights that WizKids' HorrorClix miniatures game promises to deliver.
The gameplay is solid, playable and fun, with a mechanic that's familiar to those who've played "Clix" earlier games ...
The game utilizes a variant of the "Clix" mechanic that drives WizKids' popular HeroClix and MechWarrior games, specially tailored to recreate the tropes, clichÃƒÂ©s and scenarios found in the horror genre. As with the earlier games, HorrorClix features small figurines mounted on a rotating disk that contains game stats such as strength, speed, defense and damage, as well as supernatural abilities.
As the tiny, prepainted werewolves, lunatics, skeletons and vampires take damage during their gruesome battles, players "click" their bases. This reveals new stats and abilities, such as a normally "unstoppable" skeleton (an ability that reduces damage taken) suddenly gaining a rampage attack (which allows it to make a second attack after slaying another monster).
While the mechanic may seem familiar, the game hasn't just traded in superhero tights for a splattering of blood and gore. A new "hourglass" mechanic on some figures' dials forces players click it forward at the end of each game round. This serves multiple purposesÃ¢Â€Â”it allows ghosts to transform from incorporeal, untouchable menaces into all-too-real threats and forces creatures like zombies to "fall dead" for a round, only to rise again with even more inhuman powers.
VictimsÃ¢Â€Â”including jocks, pizza guys, prom queens and copsÃ¢Â€Â”are caught between the game's warring monster factions. Most serve as food, but benevolent priests or antiheroic vampire slayers may rescue a few. Half the monsters can undergo transformations either by killing monsters or slaying victims. This allows figures such as the werewolf to start the game as human and then become bloodcurling horrors.
Turnabouts and reversals are dealt via "plot twist" cards. Some, like "terror sprint" and "hair spray blowtorch," provide temporary advantages to victims, allowing them to forestall their doom (and are usually played by a player to prevent an opponent from snagging his or her would-be lunch). Others, such as "nobody gets out alive," give bonuses to a player if all victims have been slain by the end of the game.
The game is sold in two forms: a starter with six fixed figures, the rules and a battle map, and boosters that contain four random figures.
Horror with a touch of cyclopean madness
A few years ago, WizKids released a kid-friendly "clix" game called Creepy Freaks, in which various monsters attempted to gross each other out. It was amusing, in a 10-year-old kid sort of way, but it was mostly benign. HorrorClix is anything but.
From the first page of the instructions, players are told that the monstrous packs they control will be slaughtering victims and devouring their minds and/or bodies to fuel rampages. With this backdrop, it goes on to successfully evoke the mood and pacing of the horror genre, with plot twists that keep players scrambling to update their strategies and exceedingly detailed miniatures that grow more disturbing the closer players look at them. The "lynch ghost" features a transparent body with a black hood and a noose trailing away from its head. The business-suited, chainsaw-wielding madman is splattered with blood, and the skeletal maiden screams in tortured agony.
The gameplay is solid, playable and fun, with a mechanic that's familiar to those who've played "Clix" earlier games, but different enough to make things fresh. At the same time, the game is easier to pick up than the earlier incarnations of the Clix rules, thanks in part to the inclusion of cards for each monster that incorporate the rules for its specific abilities.
The game is not without its disappointments, the largest of which is its lack of any signature monsters from the mainstream horror continuum. While Alien- and Predator-based expansions have been announced, the first set features only generic versions of modern monsters. Players won't find Blade, Jason, Freddy, Michael Meyers or anyone from Stephen King's horde of horrors in the game. There are a few named unique figures, such as Jack the Ripper and the Headless Horseman, but those inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos are the closest the game comes to horrors from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Monsters in HorrorClix tend to be weaker than in earlier Clix games, in part because of the transformation powers of many monsters require them to have shorter dials. That in turn allows them to take fewer hits, a fact that makes some creatures appear to have glass jaws until players figure out the appropriate tactics.
While a few heroes exist, the game is not about fighting against monsters, it's about fighting with monsters. Because of that, WizKids has rated the game "VG-13" for violence and gore and strongly cautions parents that the game may not be appropriate for those under age 13.
After playing the game through several times, game's victim-fueled slaughters made it feel much more like an R-rated movie than a PG-13 one. Parents would do well to check out the company's Web site and try out the online demo before picking up a few boosters for Halloween. Ã¢Â€Â”Ken
a.k.a. Fringey, The Fringe Element
"A life lived without passion is a life not lived.