Boss Monster is a game created by Brotherwise Games. Brotherwise Games is an independent game publisher that created a Kickstarter for the game in 2011. The game has since taken off allowing the company to create a stand alone/ expansion, Boss Monster II. The games premise is fairly simple, you as the player are a boss of a dungeon, yep just like in the video games. Your job is to create rooms in your dungeon to lure fearless heroes into your dungeon and hopefully collect their soul.
The Set up
The set up for this game are fairly simple. In the Middle of the table there are 4 decks; Room, Spell, Hero, Epic Hero. You start by first setting up the Hero decks to match the number of players, each card has either 2, 3 or 4 player icons on the bottom. If you are playing with 3 players then you simply remove all the cards with 4 player icons. Next each player is randomly given a boss, this is laid out in front of each player. I will get to the cards in a bit, but take note of the XP on each of the boss cards. The player with the highest XP gets priority as the active player each turn. Each player is then dealt 5 room cards and 2 spell cards, then each player discards. That’s all there is to it, it’s a fairly basic set up.
How to play
After set up is complete, you can build the first room in your dungeon. Before the first round of play begins each player my build a room, simply place it facedown in front of you and wait till all players are ready. Take a moment to look at each rooms ability and choose the best cards to be the last room in your dungeon. If you are uncertain its always a safe bet to play the room with the highest amount of damage.
The cards are obviously the most important part of this game so lets review then for a hot second. There are 4 types of room cards; monster room, trap room, advanced monster room and advanced trap room. On the cards you will see an ability, a black heart and a treasure such as a book or sword. In relation to the room cards there are hero, and epic hero cards. On the hero cards there are two important symbols, the treasure they are looking for and their health. The treasures are the same treasure symbols that you see on the room cards. The hero’s health is a red heart at the bottom of the card. The last card type is spell cards which can be played during the build or adventure phase of the game (I’ll get to the phases later).
Boss Monsters consists of 5 phases: Beginning of turn Phase, Build Phase, Bait Phase, Adventure Phase and End of Turn Phase.
Beginning of Turn Phase – Reveal a number of hero cards from the hero deck equal to the number of people playing, this is referred to as heroes coming into town. Then each player draws a room card.
Build Phase – each player builds a room in their dungeon. Take note that basic rooms can be built with no restrictions but advanced rooms must be built on top of other rooms that share at least one treasure.
Bait Phase – the heroes in town are then lured into the dungeons that have the most treasure of the type they are looking for.
Adventure Phase – each player takes a turn bringing the heroes through their dungeon, applying the damage of each room to the hero. if he dies you keep his soul (muahahaha) and if he lives then you et a wound.
End of turn Phase – Yea I don’t think this needs explaining
note: spell cards are played either during the build or adventure phase or both. the card will indicate when it can be played by a hammer or and axe for the corresponding phases.
Winning the Game
The player that collects 10 souls is the winner! Players can get out if they receive 5 wounds. Pretty simple objective if you ask me.
I first heard of Boss Monsters a year ago when a friend of mine recommended the game. This and another friend of mine have recommended a great deal of games to me and really introduced me into the world of table top games. For the sake of the blog I will refer to these to gentlemen as the Barbers.
So the Barbers introduced me to Boss Monsters, the funny thing is that I never played with them. Anytime we got toether we either forgot to break the game out or we just didnt have time for any games. Now because I trust their opinon with games I went out and got the game myself, and once again they did not let me down.
Learning Cuve – 9
Once you’ve got the rules down the game is pretty easy to pick up for new useres. For this reason it get a 9 out of 10
Understandability – 8
This game is not the easiest game in the world to understand but it not the hardest. The game rules itself are fairly easy to understand but when it comes to desputes about the rules they can seem fairly vague. There are some situation that could come up that might have you assuming or guessing the rule. That being said those situations dont come around to often and I’m sure the internet has come up with the right answer. (if you have questions about rules comment below i’ll do my best to anser them). The rule book itself can be a tad tricky as well you just need to take your time and make sure you understand the order of play. For those reasons it gets a 8 out of 10
Length – 8
This game is a good lenght, at no point was I ever looking at the clock or scanning other players souls (creepy) to try to calculate how long it will take to reach a win. The set up is a bit long for a card game. For those reasons it gets a 8 out of 10
Construction and Durribility – 9
When I first got my hands on the box I could tell it was already well put together. The box is sturdy and the graphic wraping seems to help the stiffness and construction of the box. The cards are also pretty durable and, due to the fact that the cards arent handled very much in the game, you can expect them not to show signs of wear as fast as other games. They are cards though and will eventually show signs of use. For all that it gets a 9 out of 10.
Final Thoughts – 8
Boss Monsters is a great game. The creators did a fantastic job coming up with a creative way to simulate a dungeon creating a non traditional way of using the cards to physically build rooms and send heroes through them. This is what gives boss monster the edge above the rest.
One particular part of the game I would like to point out is that the players have to kind of push the game along through the phases, let me explain. When I play, there is usually a leader to guide everyone through each phase of play. In other phase based games or turn based games each player has their turn with a solid start and finish. This is similar but different for Boss monster. Yes eash phase has a start and finish but there isnt a, “ok its your turn now” its more like “ok do you have anything? , no ok next”, and when it comes to figuring what heroes go where it’s more of a group turn. In short the game will end up being a very long game if you dont help the phasees along.
With everything considered the Boss Mosters is a great game and easy enough for anyone to learn, just be sure to play with people who are willing to invest their attention or you’ll have some trouble getting through the game. For all this Boss Monsters recieves an 8.4
Pictures were taken from Brotherwise Games website. These photos belong to Botherwise I am not claiming them as my own.
I am not affiliated with Brotherwise Games. I am reviewing this game of my own free will.