Boss Monster Card Game Overview

Boss Monster Card Game Overview

Disclosure

We’ve been attending our weekly game night meetup for three years now. I still remember those first few visits, not knowing anyone there (and dragging the family along in case no one wanted to play). We had limited experience in this new world of hobby board games, only having tried some popular ones like Munchkin and Dominion. We were completely overwhelmed by the games the other brought. None of which we had seen before.

I don’t remember all of them, but a few stick out in my mind. Settlers of Catan, Castles of Burgundy and Castle Panic were but a few we tried in those first few weeks. There were scores of others being played those nights, and with nearly 60 people showing up on a regular basis, we could count on an ever-changing landscape of games to play.

We're children of the 8-bit era of video games. Running across Brotherwise Games' Boss Monster meant it was a must-have in our board game collection. - SahmReviews.com

One of the smaller games that caught my eye was on a side table being played by only two people. I guess it was the art that captured my attention. Styled after 8-bit arcade graphics, Brotherwise GamesBoss Monster was one I watched from afar and never got a chance to try it out. A couple months later the person that owned it moved out of state.

I never forgot the game, wondering what it was really about. This year at the Origins Game Fair I stumbled across Brotherwise Games’ booth where they were demo’ing both Boss Monster and another brand new release. They were even handing out a special promotional card for the game, and it was then I knew I needed to sit down, get a personal demonstration and take a copy home with me. And here we are.

If you’re like me and grew up with blocky, pixelated video games from Atari, IntelliVision, ColecoVision, Odyssey, etc., then you will love the styling of Boss Monster. This game tries to recreate the best part about playing video games on those systems, the final boss fight. But instead of taking on some overpowered monkey or wizard, you play as the Boss Monster himself trying to vanquish all the heroes who dare enter your dungeon!

Boss Monster is a card game for up to four players and lasts only about 30 minutes. Each player is their own monster, building a dungeon out of cards which the town’s heroes will enter, trying to steal your treasures. At the beginning of the game, each player is randomly dealt a card from the Boss Deck. This determines which monster you will play as, each with their own special abilities and power.

We're children of the 8-bit era of video games. Running across Brotherwise Games' Boss Monster meant it was a must-have in our board game collection. - SahmReviews.com

You’ll also receive a hand of five Room Cards along with two Spell Cards from their respective decks. Each person immediately builds one room of their dungeon by placing one of the Room Cards to the left of their Boss Monster (imagine this is a side-scrolling game, where the hero enters from the left, works his/her way through the dungeon and eventually meets the final boss in the last room on the right).

We're children of the 8-bit era of video games. Running across Brotherwise Games' Boss Monster meant it was a must-have in our board game collection. - SahmReviews.com

The middle of the table represents the town – this is where the heroes gather. Each round a number of new heroes will appear in town, equal to the number of players in the game. On your turn you may build one additional room, taking turn in order by the number that appears on each person’s Boss Monster card. You may build to the left of your current dungeon, adding to the room count (your dungeon can hold up to five rooms). You can also choose to build on top of another room (remodel), or if you drew an Advanced Room, upgrade an existing one by matching the treasure symbols on each card.

After all monsters have had a chance to build out their dungeon, the town’s heroes move to the entrance of the dungeon with the highest number of matching treasure symbols as on the hero cards. If none of the dungeons have the treasure that particular hero is looking for, or if more than one dungeon is tied for the highest, the hero remains in town until the next round.

We're children of the 8-bit era of video games. Running across Brotherwise Games' Boss Monster meant it was a must-have in our board game collection. - SahmReviews.com

Once all the heroes have been assigned to their dungeon, they make their way inside. Each room they encounter will do damage to them, the amount noted on the bottom right of the Room Card. Rooms also may have actions that need to be resolved when a hero enters. Players may also use their Spell Cards at this point to help them stop the hero’s advance.

We're children of the 8-bit era of video games. Running across Brotherwise Games' Boss Monster meant it was a must-have in our board game collection. - SahmReviews.com

If the hero exits a room with damage equal to or exceeding its health, it dies. That card is collected and placed face-down to the right of your Boss Monster. If the hero reaches your monster without dying, it wounds you. That card is also collected and placed to the right of your monster, but this time is left face up. Each hero has a number of Souls (if dead) or Wounds (if alive) – collect ten Souls to win or be eliminated by receiving five Wounds!

We're children of the 8-bit era of video games. Running across Brotherwise Games' Boss Monster meant it was a must-have in our board game collection. - SahmReviews.com

Rounds continue with new heroes entering the town, rooms being built, changed or upgraded and heroes entering dungeons that have the treasure they’re after until at least one Boss Monster has collected ten Souls or is the last monster still alive. That player is the winner of Boss Monster!

If you remember how excited I was to play the new Space Invaders Dice a couple months ago because of the memories it brought back, then you’ll understand why I feel the same way about Boss Monster. It’s not overly complex, very easy to teach and can be played by almost any age. It will have special appeal to those of us that grew up with (and still love) those early video games.

You can find your copy on Amazon for under $20 shipped or direct from Brotherwise Games in their online store. They’re beginning to talk about their latest game, Unearthed, over on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, so go subscribe so you can find out what it’s all about!

Were you around when 8-bit video games were considered state-of-the-art?

Scott

About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

17 comments on «Boss Monster Card Game Overview»

  1. Marysa says:

    That’s nice that this can appeal to a wide range of ages. Looks like a fun game for everyone in our family. I’ll have to check this out, we need to spend less time on electronics.

  2. Rebecca Swenor says:

    The Boss Monster from Brotherswise Games sounds like a great family game. This is a game my niece’s kids would love to play for game night. I love that you are in a weekly game night meet up group. Thanks for sharing this awesome game and the information.

  3. Kristi says:

    Card games are our favorite kind of game, easy to bring places. I like that you gave the time it takes, 30 minutes is perfect. Not too long but long enough to have fun!

  4. Rosey says:

    Yep, count me in. I’d love it for the nostalgia value alone. 🙂 And did you say Space Invaders dice?? whha??? I’m headed over to see. 🙂

  5. krystal says:

    My son is just now getting into card games since he can read! This would be fun and the price is right!

  6. lisa says:

    My boys enjoy card games and this may be one I may have to invest in for them. I like that it seems to not be complicated to play and it only takes 30 minutes….not to long, not to short.

  7. I fondly remember playing Atari games with my dad when I was a kid. Boss Monster sounds like a fun throwback to the past and not that complicated to play!

  8. Desiree Lopez says:

    I know a family who has Boss Monster and they LOVE that game! My family was so poor when I was little we couldn’t afford an atari. We had the cheaper but similar Intellivision so I definitely remember 8 bit monsters and heroes!

  9. Brandy says:

    Love that it can be over in about 30 minutes. My kids like card games but many of the ones I grew up playing as a family exceed their attention span.

  10. Becky says:

    My husband played these games before. He would love to play the card game for sure. It would bring back memories for him.

  11. Adam says:

    My absolutely favourite card game! Introduced it to so many friends, I confess they’ve often beaten me on their first go. That’s one thing I like about it, it’s fair to newcomers too!

  12. Donna L Holder says:

    sounds like a good game

  13. Vickie Gallo says:

    Def retro!

  14. Pam Flynn says:

    This looks fun and totally retro! It’s cool to be retro.

  15. Lily Kwan says:

    This card game looks very fun. Thanks for sharing!

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