hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Impressions: Boss Monster

5:00 PM on 08.26.2013 // Aerox

Retro Card-Gaming Fun

Boss Monster is a card game you likely haven’t heard of. Successfully Kickstarted back in November of last year after exceeding its requesting funding amount by almost 18 times the original goal, it’s been available for purchase since around February.

The premise of the game is simple -- you’re the Boss Monster in a dungeon of your own design, and you must attract as many heroes to it as possible and kill them for their souls. Collect enough souls before your opponents and you win the game, but if too many make it through your dungeon alive, they’ll kill you instead.

With an 8-bit art style and writing that’s an homage to both classic NES games and a lot of current pop culture, Boss Monster is worth picking up if you’re looking for a light-hearted card game that’s easy to teach and play, even for people who don’t board game often. Those who insist that all their games contain deep strategic experiences or find themselves frustrated by games with a strong luck element may want to steer clear, but I’d recommend Boss Monster as a casual game that should appeal to board gamers of all skill levels.

Boss Monster
Created By: Brotherwise Games
MSRP: $25.00 

Boss Monster’s rules are simple, and after a couple playthroughs to familiarize yourself with the rules, games should take roughly 20 minutes to complete. Play begins with each player randomly selecting a Boss Monster card, each with a special power that’s activated after five dungeon rooms are completed, drawing their starting hand, and building the first room of their dungeon.

At the beginning of each turn, heroes gather in the village. There are four types of heroes --fighters, mages, thieves, and clerics, each looking for a different type of treasure. Later in the turn, each hero will go on an adventure to the dungeon containing the most treasure of their preferred type (if there’s a tie, they wait in town until the tie is broken on a subsequent turn), and pass through that player’s dungeon room by room. A hero that survives your dungeon deals you a wound, and five wounds knock you out of a game. A hero killed in your dungeon becomes a soul, and the first player to collect ten souls wins.

After the heroes gather in the village, each player gets to draw a Room Card, representing (surprise!) a room in their dungeon, and they may then build a room out of their hand if they so choose. Each room deals a set amount of damage to any hero that passes through it, and has an additional effect -- for example, some deal extra damage if your dungeon meets certain conditions, some allow you to immediately build or move other rooms. Every room card also contains a certain amount and type of treasure or treasures, which are needed to actually get heroes to come to your dungeon in the first place.

There are also Spell Cards which can be played either during the building phase or the adventuring phase. Spells have a variety of effects and tend to be very powerful, and will often determine the outcome of a game. You only start with two, however, and cannot naturally draw more unless you have specific rooms in your dungeon that allow you to do so, or your Boss Monster card’s power gives you more spells on the completion of your fifth room.

The strategy behind the game is fairly simple -- build a dungeon that’s capable of killing heroes, while managing your treasure properly so that you’re claiming as many heroes as you can while denying other players hero types by forcing ties. Most games we played involved lots of treasure ties in the early rounds, until someone could finally pull ahead and snag a huge pack of heroes that had backed up in town.

While there’s little direct interaction with other players, unless you’re playing a spell card while they have heroes in their dungeon during the adventure phase, the treasure management still makes the game feel competitive. Snagging a huge pack of heroes out from under your friends feels great, as does watching a confident player with a strong dungeon get hit with multiple wounds after one of your Spell Cards throws a huge wrench in his plans.

However, because this is a card game based on random drawing, luck does play a huge factor in terms of what cards you draw, what rooms you can build, what kinds of treasure you have access to, and what spells you end up getting. Every now and then, you’ll have a game where one player really can’t compete with the rest because they’ve gotten unlucky with their rooms and either can’t get enough treasure to attract any heroes, or can’t quite put together a dungeon that deals enough damage. Luckily, games run short so this player shouldn’t feel too put out, but among our group we had some frustration since this happened to every player in at least one game they participated in.

Boss Monster is quick, light, and does a great job infusing the game with a retro, NES-style theme that its 8-bit art belies. I recommend it to people who like to play with board gamers of varying skill levels, even if those people aren’t huge videogamers, with the caveat that most players will experience a frustrating game every now and then. As long as you don’t mind games with moderate luck elements to them and aren’t playing with people who will pitch a fit if they end up with crummy cards, Boss Monster is a solid addition to your board game collection.



Aerox,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Replaying Tales of Symphonia for the first time in years, I only just now realized how random the plot is. Our goals are decided at Lloyd's whimsy, while we get major revelations just 'whenever'. Still a good game, but I'm proud to be #TeamBatenKaitos.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Question Time! What's YOUR MGSV Helicopter music?
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Today at work, I made a reference to the DK Rap in one of my news pieces. Any day that I get to do that is a good day.
gajknight avatargajknight
Everyone's playing MGSV...and I've just arrived in Skellige in The Witcher 3. At this rate, I'll get 'round to MGSV when the PS7 arrives.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Currently learning Little Trinketry from Valiant Hearts: The Great War on piano. [youtube]http://youtu.be/40fulS_olU8[/youtube]
Retrofraction avatarRetrofraction
MGSV is literally the Skyrim of stealth. 15 hours 3%... #Sneaker'sdelight
ThinMatrix avatarThinMatrix
The Kickstarter campaign is now live for Socuwan – the quirky indie MMORPG created by the community, for the community! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1465468930/socuwan-the-community-driven-indie-mmorpg
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Excellent video game OST's for the week (no particular order): 1) Super Stickman Golf 2 2) Lethal League 3) Crypt of the Necrodancer
DanteKinkade avatarDanteKinkade
Final season of Continuum is on tonight, featuring time traveling solders in power armor. I can't wait! https://carl9000.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/c15.jpg?w=842
Kallo avatarKallo
That moment when you look at your backlog of games...and it looks back and you and says "What the hell man? you have over 100 games on this list!". I feel guilty...
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
Idris Elba needs to be James Bond & heck to anyone who thinks otherwise
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
We need a Dtoid RPG that stars Mr Destructoid, Gardevoir, Macho Man Randy Savage, and MATT DAMON. The hub zone will be Nekro's dungeon.
Cynic without a Cause avatarCynic without a Cause
In the middle of discovering a bunch of Hirasawa Susumu's non-film related work. Currently listening to Planet Roll Call. Fantastic album!
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
*Looks at Battle.net* League of Storm Heroes. Magic: The Hearthstone. Diablo. Starcraft. World of Warcraft. Oh, pay $10 to unlock Tychus. ...Guys, is Blizzard evil? I mean really, despicably, EA-level evil?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Do you enjoy MOBA games such as LoL, Dota 2, or HOTS? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
The Witcher 3 is 30% off on GOG.com, if you thought it was a bit expensive at launch. You get store credit too.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Realized I've turned on my PS3 in the past month or two only to watch Mario cartoon DVDs. I really need to get around to playing something - anything - on it.
Perro avatarPerro
Listening to Studio Ghibli Collection at work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_WbO_LPXDo Reminds me that my dad really liked Howl's Moving Castle. He's retired military and serious most of the time but rather enjoyed its fanciful world.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Sorry for my inactivity... I've been lacking motivation and have nothing on my mind right now so i haven't blogged in a while. Still playing Grandia 2 anniversarry, getting annoyed by mount and blade warband's phantasy calradia mod and other shit...
CaseyCor avatarCaseyCor
Donkey Kong Land 3 Any% Speedruns, right now! [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -