Sunday, 26 October 2014

It's in the Cards: Boss Monster

Hello! Welcome back, filthy worm babies!

Lately I've been talking a lot about Warhammer 40k. It's my main hobby and has been my main hobby focus for the last few weeks, but today I want to talk about something different: Boss Monster!

This is a really neat card game that my wonderful girlfriend (let's just call her Mew) got me for my birthday. It's made by Brotherwise Games and it's a cracker!

The Eponymous Boss Monster

The basic premise of the game is that you take on the role of a Monster, who is a Boss and you have to build the most devious dungeon to stop those dastardly 8-bit Heroes from stealing your treasure. An average Saturday night for most of us, I'm sure. 

I'm not going to go too deep into the rules here because it's one of those simple-yet-complex games that really is easiest to learn while playing. That said, basically you are dealt Room Cards that are used to build up your dungeon. They're either booby-trapped to surprise intruders, or populated by vicious monsters. You also get some Spell Cards. These can be used to "one shot" a Hero or you can use them to disrupt the plans of the other players. There are a collection of Heroes: Fighters, Thieves, Clerics and Mages, who are all after your treasure. If you kill a Hero before he/she gets to your Boss Monster, you get a point. If the Hero makes it to your Boss Monster room, you lose a life. First player to 10 points wins. It's a game for 2-4 players.

Room Cards

The first thing I have to say about this game is that it looks really nice. From the old, SNES look of the box, to the 8-bit graphics on the cards this set is a real joy to just sit and pour over for a good hour or so. A lot of care has clearly gone into the production of this game. Each of the monsters is creatively drawn and realised, each with their own special powers and there is little in the way of duplication, especially with the Heroes, of which there are quite a few.


In terms of gameplay, this game is well balanced and offers a lot for casual and more serious gamers. The action is fast paced with very little down time. One of the major drawbacks of a lot of games that come out these days is that due to their complexity, there is quite a bit of sitting and waiting for the other players to have their turns. The small-scale nature of this game, only having a maximum of 5 rooms per dungeon, means that a player's turn only takes a couple of minutes. During that time, however, the other players get a chance to cast spells on their opponents, meaning that you're always paying attention and always have a chance to do something. 

Spell Cards

The little details that harken back to the old-school 8-bit dungeon crawlers we all used to play and love really speak to long-time, experienced gamers and offer a lot in the way of background and character in this game. The simple game-mechanics and a nice injection of humour, on the other hand, make this game accessible and enjoyable for casual gamers and long-suffering partners alike. That said, all the room and spell combinations allow for canny strategy that really adds depth to the game, making it fun to play time and again. Although the rule book is quite hefty, weighing in at 21 beautifully illustrated colour pages, the game recommends using the Quick Start rules and then consulting the rulebook when questions arise. This means that as soon as you open the box, a cursory read of the Quick Start rules is all you need to get into it.

Overall, I have to say, this is a great little game that's lots of fun and is great for a relaxed night of gaming with friends. I give it 4 out of 5 Natural 20s.


Have you played Boss Monster?
Any other card games I should check out?

What do you think of the Blog's new look?

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