Sunday, September 24, 2023

GenCon Report: Ravensburger Lets You Play As Monsters of All Kinds

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Ravensburger Games is always one of the hottest companies exhibiting at GenCon thanks to their innovative usage of popular licenses like Jurassic Park and Disney that appeal to just about everyone. They always come to GenCon with a whole mess of big releases. With their Villainous and Jurassic Park Danger! games  making a major splash in 2018, I just had to stop by and get the skinny on what’s new with Ravensburger Games. They released a few games at GenCon, but the four below are no doubt their biggest and most exciting.


Retail Price:  $29.99

Release Date: August 1

Very much in the vein of their earlier Spielberg adaptation Jurassic Park Danger!, JAWS moves the asymmetric action from the jungles of Isla Nublar to the seas around Amity Island.  One player takes on the  role of “Bruce” the shark, eating tasty swimmers and evading the crew of the Orca in a sort of hidden-movement game. Aboard the Orca, Quint, Brody, and Hooper have to try to save the swimmers while tagging the shark to guess where it might be: Brody with his binoculars, Hooper with a fish finder, and Quint with his trusty barrels.

After the shark is tagged with two barrels, or he eats nine swimmers, the board flips from the Amity Island side to the Orca side, where the crew battles the shark directly. The better the Orca crew did before this, the easier time they’ll have in Round 2. They win by defeating the shark, and the shark wins by either destroying the ship or eating all three crew members.


A lot of research went into the game, with the swimmers being modeled on the ones from the film (including the ill-fated dog Pippet), and the inside of the box patterned with the same loud, nautical pattern as the Mayor’s famous jacket.

You can currently pick up JAWS at Target, and it will release to wider retail later this year.


Retail Price: $34.99

Sticking with the Universal license (Ravensburger has you covered on Florida theme parks), Horrified is a proper co-op game, with players facing off against seven monsters from Universal’s iconic horror films. Each monster is completely modular and unique, meaning they each must be defeated in a different way i.e. proving The Invisible Man exists, smashing Dracula’s coffin, or teaching Frankenstein (it’s complicated) and The Bride how to live as humans peacefully. You can play with as many as possible, with two being recommended but with the possibility of facing one (much easier) or all seven (if you want a real challenge). Each monster has it’s own miniature, and overall the art and the presentation of the game is top-notch.

(Correction: Horrified is not slated for an October release as previously reported. It can currently be found on the shelves.)

Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared

Retail Price: $24.99

Release Date: August 1st

The newest expansion to Ravensburger’s Toy Of The Year Award-winning Villainous, “Evil Comes Prepared” adds three new vile villains to the game: Scar from The Lion King (the cover star), Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove, and Professor Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective. Incidentally, Scar was the most requested villain in online polls, while Ratigan was the most written-in, earning the rather deep-cut baddie some time in the limelight.

Fans of Villainous can pick up the newest expansion at Target, with a wider retail release coming later this year. Like “Wicked To The Core”,  the new villains come with their own stand alone game, but are fully interchangeable with any others, allowing you plenty of replayability as you work to conquer the Disney universe in as many ways as possible.

While highly stylized, the transluscent movers capture the spirit of each villain quite well


Retail Price: $25.00

Release: August 1

Ok, this one doesn’t actually involve monsters. But I couldn’t just not include a game about adorable mermaid cats! Catlantis is a hidden deduction and card collection game where players are each trying to gather a…clowder…school…of mermaid cats that match their “fur order” and fin family. You use gems to acquire cats and treasures, trying to figure out what cats your opponent might have. It’s a very cute little game, with mercat meepels and foil components that allow all the mercats scales shine. It’s a pretty quick learn and fun to play, and definitely worth checking out (and soon, they ran out of it at GenCon so it’ll probably be pretty damn popular when it releases)

Big thanks to Cassidy at Ravensburger  for showing me around the booth, and be sure to keep an eye on The Fandomentals for news and reviews of these and other big releases from Ravensburger

All images via Ravensburger


  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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