Boss Monster is a pixelated deck building-like game where you play as a bad guy trying to eat the souls of heroes.
The gameplay is fairly simple. You build a five roomed dungeon. If the heroes die while progressing through the rooms you get their souls, if they make it to you then you take a wound. Ten souls wins the game and five wounds loses it.
In many ways, Boss Monster reminds me of a reverse Pixel Lincoln, you can read my review of it here, which is fitting since the Kickstarer version of the game comes with a Pixel Lincoln promo.
In Pixel Lincoln you play as Abraham Lincoln traveling horozontally through a game level, fighting bad guys, and picking up power-ups along the way. In Boss Monster you are doing the reverse. You are the big bad trying to kill the hero as they move deeper into your dungeon. Even though both games are similar in both gameplay and art style, Boss Monster still fells fresh and worth having in your collection, even if you already own Pixel Lincoln.
The game moves fast and falls into the “light” or “filler” category, but that’s not a negative thing. There’s nothing wrong with a fun quick game. Especially in the case of Boss Monster where there is a lot of strategy to what you’re doing.
The whole point of the game is to build the ultimate hero killing engine. The depth and strategy comes in to play on where you build your rooms and if you choose to build a new room on an old one or to even build an advance room over a regular room. There are also powerful spell cards that effect not only the heroes but your opponents too.
If you can, try to get a copy of the Kickstarter Backer version of Boss Monster. It’s rare and very few backers are willing to part with it, but if you manage to get a copy it comes with…
- A Golden Box Sleeve that looks like the old NES Zelda Game
- Exclusive New Bosses
- Promo Cards which include Pixel Lincoln
- Golden Boss Tokens for marking when your Boss levels up.
- Hybrid Heroes and a Unique Hero
- Mini Expansion with new rooms and spells/li>
- Foil Versions of all the Bosses
The review copy I received was just the regular version and now that I’m a fan of the game, I can only imagine what the full Kickstarter Version would be like to photograph.
The game comes in a small box and is super portable. In fact, the week I got the game, I had a family member in the hospital for three days (they are fine now) and while visiting them Boss Monster got just as much play time as Jaipur, which is one of my all time favorite two player games.
As fun as the game was, we did hit a learning curve when it came to the rules. The Rulebook isn’t always clear and we were only able to play by going to BGG and seeing rule clarification posts. It was doable and had I known ahead of time I would’ve done more research. It was just frustrating because we were in the hospital and I was quickly trying to look up rules on my cell phone.
After our initial play through, I did speak with the publisher about the rules. He informed me that they are working on re-writing the rule book and have set-up a really nice FAQ that clears up a lot of the problem areas.
Other than the rules issue, the game is perfect for what it is. When moving from Delaware to Texas this past month, Boss Monster was one of the six games that came with us instead of being boxed up and shipped by the movers. That says a lot about how much I enjoy it.