Boss Monster has been around for a while. I’ve owed a copy of it since a few Knavecons back. I even played it once so it seems a disgrace that I’m only around getting to reviewing it now. A disgrace.
I got to play it again recently. Owning it as I do and having a couple of willing testers at home.
Boss monster is like a lite version of Dungeon Keeper. You probably know the premise. You control a big ol’ monster who wants to be the boss above and beyond up to three other players with a paltry five hit points and a penchant for souls.
Just like zombies, heroes are both the primary food source and apex predators for monsters. Lured by four types of treasure they arrive in the local town and try their luck in your pointy dungeon. Did I mention the dungeon?
Boss monster is a card game. You start with a hand of room cards, one of which you can place each turn and a few spells, which either help you or hinder another boss monster. Each room contains a type of treasure and heroes March in like moths (marching moths) towards the traits that most suits them. So clerics will be attracted to the dungeon with the most ankhs, fighters love swords and so on. Part of the skill is in having more of a treasure type than your opponents so the most heroes come to you.
Now having attracted these wild bears into your cabin you need to insure your dungeon rooms can deal sufficient damage to kill them before they get to your boss monster at the end of the corridor. Each of the rooms deplete a certain amount of hit points from the heroes. If they run out they die and become points for that player. If they don’t die along the way they twang the big nose of the boss monster and emerge more than likely with “yeahs!” and high fives to never return. Get five hits and for you the war is over.
Things ramp up a little when rooms can be upgraded to improved more hurty ones but to balance it once all the regular heroes have run the gauntlets a set of epic heroes with more hit points appear. These guys and gals are tougher, deal two points of damage to boss monsters but are worth two souls if you knock them on the head. Towards the end of the game it becomes very touch and go with the last few epic heroes zooming in like the last
missiles in missile command. Top marks if you survive. A win if you get ten souls.
This is a fun little filler. 30-40 minutes of play. The artwork is cool 8bit graphics reminiscent of an old side scroller but with some great humor in there (I particularly like the vampire bordello).
It’s not a serious game by any means and the luck of the draw will affect you though there is some skill in here. One of the most enjoyable aspects is impeding the works of someone else’s dungeon with a freeze spell when a particularly tasty hero is striding through. As always a game where you can laugh at someone elses misfortune is a joy. Doubly so if you caused it.
Fun game. Cheap. Portable. Kid friendly