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Monster Destruction

August 9th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Show of hands, who DOESN’T like being a giant monster and inflicting massive amounts of destruction onto whatever fantasy world they happen to be living in at the time?  I, for one, loved playing “Rampage” for the NES.  “Monster Destruction” is more like “Dominion” in the sense that it’s a deck-builder, though instead of building estates and provinces to earn victory points, you’ll be destroying cities.  Before we get into the specifics though, I’d like to thank Game Developer Alistair Dandy for reaching out and providing me with a press copy for review purposes.

 

Monster Destruction

Monster Destruction: 2-5 Players, Ages 12+, Average Play Time = 30-60 Minutes

 

Components

The game includes a rule book and 209 Cards (7 Monster Cards, 30 Smash Cards, 30 Exhausted Cards, 12 City Cards, 130 Main Cards)

Setup & Gameplay

Each player receives a monster card to call their own (randomly or by selecting one) as well as a starting set of six smash cards and three exhausted cards.  These cards are shuffled and placed face-down to form your starting deck.  Players draw five cards from their personal decks to form their starting hand.  The main deck (every card except cities, monsters, smash, and exhausted cards) is shuffled and six are drawn face-up to form the “offering” (supply).  The cities deck is seeded with seven random cards (except Tokyo) and is placed face-down next to the main deck.  The Tokyo card is then placed on top of the cities deck, face-up, as the first city card.

The game is broken up over a series of turns with play proceeding clockwise.  On a player’s turn, they’ll play their cards and take specific actions.  These actions include but are not limited to: buying cards from the offering using energy (energy acts like currency), buying the shown city card using energy, observing any effects the cities or other permanent cards may provide, and etc.  Once a player’s turn is over, they’ll place their hand, along with all purchased cards, to their discard pile and draw five more from their deck.  If their deck runs out, the discard pile is shuffled to form a new draw deck (draw as necessary to get a hand of five cards).  The offering is replenished from the main deck and a new city is flipped over as necessary (only one city is visible at a time).

 

Monster Destruction

Card Samples

 

Players continue building their decks and buying cards until there are no more city cards to flip.  Players then compare reputation points (listed as badges/ribbons on the cards) and the person with the most, wins the game!

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.

The Review

I’ve always maintained that “Dominion” and “Machi Koro” are excellent gateway games into the deck-building genre and I’m pleased to say that “Monster Destruction” can be added to that list.  It’s extremely easy to get into and best of all (for casual players, that is), you won’t have to pick and choose which decks you want to include in the supply.  Here, every card (except the starter cards) are shuffled into one giant deck.  If you’d played the “Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion” or any of the “Star Trek” deck building games, you’ll know how convenient that is.  The short learning curve makes this an ideal game for players of almost any age.  More experienced gamers who play a lot of deck builders may find this game to be a bit too limiting, however.

There’s no shortage of cards…in fact shuffling the supply deck takes quite a bit of work!  I admit to being impressed with all of the different cards and their abilities.  Some cards are permanent in the sense that they remain in play while others chain together to become even more powerful.  Take “Electrostrike” (a monster), for example.  His special ability not only allows him to go first, but he allows you to draw an additional card when playing “draw card” abilities. Thus, a smart player may want to focus on buying cards with the “draw card” power from the supply as they come up.  Sadly, some of the cards had some obvious grammatical errors and a few were worded in ways that made their powers sound more complicated than they actually were.

My biggest gripe has to be with the current retail price of $37.99 (as of 8/3/15).  Honestly, that’s about $15-$20 more than what it should be priced…at least, if it wants to stay competitive with other games featuring similar themes.  Both “Star Trek” deck building games and “Machi Koro” can be found for about $20 on Amazon, while “Star Realms” and “The Hobbit” can be found for about $13-$15.  While I’m sure there are costs associated with development/publishing and the like, it’s hard as an experienced gamer / consumer to not to balk at the price.  It’s a shame really…the game would have scored higher (7/10 or 8/10) and received my wholehearted recommendation had it been cheaper.

As it stands, I can really only recommend this product IF money is of no concern to you. Otherwise, you’d do well to try out any of the aforementioned deck-builders in this review if you’re looking for something new.

Final Verdict: 6/10

You can learn more about and purchase “Monster Destruction” here:

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/monster-destruction1

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