Game– Boss Monster
Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 15 minutes per player (2-4 players)
TL; DR-Step into an old 8-bit classic from the other side! 93%
Basics– Let’s be bad guys! In boss monster, you play the boss monster of a dungeon. Each turn you can build one room on your dungeon or revamp a room. Your dungeon may only be five rooms long, but you can renovate each room with new rooms or upgrade to more powerful rooms rooms. Each room and your boss monster have powers, damage, and symbols on them. The powers do different things in your dungeon from moving rooms to teleporting heroes. The symbols and damage are for attracting or killing heroes, respectively. After you build your room, heroes attack your dungeon each turn. Each hero has a specific symbol that he or she is attracted to. The dungeon with the most of that symbol has the hero attack. The hero moves from left to right (just like any good 8-bit hero does) and is dealt damage by each room with some room’s powers triggering by his/her presence or you deciding to activate them. You also have a few extra spell cards that you can play that can also effect the heroes, but getting spells is much trickier as you do not automatically get one each turn. You must find effects that give you spell cards. If the hero is not killed by the rooms, the hero damages the boss monster (you). You only have five hit points, so you have to be careful! If the hero dies along the way, you score his/her soul (points). The game ends several ways: last boss monster standing, first boss monster to 10 souls, or the heroes deck runs out of cards then it’s whoever has the most souls wins!
Mechanics– This is a pretty simple game, but the mechanics work quite well. The game follows a simple draw one/play one mechanic that almost feels like Lemmings as you set up a plan and watch it in action. That seems pretty simple, but some amazing tricks strategies emerge as you have to use the pieces you are dealt to the best of your ability. The spells also add some extra dimensions to this game by giving the players new powers to use throughout the game. The randomness does and does not hurt this games as you can lose fairly easily through no fault or stupidity of your own, but this game isn’t one you play if you want an amazingly math heavy eurogame! 4/5
Theme– This game makes me feel like I’m playing an old Nintendo game only in reverse! The art, instructions, cards, box, and everything else feel like an old 80’s game. It’s not perfect as your boss monster doesn’t really have anything to do with how your dungeon rolls out because of the random draw. It’s fun and engrossing, but you won’t get role-playing game levels of emersion. 4.5/5
Instructions-The instructions are well done. There are lots of examples to help teach the game. Lots of pictures to break up the text making this a fun, quick read. And it’s shaped like an old Nintendo instruction manual! And quick start rules make the game that much faster to play. 5/5
Execution– THIS FEELS LIKE AN OLD NINTENDO GAME FROM START TO FINISH! The art, the box, instructions, EVERYTHING just feels right! Even better, the quality of the game is great. From art to layout, the cards are done well. Game even comes with a quick start guide! Nothing to say but 5/5.
Summary– This game is a lot of fun. It makes me think of playing my NES when I was 8. The art and execution are spot on! The theme draws you in and won’t let you go. The mechanics are a bit off as the random nature of the game brakes some emersion aspects and can cause you to lose without even trying. That isn’t enough to keep me away though. I loved this game. If you love the old 8-bit game and want to play one from the other side of the controller, give this one a try. 93%