One Board Family: Monster Crunch Review
Growing up in the 80’s means that I have fond memories of pouring a big bowl of Count Chocula cereal and getting my daily helping of sugary goodness. Of all the Monster Cereals that General Mills created, I really loved Boo Berry. When Big G Creative published Monster Crunch: The Breakfast Battle Game, I had to get my hands on a copy before my favorite holiday, Halloween, came around.
The goal of Monster Crunch is pretty simple. Play all of your cards faster than the other players at the table and use your monster abilities to outwit your opponents. The game plays in 3 hands with 12 cards in each of these hands. Cards are numbered 1 through 12 and each player will pick their favorite of the 5 cereal monsters. That’s right, 5 monsters. Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy are just as important as Mr. Franken Berry even though their cereals were discontinued.
On your turn, you’ll play a numbered card from your hand into your cardboard cereal bowl. If you play a number 3 card, the next player will have to play a number 3 or higher from their hand. As play continues, the target number will get larger as everyone plays a card. In order to play cards quicker than you opponents, you’ll need to use milk tokens to combo cards. Cards can be combined with a milk token if they are identical numbers (4 & 4) or sequential numbers (7 & 8). You can use multiple milk tokens to chain together 3 or 4 cards if you can do it. If a player combines two 8’s, then the new number is 16. Everyone else is now forced to play their milk tokens to get to that new number or pass on their turn.
In Monster Crunch, passing on your turn will give you a new milk token that can be used in a future round. There’s some real strategy to passing at the right time. Pass too early, and players will continue playing cards while you watch from the sidelines. The last person to play a card without passing does not receive a milk token but gets to start the new round with a card from their hand.
It’s so satisfying to lay down the final card in your hand and have everyone else throw the rest of their hand back into the box. This means that they will never be able to score those cards. At the end of 3 hands, players will count how many cards they played and that’s their final score.
A Heaping Bowl of Goodness
Monster Crunch is fast, fun and pretty easy to understand. The strategy here is light and perfect for a filler game for a game night or time around the table with family. Everyone is starting with the same 36 cards and every game comes down to how you choose to play your cards. With over a dozen plays of this game, it’s still a “must play” when people come over to hang out at the house.
The cards, components and illustrations in the game will induce a nostalgia trip for people who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. Each of the cereal monsters come with their own powers that are only usable once per game. These powers are really dangerous in the right hands. You’ll probably find your favorites as you play with the different characters. I’ve really enjoyed Franken Berry and Yummy Mummy personally.
We’ve been so impressed with this game and shocked that a game licensed from a cereal company can be this good. The game scales from 3 to 5 players really well because each player is only using their own deck of cards. The game flies once you know what you’re doing. Using the milk tokens as a way to combo is such a creative way to tie in the cereal theme and get players to formulate a strategy. These milk tokens also act as a “catch up” mechanic without ever feeling cheap.
The final scores are usually pretty tight with only a point or two separating your from your opponents. When you lose, you know that it’s because someone outplayed you and not because you picked up the wrong card. Monster Crunch is an obvious purchase for fans of monster cereals but there’s more than nostalgia fueling this game. This is one of my favorite filler games and part of a balanced gaming diet for both kids and adults.
You can find Monster Crunch from Big G Creative at your local Target or online at Target.com.
Simple gameplay and light strategy is very inviting
Loved the nostalgia of the Cereal Monsters
Fast-paced with little to no downtime
Gameplay doesn’t offer lots of variety