Boss Monster

Boss Monster is inspired by classic video games. The object is to build a side-scrolling dungeon full of enough treasure to lure hapless Heroes. Kill off the Hero before he reaches your Boss and collect his soul! But, if the Hero survives your Dungeon, you’ll take a Wound. The first Boss with ten Souls wins. If your Boss takes five Wounds from Heroes who survive his dungeon, you lose!

I actually won Boss Monster when we played it at Compulsory Merriment, but only because Mandi roared in like a Viking–brandishing treasure, slaying Heroes, collecting Souls like the Grim Reaper herself–and the final Hero she took on took her out. There are two competing priorities in Boss Monster: you need to lure Heroes at a faster rate than your opponents and kill those Heroes before they reach your Boss. But, if your dungeon is too enticing, you can get overwhelmed by deadly Heroes. Farewell, Mandi! At least you went down with honor.

Play starts with each player choosing a random Boss card; then each player is dealt a hand of Room and Spell cards. Heroes are placed in the center of the table, an area that is known for the game as “Town.” You start out with just your Boss card and one room, and then as the rounds progress you try to build up your dungeon with rooms that will be both deadly and appealing to the Heroes who keep showing up in Town.

Heroes are drawn to a Dungeon by its loot, which is shown on the Room card with icons for things like money, swords, holy relics and magical tomes. On each turn, players will play one Room face down; each room has its own damage and treasure value.The cards are flipped over simultaneously, then everybody looks around to see has the most loot of a certain type.

Different Heroes seek different treasure types so, if your Dungeon has the most swords and one of the Heroes is a Fighter, that Hero will be lured to your Dungeon. There’s a lot of strategy involved in building your Dungeon because how and build your rooms has a big outcome on your success. The good news is, you can build over the top of rooms and many of them let you destroy rooms for a bonus, so you’re never permanently locked into a bad choice you made in a previous round.

Process the Heroes lured through your Dungeon in the order of whichever Boss has the highest XP. If you do enough damage, you’ll take the Soul. If the Hero is more powerful than your Dungeon, you’ll take a Wound. Spells let you do one-time effects to either help yourself or hinder opposing Bosses. Spells can be a big help, especially early on when you won’t have many rooms to help you defeat Heroes. The game ends when a Boss either collects ten Souls or suffers five Wounds.

We all loved the game! I immediately wanted to play it with expansions and, fortunately, there are several: The Next Level and Rise of the Minibosses are expandalones that can be played by themselves or added to the base game for more Bosses, Rooms and Spells. Plus there are even more expansions that can be added to any base game for new actions, items, bosses, rooms and a higher player count.

30 minutes playtime, 2-4 players, Ages 8+