Publisher: Tettix Games
Player Count: 2-6 Players
Game Length: 15-30 Minutes
Competitors gather yearly at a secret location unbeknownst to the common man to participate in the Global Abomination Association’s monstrosity creation contest. Why do they do this? It’s simply: to create the most hideous abomination the world has ever seen! Muuuhahahaha!
Hideous Abomination is a fast-paced, family-friendly, tile-laying and set collection game full of bizarre creatures, underhanded interaction and Frankenstinian achievements and awards.
I had the opportunity to review the game’s first edition a couple of years ago and I was truly curious to see what upgrades, changes and enhancements have been made. You’re welcome to read my original review HERE, but I’ll cover all aspects below for players new to the game as well as those looking to see if this new edition demands a place in your collection.
ON YOUR TURN
I was originally drawn to Judson Cowan’s Hideous Abomination thanks to the silly theme and strange artwork. Cowan’s providing double duty here serving as both the design and illustrator. The game features a monstrous 190 card deck featuring tons of different illustrated monster styles broken down into heads, hands, tails and various other limbs and structures. While this might seem disgusting… it is, but in a cartoony, humorous and family-friendly sort of way.
Light on rules, Hideous Abomination provides easy access to a game that can be introduced in less time than it takes to read this entire review.
In Hideous Abomination, you’re constructing your own unique creature out of spare monster parts and earning end game awards for a variety of things such as having the most attached eyeballs or fingers.
On your turn you roll the monster dice and do 1 of a series of actions ultimately ending with the opportunity to add a spare part tile card to your creature (or possibly an opponent’s).
The primary die roll actions mainly revolve around gaining new monster parts. This can be accomplished by drawing from a community pool or from the tile deck.
Additionally, you might roll the opportunity to dig through the discarded tile deck or steal a part from an opponent. There are limitations on what you can and can’t steal, but this can definitely cause trouble for your opponents. The final die action is to draw an award card.
Award cards introduce new end-game scoring objectives throughout the game. Each game starts with 3 grand prize scoring objectives, but it’s not crazy to have 7, 8 or 9 new awards to pursue before the end of the game. These awards are awarded to the player with the most of something. The most hands, heads or ears for example.
Stolen body parts can lead to embarrassing holes in your creation that you’ll want to repair. Having a part stolen earns you bolts to help anchor down other parts to keep them from being swiped later on.
The game ends when the first player has closed off all open part tiles protruding from their monster. Now, these tiles can be played on your monster, but it might be more fun to play them on an opponent’s to mess with their hideous plans. Either way, once a creature is complete, players add up awards and any additional points and a grotesque champion is crowned.
WHAT’S NEW IN THE 2ND EDITION?
For the most part, Hideous Abomination looks very similar to the 1st edition. A new monster die has been added, but the main changes have to do with the game’s actions.
The biggest game changer is how end-game awards are revealed. Previously, you randomly chose a number of awards to go along with the standard grand prize awards. Here new awards are revealed throughout the game challenging you to pivot and adjust your plans. I think this makes the steal action a bit more relevant here than in the previous edition. Quick upgrades might be necessary to earn those last few award points and this may mean stealing from an opponent. While this might seem mean, we’re stitching random body parts together to form an abomination… so checking your moral compass at the door is sorta mandatory. Overall, this new addition forces you to be aware of your opponents progress and results in more player interaction.
The stealing action now provides bolts to the victim to minimize future thievery. This is a nice change to the eyeball and piles of bolts used previously. While it stinks to lose a critical monster part, the bolts are a fine consolation providing security and peace-of-mind towards other valued parts.
The potential for an increased number of end-game awards also increases the time spent on end-game scoring. This was a small issue in the previous version and can possibly expand here. While this can be annoying, it certainly isn’t a deal breaker and, in some cases, provided nice suspense when determining a winner. There are simplified rules that ignore awards and give victory to the first player to complete their abomination as well as an even more simplified version where you just draw tile cards blindly from the deck.
Lastly, the box has been reshaped from the previous cube to a flatter, more traditional shape. I do kinda miss the previous cube – it was certainly unique, but I can see the new shape finding a more comfortable place on your gaming shelf.
ARTWORK & COMPONENTS
The silly and strange monsters created by designer and illustrator Judson Cowan are the heart and soul of the game. There are 190 different illustrated monster parts and they all carry unique personalities. Stitching these random parts together to form your own abomination is a visual delight for both young and old.
Component-wise, there isn’t a whole lot in the game besides the creature and award decks. The cardboard bolts do a fine job anchoring down your tiles and the cards aren’t too thin. The monster die is a uniquely crafted die that rolls a bit funny, but adds to the aura of the game.
The rulebook is a breeze to read and digest guaranteeing quick on-boarding to your first play.
PROS & CONS
➕ This is a quick game that appeals to both gamers and families with kiddos
➕ Easy rules and an easy to read rulebook make learning a breeze
➕ The creative monsters provide a lot of personality
➕ The number of different monster cards along with the numerous end-game awards encourage lots of replay-ability.
➕ Plenty of opportunity for a bit of “take that” player interaction
➕ Seeing your completed abomination is equally hilarious and satisfying
➕ Small box game fits on any shelf
➖ End-game scoring can take a minute
➖ Stealing monster parts from your opponent could be upsetting for younger gamers
WHY WOULD YOU LIKE THIS GAME?
Players looking for a simple game with endless replay-ability and an incredibly fun theme are going to find the most enjoyment here. Hideous Abomination is great for families and kiddos.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS GAME?
The best thing about the game is seeing your completed hideous abomination. Every monster is going to be unique making it fully your own—pursue your own monstrous style. The wonderfully silly artwork brings every monster to life—telling its own story.
On the surface, Hideous Abomination is a simple tile-laying, set collection game. It’s easy to teach, quick to play and works for gamers of all ages. What elevates Hideous is the wonderfully creative, whimsical and engaging monster illustrations. Suddenly I’m motivated to see what kind of strange creature I can build this time around. Scoring based on the number of fingers my monster has? How many tails I’m able to attach? Pure genius!
The added interaction is just enough to keep everyone on their toes between short winded turns while the finished product is truly satisfying whether you win or lose. The dice rolling element adds variation to the turns, but never really creates a true, luck-based advantage.
The 2nd Edition does a good job upping the interaction as well as providing added surprises throughout the game by randomly revealing end-game scoring awards. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% necessary to upgrade from the first editions, but it does tighten things up and creates a more enjoyable experience overall.
My 7-year-old daughter LOVES Hideous Abomination. With a library of hundreds of games at her disposal, she regularly drags Hideous Abomination to the table. Sometimes it’s to engage in a battle… Other times it’s just to sort through the tiles to find the right combination of monster parts. So I’m probably biased for that reason alone, but Hideous Abomination is a delightful game for our family that’s full of fun and delicious monster surprises. I whole-heartedly recommend this one!