The chair creaks as you settle onto it. The candlelight flickers. All around you the ravenous faces of your so-called friends twist in delight as you slowly open the box laid out on the table. Welcome to Dangerous Games! Each week, we'll feature a horror/thriller/monster tabletop game you should be playing. Don't be scared… roll the dice… what's the worst that could happen?
A hero, clad in shining armor, cautiously treads down a dank, haunted dungeon. All around him he hears the cackles of monsters and the moans of the undead. Suddenly, he's surrounded by ghosts in the haunted library! The hero runs past, leaps over the bottomless pit, creeps through the zombie prison, and bashes his way past the neanderthal cave. Hurt, beleaguered, and almost out of life, he creeps into the next room… and is smote by the traps laid within! Haha! That's good news for you! In this game, you're the monster at the bottom of the dungeon, and the more heroes you kill the more points you rack up!
Equally inspired by the end bosses of 8-bit video games and the Monster Manual found in any edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Boss Monster gives the player the thrill of being the bad guy, of laying the traps, and killing the hero.
In Boss Monster each player randomly chooses a Monster to play. Each monster has a different special ability when they "level up" (more on this later). You could play as an undead lord, or a giant lizard monster, or Cleopatra, Mother of Mummies, among many others. There are room cards, spell cards, and hero cards.
Each turn, players draw from the room deck. These "rooms" are full of traps and special abilities. Each room has a damage rating: that's how much damage it deals to a hero when they pass through. You build to the left of your monster card, and you can build on top of other rooms. When you've built five rooms your monster levels up and you get a special ability.
Hero cards get drawn from the hero deck and placed face up on the table. Heroes have a certain type of treasure they are attracted to and a health number. If a hero is attracted to a certain type of treasure that you have the most of in your dungeon (based on the card), then that hero will try to make their way through the dungeon. If they get through your rooms and make it to you they give you a "wound." Five "wounds" and you're dead. If they die on their way through you get a "soul." Ten souls and you win!
This is a really fun game with a lot of randomness involved, therefore it replays really well. We've been playing it since it came in at our local game store and I've yet to feel even remotely tired of it. The different Bosses all interact differently, and because it's a relatively short game you can play a few goes of it in a night! There's more than one way to be the bad guy!
The artwork on this game, 8-bit and pixilated, speaks for itself. I bought the game because it looked cool and spooky (my two big parameters these days, sad to say) and was more than pleased and very surprised with the game inside. I hope to see more from Brotherwise Games in the future, because this is just too much fun!