|Play Time:||15-20 minutes (About 45 minutes the very first game.)|
No I don’t mean that we are REALLY a Monster Boss but we are trying to be the best Boss Monster in this awesome game by Brotherwise Games, LLC. Your goal is to get adventurers into your dungeon and defeat them! I do love a game where you can be evil! Not that I’m evil…it’s just fun sometimes!
Brotherwise Games, LLC is the independent game company made up of two brothers (which explains the name) behind Boss Monster. A unique twist on card games, Boss Monster gives you the chance to kill the hero and be the ultimate villain by building the best dungeon. That’s right! YOU are the Boss and a Monster actually but you are also the villain competing with other villains (other players) to get heroes into your dungeon to defeat them! The best part is the cards all look like they came straight out of an old Nintendo game!
Normally I can adjust games for my kids but in this case my Diva at age 3 can just not play this one. Though if she is adamant she picks a Boss card and we flip hero cards one at a time and she “beats” those with a matching symbol. It is VERY basic but she gets to “beat bad guys”, I haven’t told her they were the “good” guys yet.
My Gentleman is 5 going 6 and just learning to read. He can read beginner books ok and recognize a lot of Gamer Sight words but not enough to fully understand this game. For him right now we basically let him help me play face up games because even if I hide my hand he sort of announces what I have by asking questions. Patience is required and not wanting to actually win when we play with his “help” but if we tried to adjust the game for him without reading I would have to seriously stack the deck. No Spells, No Epic Heroes and No Room Cards with heroes who have 8 hearts on them. That removes most of the deck THEN you have to go through the Room Deck and remove all Advanced Monster cards and any cards having 0. After ALL that you would still have to be willing to read certain cards so they can Destroy a room to kill a Hero.
I am not saying it isn’t possible or even worth it but it IS a hassle right now and with him being so close to reading I think he can still “help” me for now while we enjoy playing the game ourselves. I will probably start working with him on reading some key words to help him learn what the cards can do but for now he “helps” and my husband and I play or we play with friends on Game Nights. Though I have a feeling my son will be playing soon enough since he picks up on games really quickly. I’m excited…a little scared of losing to a 6 year old a lot…but excited too. Now on to the How To Play part you’ve been waiting for (or skipped to).
Win by ending a turn with 10 souls! Yep souls…well really the little coins on the backs of the Hero cards. You need to basically kill 10 Heroes to win. But watch out! If you get 5 wounds from Heroes you die!…or just lose. My husband does not take it easy on me and actually killed 10 Heroes, excuse me…13 Heroes before I killed 1 AND I took 1 wound! I might be bitter about that…
Very quickly…this is a card game. Nothing but cards. However, before you shuffle them all take careful note of the backs. In the box, which is standard box material but maybe slightly sturdier, you have three separate sections for cards. I do love organization. 1 sections is for the Room Deck cards, 1 has Bosses and Spells and 1 has Heroes and Epic Heroes. Don’t mix them all up! Instead shuffle each separate deck. Room Deck cards get shuffled by themselves, Bosses and so on.
First! How many people are playing? The setup is different depending on this. If you are 2 people are playing then remove all cards
with the “Three Player” or “Four Player” icons. If you are 3 people are playing just remove the “Four Player” Heroes. If 4 people are playing use all the cards! THEN shuffle them. Usually it is just me and the Evil…I mean my husband but sometimes a friend or two join us.
Deal out 1 Boss card to each player. Players set their Boss cards face up in front of them leaving room to the LEFT of that card for the dungeon rooms. The player with the highest XP on their Boss Card goes first, the player with the 2nd highest goes second and so on down the line. You might want to adjust seats to make it less confusing. On these cards are the icon for the Boss indicating it is a Boss card, XP which we covered, a Treasure card in the bottom right of the card (this counts towards the Player’s Dungeon total treasures) and the Level Up ability which comes into play as soon as the player has 5 Dungeon Rooms in play.
Place the Room Deck cards and Spell Deck cards where everyone can reach them, usually in the middle of the table and deal out 5 Room cards and 2 Spell cards to each player. They get to look at them but have to discard 2 cards though it doesn’t matter which two. Then each Player can “build” a room. Simply choose a card that you want to be the LAST room before your Boss and place that card to the LEFT of your Boss card. After each player has “built” their room everyone flips over their card. If there are any conflicts the build order is also based on XP. Resolve any building conflicts and get ready to go!
