Boss Monster Review
Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to play Boss Monster with several different groups of people. The game was first brought to my attention by a friend who became interested in the classic 8-bit art style of the box that is reminiscent of classic NES games. The cards displayed on the back, as well as inside the box, all bring to mind fond memories of these classic games as well as having many references to current geek culture. The point of the game is that you are a boss, similar to classic boss monsters of the past, and need to build a dungeon in an attempt to stop heroes from reaching the end. For anyone that has ever played a classic video game where you get to the last room of a dungeon and are killed right before reaching the boss, you understand the frustration of the hero. This game gives you the chance to feel the joy of destroying the hero with a series of traps, monsters, and spells.
All of the card art is in an 8-bit style and filled with references to many different things such as, movies, video games, meme, and geek culture staples. An example is the boss on the cover seems to be a reference to the Super Mario Bros. 2 (U.S. version) final boss, Wart. While my friend and I had a great time and many laughs with this game, I questioned how well it would be received by younger audiences.
As a test, I played Boss Monster with my two step-siblings, ages sixteen and eleven. By the middle of the second game the youngest was able to start planning some strategy behind his moves. As far as enjoyment of the atheistic goes, while he knew many of the newer references, he understood many of the older references due to popular cartoons having made those. A few days later he was able to play it with two of his friends, including an eight year old. It proved to me that this game can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages.
The game itself is fairly easy to learn on the first play through. Randomly select the boss for your dungeon, draw the appropriate hand, discard, and play your first room. The next turn is where it really starts to get interesting as heroes start to enter the town, and if one dungeon has enough of that particular hero’s treasure type they adventure to that player’s dungeon. If the hero makes it to the end that boss takes damage, if it doesn’t that boss gets a soul/point/coin or whatever you want to call it. At first this seems easy, but you quickly realize how far ahead you must plan in order to not be overrun by heroes early on. Increasing the number of people increases the insanity and really changes the strategy that is needed to win. All of the cards are very well made and it is a great pick up and play game. There are also several suggestions for variations in the rule book. Whether you are looking to find a fun card game to play with friends or to introduce a child to a new type of card game, this is an overall excellent game you should checkout today!