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Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: "Hey! That's MY soon-to-be-dead hero!" rss

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Thaddeus Ryan
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We played two games of Boss Monster tonight, one with three players, one with two, and I enjoyed both of them.

Much has been said already about Boss Monster, but I'll give my quick recap anyway. You start with a Boss Monster, some room cards, and two spell cards. During play you build a dungeon of up to five room cards, and can replace existing rooms with rooms of the same or another type (Monster or Trap), or upgrade to a more powerful room (Advanced Monster or Trap). Heroes walk through the dungeon they're most attracted to (ie, clerics go to the dungeon with the most ankh symbols, thieves to the dungeon with the most moneybags, etc) and (you hope) get killed along the way. Heroes that make it through cause damage; heroes that get killed count towards victory.

It's a hand management game with an open hand, variable-incident effects (some trigger upon playing the card, some at a specific event like a hero dying in the room, some upon the dungeon master's whim). It's also got a strong set-making mechanic since building a room can cause:
* A change in the attraction of heroes (you replace a room with two books with a room with one sword means you won't get hit by that Mage but will attract that warrior)
* A change in damage given and where (which sometimes matters)
* A change in how you're going to deal with that next hero
* The available cards you have to play in your hand

So there's a lot going on. The mechanics are sufficiently complex because of interrelationships that I think it held back one player in the first game. I'll also note that the two first-timers (me included) were frustrated by taking damage the first two rounds; it's really hard to not take a hit, unless you house rule to make the heroes wait a round, or deal up only weak heroes the first round (in our first game the heroes that came up were life 4, 6 and 8).

That said, once you start killing heroes, it becomes fun. The theme definitely worked well with our 30-something group who grew up with the 8-bit games, and the idea of playing the bad guy is just fun. There's definitely some subtle adult humor (the Succubus spa, Seductria, Sexy Vampires), and I don't know if kids are going to get the reference though honestly my 8-year-old cousin could probably play this well and really enjoy it.

One last note, I liked the quick nature of the game. Especially after our first game of the night (Libertalia), something light was exactly what we were looking for.

Grade: 7/10.
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X Topher
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Highland
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Quote:
So there's a lot going on. The mechanics are sufficiently complex because of interrelationships that I think it held back one player in the first game. I'll also note that the two first-timers (me included) were frustrated by taking damage the first two rounds; it's really hard to not take a hit, unless you house rule to make the heroes wait a round, or deal up only weak heroes the first round (in our first game the heroes that came up were life 4, 6 and 8).


Hmm, I think there are quite a few ways to avoid that without house-rules. If I remember correctly, you play a free dungeon card before the actual rounds start, and then you play another card for the first turn. 4 & 6 HP heroes are quite killable this way. Plus, heroes only go to the dungeon with the most matching icons. If you don't want them to attack you, don't put down cards with those icons, doing nothing/replacing a dungeon card is also a valid action. (The heroes are revealed before you play cards after all.) The 8 (or 6 if need be) hp hero could be avoided that way.

With that said, nice short review. I was a bit let down by this game. I love the art but it Was too chaotic for my tastes. I felt like my control of what was going on was simply making the best of what I drew, not really building a dungeon. There are too many other games like that. (Innovation, Gosu, etc)
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Charlie Theel
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St. Louis
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We very much enjoy this game as a quick filler. Love the art and feel and it has a solid amount of tough decisions packed in a short time frame.
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Todd Kauk
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Libertalia is light enough...you made it sound like you played Mage Knight or something
 
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