RBG #7 – Boss Monster
Publisher: Brotherwise Games
Number of Players: 2-4 Players
Release Date: 2013
Score: 9 / 10
In honor of NerdBacon’s SNEStember, I decided to try and find a tabletop game to appeal not only to retro table-toppers but to the retro gamer in all of us. This title was actually going to be featured early on in the RBG, as it is one game that I play rather often and has a constant place in my rotation of games. Welcome to Boss Monster and be ready, for the town’s heroes are quickly approaching and are ready to take away your treasure hidden deep within the dungeon.
Boss Monster puts the player in a very familiar world, filled with mages and warriors just waiting for a quest to pillage your mighty treasures. In this instance, instead of one of our mighty heroes, you are the end-game boss…the final challenge that the hero must face. Will you be able to build a dungeon that can protect you and your gold from even the strongest of champions? You may have to ask yourself…is that extra magical sword worth it?
Before we get to the nitty gritty of dungeon-building, you need to decide what kind of boss you want to be? Many of the boss are references to many big baddies of the gaming world, such as Donkey Kong and Mother Brain of Metroid fame. Any character you pick has a designated treasure, so you are initially only able to entice the heroes of that type. They also have a special level-up ability that happens when you achieve the maximum size dungeon, so take that into account.
In order to build your dungeon, you select various monster and trap cards from the deck, each having a very different minion or obstacle. For example, if you are making a dungeon just prime and ready for warriors, you could use the neanderthal cave as a fantastic starting point. Even though you can’t upgrade that particular room until later, with an attack power of 3 it does plenty of damage to an unwary foe. On the other hand, if you were making a mage or thief based dungeon you can use the haunted library or a trap. While there are many different strategies to dungeon-building in Boss Monster, you need to be able to advance your rooms as quickly as possible to obtain the souls of those pesky heroes and achieve victory.
Now since Boss Monster is a deck-building game, you would expect to have some pretty decent cards. The majority of the cards are inspired by games of old, so they try to obtain as much of that old school charm as it can. In regards to actual card usage, if you have a room card it will have a particular hit counter on the right side, while having a treasure opposite. This allows you to plan ahead and calculate exactly how much pain these puny heroes (gods) have to endure to obtain your many riches. It may seem confusing at first, but after the first play-through you will pick it up with ease.
Now you need to know what kind of heroes there are that can possibly visit your dungeon right? Well it begins with two separate types of heroes, regular and EPIC. There are a few differences between the two, such as a health (R= 4-8, E=13-18), treasure types, and soul value. There is a short list of classes which designate which treasure they are after. For example, if your hero is a fighter they will be searching for a sword, while at the same time if a hero is a cleric they will be looking for the holy symbol. When it comes to soul value however, it is more valuable to kill the “Epic Hero” if possible as their soul is worth double a regular.
As millennials tapped to the core, we tend to know what millennials like right? Okay the first part may be a lie, but we know that everyone loves references to their favorite franchises! Boss Monster is chopped full of them, mainly towards classic Kirby, Donkey Kong, and Metroid. For example, in the first edition of Boss Monster, there are two bosses that are very similar to both Ridley and Mother Brain of Metroid fame. It doesn’t stop there, as there are a number of levels based off of older Nintendo and Sega titles.
Since the game’s release, Brotherwise Games has been very supportive in its growth. Now there are multiple additions to the base Boss Monster game such as the “Tools of Hero” and “Crash Landing” bonus packs. The original gathered such a following that Brotherwise was even able to publish a sequel, known as Boss Monster: The Next Level. It doesn’t add too much to the base game but incorporates new bosses and classes of heroes. If the demand is there for it I will compare the titles down the line.
If you like to make a unique experience in your own Boss Monster world, you happen to be in luck! The creators behind Boss Monster, Brotherwise Games, actually released the main card template onto the internet! This allows many creators, myself included, to make our own custom cards with just a little bit of Photoshop magic. You can also take the easy way out and use Brotherwise Games’s own custom card generator…but the work is half the experience right?
So as far as retro-themed board games go, Boss Monster takes the cake. The title allows you to experience a classic fantasy world from an entirely new point of view simultaneously creating a fresh experience for each player. As Boss Monster‘s popularity continues to grow, it will even attract a much larger audience to share its experience with. A solid card game that will entice gamers and table-top fanatics alike, there is no way that Boss Monster should be left out of your collection.
Interested in more tabletop games like Boss Monster? Be sure to watch out for the next issue and follow my Bacon Bits for a sneak peak at what the next issue might hold. Be sure to also check out everything else Nerd Bacon has to offer over in Beyond Bacon.
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