Boss Monster – a review

Boss Monster is a card game where the players take the roll of a villian from an 8 bit side scroller video game.  You build a dungeon with monsters and traps.  You lure adventurers into your lair and hopefully they expire before reading your chamber.  The first to collect 20 souls wins  If you get hit with 5 wounds from adventures who proved too hearty to sucumb to your designs you lose.

This is an easy game to learn/play.  You setup by taking a monster, five room cards and two spell cards.  You then display adeventurers (one per player) and then you pick a room to build, laying the card face down.   You reveal your room simultaneously with the other players and put it in your dungeon. At the bottom of each room card there are helpful icons that tell you what type of adventurer you attract: swords for fighters, books for mages, holy symbols for clerics and money bags for thieves.   You count the number of icons on the bottom of the room cards you have in your dungeon and that’s who you attract. If there’s a tie then the adventure decides not to adventure this turn and stays in town.

There are two levels of rooms: basic rooms and advances rooms. You can tell the difference by a small icon in the upper left-hand corner of the card.  silver is used to show basic level rooms. Gold is shown for advanced level rooms. There are also classes of rooms the two most common being monster and trap. Trap rooms have a skull and crossbones and monster rooms have a monster face.

During the during the game you can build at most five rooms. To build an advanced room you have to put it on top of a pre-built basic room. The icons at the bottom has to match in order to build on top of a basic room; so if a basic room has a book for the mage you can build any of the advanced rooms that have the book icon on top of that basic room.

Each room deals damage which is noted on each room deals damage which is noted on the card in a heart. You’re trying to build the most dangerous dungeon so that you can “deal with” adventures.

The most interesting things about this game is the artwork which on the surface looks blocky and pixelated following along on that 8-bit video game theme. What you see if you look at more of the cards are references to all sorts of things. There’s a statue that looks like the front of the player’s handbook from Dungeons & Dragons, the liger makes an appearance from Napoleon Dynamite and there’s even a blue eyes white dragon look alike.  Playing the game is fun simply to just look at the cards and see if you can connect the artwork with either a video game or other pop culture references