Monster Week: Boss Monster

Oh dear I missed a post yesterday because my day job is currently insane and I did my third 12 hour day in a row. But it isn’t how have I worked more hours on Easter 4 day week then I do on a 5 day normal week. No, it’s Monster Week, so let’s crack on with Boss Monster.

  • Players: 2-4
  • Play time: 20-30 mins
  • Publisher: Brotherwise Games

I mentioned in the first post on this site that for the past couple of years we have been going through something of a table top renaissance among my friends, and Boss Monster helped get that started. We were talking about trying out the Secret Weapon¬†gaming pub in London and thinking of a game to play there. I can’t remember where I saw it but the 8-bit pixel style, the NES game box art, the fact it only used cards making it pretty portable and playing as a monster controlling a dungeon like one of my favourite all time computer games Dungeon Keeper (the original 90s PC game, not the iPhone abomination) made this pretty much an instant purchase as the first game we were going to start playing. And so we took it down the pub and learned how to play it whilst getting considerably drunk. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t get the rules completely right that night, but it was an instant hit.

All players draw a boss monster acts as a computer game end of level boss for the dungeon you are about to build. Each turn, all players add a room to their dungeon and try to lure in adventurers to their doom. Once a player has built 5 rooms full of traps and monsters, their boss levels up and uses its special ability, making slaying heroes even easier.¬†The aim of the game is to kill 10 adventurers and capture their souls before they kill you, or before your opponents collect 10 souls. All players have access to spells, and certain room cards, that can sabotage opponents’ dungeons, power up adventurers to help them opponent dungeons or power up your own dungeon. Initially the heroes are easy to slay, but as you use up the hero deck, the epic hero deck comes into play and brings much stronger heroes. The heroes themselves are lured into the dungeons by the type of rooms you build, so a thief is looking for treasure or a fighter wants monsters to slay. Last minute changes to the layout of your dungeon are crucial for gaining souls or making sure epic heroes aren’t attracted.

Plenty of expansions for the game have been released including a 6 player expansion, Boss Monster 2 and a new Mini-Boss expansion coming this summer, so the replay-ability and potential to play more complex, longer games with the new additional features seems fairly endless at this point. There is also a digital version, so you can practice and figure out all of the rules you got wrong when you were drunk! Well maybe that’s just us.

This really is one of our favourite games that we keep coming back to and can’t recommend it enough. The retro theme is great, the designs and characters are great (there is nothing more exciting than drawing Robobo as your boss) and it’s great fun to play either with 2 people or a group. So go check it out.

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