I am starting to get the hang of laying out Rooms and such but my husband can pick up on a game so fast I think it’s his super power. Seriously, his Super Power is being unnaturally good at card games…we have a friend whose Super Power is being unnaturally good at Dice games. Where does that leave me you ask? Losing. A lot. EXCEPT in games with team effort and where I can be the traitor or evil entity…I do really well in those games. Wonder what that says about me…nope…no I don’t let’s move on.
Every round the same things happen as follows:
- Heroes show up! – Flip over Hero cards equal to the amount of players. If you are playing a 2 player game flip two Heroes however, no Epic Heroes should show up until all the Heroes are in play or gone. Epic Heroes are harder than regular ones…a LOT harder.
- Each Player draws a Room card.
Once everyone has drawn their card the Build phase begins. This is important because some spell cards are specifically used during either the Build Phase or the Adventure Phase (when the Heroes “attack” the Dungeon to get to the Boss).
Each player takes turns placing a Room card face down in their Dungeon either next in line or on top of a Room already laid down. You can only have 5 Rooms but one per Turn which can take awhile so choose carefully, however, you can replace rooms and there are Advanced rooms you can play on top of another Room already laid down but only if it has the same Treasure Type.
There are Monster Rooms and Trap Rooms and the cards will tell you what special abilities they have if any. If anyone has a Spell card that has the little Hammer on the bottom this is the Phase to use it if you choose. Otherwise once everyone plays a Room card or chooses not to it becomes what they call the Bait Phase.
Everyone has flipped over their recently played Room card by now so figuring out where all the Heroes go is the next step. So nothing really happens during this phase except that. To determine where each Hero goes simply look at the Hero’s Treasure icon(s) and then the Dungeons of each Player. The person with the most of 1 symbol gets those Heroes. ALL of those Heroes so be careful when luring Heroes to your Dungeon. If no one has a Hero’s symbol or more than one player has the same amount that Hero stays in the line, otherwise the Hero card gets moved to the front of the Player’s Dungeon who successfully lured the Hero there. Confused yet?!?! I was…Playing a round face up with friends is a HUGE help and puts it all together nicely so don’t let my confusing explanations lure you away. (See what I did there?) Ok….moving on.
Or Heroes die phase! Maybe not…I guess they can hurt your Boss instead. They do me… a lot. In order, each Hero moves through the Dungeon it is in front of Room by Room. It takes damage equal to the number in the little heart on the bottom and when he takes enough damage to be equal to or greater than his health he dies. In this case remove his card and put him face down in your pile. You just gained 1 soul! Do that 9 more times.
Now each Room card may or may not have special abilities, or allow you to draw cards, can instantly kill a Hero if you destroy the room (that means remove it from the Dungeon and the game) or a handful of other things. Also, order might matter so when flipping over new Heroes the Hero closest to the Deck is the oldest Hero in the line. During this phase any Spell cards that have that little Axe on the bottom can be played but not before or after so again choose carefully.
Once all that is done the phase is over and the end of turn things happen. Any effects that last until the “end of turn” are now gone, any Rooms that were deactivated can be turned correctly to be in play again, If a Hero takes any damage but is returned to Town (the line up) or the front of the Dungeon that damage is wiped out and does not carry over. The game can also end after this part if 1 of two conditions are met…or someone rage quits. I haven’t yet…but I may or may not think about it sometimes
If any player ends the turn with 10 Souls they win, if a player ends a turn with 5 Wounds they lose and in the event of a tie for most Souls, Wounds are deducted to see who won but in the event of a tie there the person with the LOWEST XP wins. I like that the most XP doesn’t matter somewhere. For me it doesn’t matter anyway as I have yet to win a game against my husband.
Playing with more than just us I stand a better chance and am getting better. This game doesn’t count as an “evil” game though since I can’t do too much to other people and am not the only Boss Monster. I do love this game though. It sounds complicated but it’s not and it is so much fun to play. Not to mention I LOVE the look of the cards! Could be due to my growing up on Atari and Nintendo but I love the pixel look of the cards.
Boss Monster is the first of what I hope are many great games by Brotherwise Games, LLC. It is in a smaller box so you can take it with you to game nights or friends houses or even a restaurant. It fits in my purse, otherwise known as a Bag of Holding…I am a mom of two remember? Because it is a card game you can pretty much play anywhere there is a little room and you have some time. Grab your copy today and see how can be the ultimate Boss Monster!