Body Building the Baron’s Way
In Frankenstein’s Bodies you play surgeons stitching body parts together, aiming to make creatures to impress Frankenstein himself. Each player has two operating benches where they can lay different gender and colour parts – matching them as best they can. But competition is tough with other surgeons stealing your parts by invasive surgery. Of course you can always steal them back, but every operation risks infection and the chance that body parts will be worthless.
When asked about why Frankenstein’s Bodies is being enjoyed so much Andrew Harman, designer, artist and author said, “I think it’s the way the strategies just grow out of the setting. Players ‘get it’ quickly and jump in with both feet. The game developed from the idea of competing surgeons and, by sticking closely to that, it seems to have made the whole game very intuitive. I’ve kept the number of card types down and each one plays very simply, but when the combinations come together it gets very interesting and, quite literally, cut throat. When someone steals another player’s head off their operating bench - it’s great seeing the reactions to that!”
It has taken Andrew two and a half years to develop the game from Iain Lowson’s gothic RPG ‘Dark Harvest: the Legacy of Frankenstein’. “I’ve been playing board and card games for years and never realised quite how much hard work goes into getting a game out there. I’ve been extremely lucky in the advice and support I’ve had along the way.” He mentions many UK Games Designers who have made him ‘think long and hard about everything – I mean everything - in the game’. It’s quite a list - Ian Livingstone, the folk behind Snowdonia, Keyflower, Camelot: The Build, Medieval Mastery…and more.
But getting a game finished is one major hurdle. Getting it out there is proving to be just as challenging. In order to spread the word he seems to have found his secret inner rock star and is setting out on his UK ‘Kickstart-Tour’. “It’s not a mid-life crisis, ok? Look, what better way to show the game to potential backers than by playing it? I’ll be at conventions, games days, games shops and games cafes across the UK demonstrating the game. It’s a bit mad but it’ll be great fun!” And it will culminate at UK Games Expo for a final play frenzy.
“Come and see if I’ve survived,” he smiles nervously. “Stand L-32 in the library all weekend.”
Andrew freely admits he was delighted when he heard what Iain Livingstone, CBE (co-founder of Games Workshop and co-author of Fighting Fantasy) had to say. “I enjoyed playing Frankenstein’s Bodies because it is a fun, light-hearted game based on a gruesome tale. There is a lot of player interaction as surgeons compete for body parts whilst trying to maintain their reputations. Body building will never be the same again!”
Frankenstein’s Bodies is a highly interactive card game for 2-6 players. Follow the links to reserve a game session at stand L-32 and for more information about how you can catch the ‘Kickstart-Tour ’.
And of course Kickstarter starting April 26th.