Boss Monster – not all pixelated games are created equal

I was really excited to get this game in.  It came in on the heels of Pixel Lincoln, and having another pixelated game in shop, especially one that allowed you to play as the antagonist, really intrigued me.

Game Information
Boss Monster
DesignerJohnny O'Neal, Chris O'Neal
ArtistBeau Buckley, Francisco Coda, Katrina Guillermo, Kyle Merritt, David Nyari, Alexander Olsen, Andres Sanabria
PublisherBrotherwise Games, Edge Entertainment, Fever Games, Pegasus Spiele, Redbox, Trefl Joker Line
Year Published2013
# of Players2 - 4
Playing Time20
Mfg Suggested Ages13 and up
CategoryCard Game, Fantasy, Video Game Theme
MechanicAuction/Bidding, Hand Management, Player Elimination, Take That, Variable Player Powers
ExpansionBoss Monster: Final Form! Promo Card, Boss Monster: Bast Promo Card, Boss Monster: Bastas Promo Card, Boss Monster: Bom-Boy Factory Promo Card, Boss Monster: Collector Box, Boss Monster: Crash Landing, Boss Monster: Creator Pack, Boss Monster: Epic Multi Heroes, Boss Monster: Get Over Here! Promo Card, Boss Monster: Hidden Secrets, Boss Monster: Implements of Destruction, Boss Monster: Killa, Man Eating Gorilla Promo, Boss Monster: Klonos Promo Card, Boss Monster: König Croak Promo Card, Boss Monster: Malakill Promo Card, Boss Monster: Mirrax Promo Card, Boss Monster: Paper & Pixels, Boss Monster: Portable Pack, Boss Monster: Power-Up Pack, Boss Monster: Quothe Promo Card, Boss Monster: Reactor Core, Boss Monster: The Golden Dragon, Boss Monster: The Lost Levels, Boss Monster: Tools of Hero-Kind, Boss Monster: Totale Zerstörung!
FamilyBoss Monster, Crowdfunding: Kickstarter
Alternate NamesBoss Monster: Baue deinen Dungeon!, Boss Monster: Costruisci il tuo dungeon, Boss Monster: gra karciana o budowaniu podziemi, Boss Monster: Le jeu de cartes de création de donjon, Boss Monster: Master of the Dungeon, Monstruo Final

Info courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Info.

When it arrived it was in a small box that looked extremely reminiscent of an old NES game: black, with the title stripe and pixelated characters above the name.  This choice of a small box really pleases me in two major ways.  Firstly, it’s an artistic nod back to the video games of yore.  Secondly, it’s not much bigger than what the game actually requires.  All that comes in the box is cards, four decks to be precise, and an instruction book.  That doesn’t exactly take up a ton of space, and I think it was very good of them to go with a small, practically sized, box rather than a huge one to simply gain more shelf presence.

The rule book was a small chore to read through, but on the whole wasn’t too daunting.  Although, now that I’ve had this game as part of my collection for a while, there are portions of this rule book I have to gripe about.  Primarily the fact that there is no quick reference.  What is the one thing that people often have to reference when pulling out a game they have played a few times?  That’s right: the starting set up.  I can never remember how many cards you have to draw, and instead of being on page one, it’s on approximately page eight or nine.  This means it always takes me several minutes to re-find this information, which is something that could have been fixed quickly with a reference sheet.

The game is a tableau building game played over a series of rounds, each of which is comprised of three distinct segments.  Firstly, new heroes wander into the town each turn, seeking adventure.  It’s at this point that each of the bosses (players) build onto their dungeon by playing a card.  This action is chosen simultaneously, and will help decide which dungeon each hero is attracted to.  Once players have built on to their dungeon, the heroes are evaluated and go to the dungeon of their choice, and progress through the dungeon (hopefully) to their doom.  If they die, you’ll receive their soul as a point.  If they survive, they damage you, bringing you one step closer to defeat.

Dungeon rooms each do something special, in addition to applying damage to the heroes, allowing players to build dungeons that will be more evil and deadly.  Some rooms will send heroes back to the start to do it all over again, other rooms will give you bonuses if a hero dies there.  For this reason, the layout of the dungeon is crucial to your success.

In addition to dungeon rooms having abilities, each one has “loot” associated with it.  This loot is what attracts the heroes to your dungeon rather than to your opponents.  Each room shows a series of symbols.  Ankhs attract clerics, books attract mages, swords attract fighters, and bags of money attract thieves.  The person with the most of the given hero’s symbol will attract that hero to their dungeon.  However, if there is a tie, the hero stays put in town as he doesn’t find either dungeon particularly tempting.

