SNAP Review – Monster Bash

Monster Bash
Monster Bash: A light hearted card game for 2-4 monsters

Is this the way to the Monster Bash? It’s a perfect party for pint-sized mummies, ghouls, and zombies.

Game

Monster Bash is a game for 2-4 players, ages 6 and up. It was designed by Andrew and Jessica Sears and published by Andak Media. Cute illustrations provided by Robert Fike.

Art

Let’s kick things off by talking about the Monster Bash art: We absolutely love it! The monsters are super cute and family friendly.

I don’t think I’ve seen cuter art in a monster game yet! Everything is very whimsical and ties perfectly together with the game’s theme.

In addition, the font size on the cards makes everything easy to read. you’ll never be squinting at a card to read it. Monsters with older eyes will very much appreciate it.

The art also covers a wide spectrum of classic monsters like the invisible man, ghosts, mummies and vampires. They even toss in some D&D ones like the Beholder and Slime.

Mechanics

Monster Bash is essentially a hand management game. To win, be the first to person to play all your cards.

To do this, players are going to play cards from their hand that matches the number in the pile.

Whoever has the slimeball card starts the game by playing it – it’s a number 1. Then the following players will need to play a 2, then 3, 4, 5, and so on.

But there’s a little twist. The value of the cards only go 2-9. So when it comes time to play a value of 10, you’ll need to play multiple cards, like a 5 and 5 or a 6 and 4, to equal 10.

There is no limit to how many cards you can play on a turn. There are negative number cards that let you subtract your way to the right number. Need a 4, why not play a 6 with a negative 2?

Managing your hand is key to winning the game. As the number to play increases, use multiple cards to reduce your hand size quicker.

So what happens on your turn if you can’t play cards? Then take the whole pile of cards from the middle of the table and add them to your hand, play the Slimeball card to reset the count and pass your turn.

Very ghoulish for sure! Taking those gives me the chills.

There are a handful of cards that will help you get the right number combos; like ones with negative numbers (1,2,3) and a double value card that lets you double the value of a card (make an 8 become a 16). You can also spook your opponents with cards like: reverse, skip a turn, and swap hands.

Special cards: The Blob, Frankenstein's Monster, Beholder, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Count Dracula, Van Helsing, Swamp Monster

Expectations

(Izzy) I was thought it was going to be one of those games where I’d be collecting points and not getting rid of cards.

(Nick) For me I was expecting some kind of monster-themed party game. For some reason the title reminded me of the song Monster Mash, so I thought it might be a party game, or even a trick taking game.

From reading the back of the box, it does say family friendly and simple math was required.

Surprises

Monster Bash is a fun game that played quickly. I absolutely loved the artwork for all the reasons we mentioned.

(Izzy) It’s something I could play with my brother or friends without an adult.

(Nick) What surprised me the most was when you couldn’t play a card you had to take the whole discard pile! I thought that was pretty brutal.

I would have thought, maybe you draw an extra card like you do in Uno, but since there’s no deck to draw from; you’re taking the whole discard pile. It’s scary when that’s a sizeable stack!

We played earlier today with four players and your mom, two games in a row, had to take the discard pile with something like 20 cards in it. (Ha ha, sorry Mom!)

A hand full of cards in Monster Bash

The only way to mitigate this is to play the swap hands card or hope other players can’t play on their future turns, which means they’ll have to pick up the cards.

Now there is a rule that if all players can’t play a card within a single round, then the first player who played the slime first, takes the discard pile, shuffles it with their hand and evenly deals them out to all players including themselves. It acts as a soft reset. However we never had this trigger.

Let me tell ya, my Mummy was hoping for that!

Your Mummy?

You’ve ghost to be kidding me dad. Are my monster puns lost on you today?

I guess if you’ve got it, haunt it!

Anyway, I do wish there were more modifier cards with negative numbers on them. Maybe that could have helped in different situations.

And speaking of modifier cards, there are a few cards that offer two options. The Beholder for example can be played as a skip turn or, flipped upside down, a number 8. I thought it was a brilliant edition to game play.

Beholder upside down to be a number 8

Would you say Monster Bash is a graveyard smash? (Recommended?)

I do think the game is fun and it would be a great after school activity to practice your math skills.

Who do you think the game would be great for? Kids and people who enjoy light games. I think even grandparents would enjoy this game too.

I also think its perfect to pull out around Halloween time to get into that spooky spirit. How about you Dad?

I’m going to be honest, its not a game that I’d pull out with adult gamers but I think this Monster Bash is great for playing with elementary aged kids. It’s a perfect way to game-school addition and subtraction – Huzzah for hidden math!

I could see playing this with our youngest as an activity instead of doing math problems on a sheet of paper. It would make practicing math a lot more fun than “the old fashioned way.”

Monster Bash is easily taught and kids can totally play on their own.

If you’re a homeschooling parent, I would highly suggest picking this up to as an alternative way to practice simple math.

Let me tell you, if I was a zombie I’d definitely want to eat the brains of people who play this game. Math brains are very tasty.

We rate Monster Bash 3 out of 5 cuddly Blobs.

Find it direct at Andak Media.


The Family Gamers received Monster Bash from May Fifteenth Games for this review.

Monster Bash
  • Cuddly Blobs
3

Summary

Number of Players: 2-4

Age Range: 6+ (basic arithmetic needed

Playtime: 15-30 minutes

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