By: Timothy Mattes
Dexterity games hold a special place in my heart. It is rare that a game can take a mundane task of physical prowess and turn it into something that makes you better than your peers. It is the only mechanic in gaming that can truly level a playing field and make the newest player the best player. Whether it is flicking something across the room, slowly tapping out a block, or playing a glorified game of 52 pick-up, dexterity games change the landscape of strategy gaming.
Monstrous is a brilliant example of this. I have played card throwing games before and they always feel a little, well, light. There is little to no risk/reward and the scoring is usually a nightmare. Monstrous breaks this mold by offering easy score tracking and a play state that bridges the gap between dexterity nonsense and deep strategy. Each player is attempting to destroy the cities of ancient Greece. The cities are represented by cards laid out in the center of the table. The part where this game truly starts to shine is the bluffing aspect to your decisions. Your cards all have abilities and you can throw your opponents off by making it appear that you are attempting to destroy one city when all you are doing is misdirection. It reminds me a lot of if smash-up was a dexterity game. Overall gameplay is fun, the shelf appeal is outstanding as the artwork really pops and makes passers-by want to know what the game is. Learning the game is simple enough and replay-ability is on par with most strategic-dexterity games.
The only negative marks I have are that the game only goes up to five players. I understand that a contributing fact to this decision is the size of the play area with the location cards, I would have liked to see this reach party game status though as I feel the mechanics work. I also see it being a bit difficult convincing a gaming group to play this during a normal game night. Think of how often Rampage hits the table and you will understand what I mean.
Monstrous is a fun game that is just missing a few marks and not enough to make me say don’t get it. If you are looking to add a fun dexterity game to your collection and you know you will be able to play it then get yourself a copy. Monstrous was fully funded on Kickstarter in June of 2015.
Final Score 7.7/10