Review of
'Boss Monster'
Mechanics:        
Instructions:      
Replay-ability:    
Price ($24.99):   
Components:      
————————————-
Overall Rating:    

On the whole, the game takes about 30-45 minutes to play, but honestly for me, that was about 30 minutes too long.  Everything I’ve described makes this sound like a game that I would like to play, but the reality of it is much different.  In the early rounds of the game, players either try desperately to not attract the attention of the heroes, or often suffer huge amounts of early damage from letting them make it through without dying.  If all the players can manage to stave off getting the heroes attention in the early game, by the late game it’s an avalanche of heroes all going through the dungeon at the same time, when someone finally manages to stand out, and thus having an insurmountable lead.  Tack that onto a tableau building game that has little to no actual synergy, and it’s just random dumb luck of the draw disguised as a meaningful decision.

 

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Monday, January 27th, 2014 at 6:42 pm and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Theme Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

435 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and
    I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks
    once again.

  2. Terrific work! That is the kind of info that should be shared across the net.
    Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post upper!
    Come on over and seek advice from my web site . Thanks =)

  3. Jeffery says:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have
    put in penning this website. I really hope to view
    the same high-grade content by you in the future as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal
    website now 😉

  4. Roxanna says:

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thanks for supplying these details.

  5. Madge says:

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t disappoint me
    as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I actually believed you would
    have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about
    something that you can fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

  6. Panel Surya says:

    Definitely consider that which you stated.
    Your favorite reason appeared to be at the neet the simplest factor to bear in mind of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider issues
    that they just do not recognise about. You managed to hit tthe nail upon thee highest as neatly as
    outlined out thhe entire thing without having
    side effect , other folks could take a signal. Will probably
    be again tto get more. Thanks

  7. astropay says:

    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the
    eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come
    here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Excellent work!

  8. rs money buy says:

    Helⅼo thеre! Quick question tһat’s totally offf topic.

    Ꭰo you ҝnoѡ һow too make your site mobile
    friendly? Μy web sitte loolks weird ᴡhen browsing fгom my
    apple iphone. I’m tring to fіnd a template oг plugin thɑt might be able
    tо resolve thbis probⅼem. Ӏf yߋu havе any suggestions, please share.
    Apprecіate it!

  9. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post.
    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  10. Hello there, You have done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally
    suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited
    from this site.

  11. 3Z6V says:

    419743 967635Vi ringrazio, ho trovato che quanto scritto non sia completamente corretto 366221

  12. Please check my free torrent downloads. Latest
    torrents and movies for free. My site offers the latest bockbuster maovies 100% free.

  13. etsy says:

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  14. In fact no mattr iff ѕomeone doesn’t knoᴡ afterward itѕ up to other visitors tһat thеy will hеlp,
    so here it tаkes рlace.

  15. What’ѕ up mates,its wonderful article ɑbout educationand сompletely explained, қeep it
    uⲣ аll the tіme.

  16. I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also pay
    a quick visit this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated from latest information.

  17. *Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  18. Magnificent items from you, man. I have bear in mind your stuff
    previous to and you’re just too wonderful. I actually like what you have
    obtained here, really like what you’re stating and the way through which
    you assert it. You are making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to stay
    it smart. I can’t wait to learn much more from you. This is really a tremendous site.

  19. fusionfame says:

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or
    copyright violation? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced
    but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over
    the internet without my agreement. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being
    stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  20. Link exchange is nothing else except it is only placing the other person’s blog
    link on your page at proper place and other person will
    also do same in support of you.

  21. pLmqy says:

    191095 647959I feel other site proprietors need to take this web site as an model, really clean and superb user genial style . 700139

  22. There is definately a great deal to find out about this issue.
    I like all of the points you have made.

  23. zithromax says:

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically
    tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this
    for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.

    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading
    your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  24. Hello there! This post could not be written much better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this post to him.
    Fairly certain he’s going to have a very good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  25. Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; many of us have developed some nice practices and we are looking to swap methods with others, be sure to shoot me an email
    if interested.

  26. I blog often and I really thank you for your information. This great article has really peaked my interest.
    I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week.
    I subscribed to your Feed too.

  27. I believe that is among the most vital information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. However want to observation on few normal issues, The site taste is wonderful,
    the articles is actually nice : D. Just right task, cheers

  28. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website so i came to “return the favor”.I am
    trying to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its
    ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  29. I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I’m no longer sure whether this put up
    is written via him as nobody else understand such distinct about my trouble.
    You are wonderful! Thank you!

  30. Hi! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make
    your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when browsing from my iphone4.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve
    this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Many thanks!

  31. After looking into a few of the blog articles on your site, I
    truly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my
    bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near
    future. Take a look at my web site too and let me know what you think.

  32. I do trust all of the concepts you’ve introduced for your post.
    They’re really convincing and can certainly work.

    Nonetheless, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please
    prolong them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

  33. When some one searches for his necessary thing, thus he/she wishes to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

  34. games espn says:

    There are various options in these free flash
    games.

  35. For most up-to-date news you have to visit the web and
    on world-wide-web I found this site as a most excellent website for hottest updates.

Leave a Reply

*