PLAY! ; PLAY! Zine

REVIEW: Boss Monster

When it comes to games with monster and dungeon motifs you usually take on the role of the hero or a group of heroes that kill the first and loots the latter. However, with the appearance of games such as Bullfrog’s Dungeon Keeper the reverse approach has been popularized, where the player controls the dungeon lord trying to kill or at least maim adventurers that came to visit with hopes of leaving with a few of your, khm, souvenirs.


One such game is Boss Monster, a product of work of a programmer team named Plain Concepts Corp and it’s based on the popular card game Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card game, which was released in 2013, and a year later became one of the nominees for The Best Traditional Card Game.  The game’s concept is pretty simple – collect souls from ten adventurers who need to be lured into your dungeon and separated from their earthly bodies, or suffer defeat if five adventurers manage to survive all traps and monsters you set for them.


To make things a bit more complicated, in every level you’ll be competing against other dungeon lords that have the same motives and conditions for winning or losing. On every move you have the opportunity to build a room in your dungeon defined by two attributes: the amount of damage or treasure, or casting magic that will give you a bonus or directly damage a rival dungeon lord. Once you’re done with the first part of your move it’s the heroes’ turn, and their composition can be seen on the left of the screen. There are several different classes of adventurers: mages, knights, thieves, priests, etc, and everyone is interested in a certain type of treasure. Here the second attribute of the room you build comes into play, since the attractiveness of the dungeon is set by the total amount of different types of treasure, and the hero will to decide to visit you instead of your opponent (and by doing so give you their eternal soul for “safe keeping”) if your dungeon has more treasure they’re interested in than your opponent does. The higher the value of the treasure in the room, the damage it will inflict to the heroes is lower, which adds to the strategic aspect of Boss Monster because you need to constantly keep the attractiveness of the dungeon compared to your rivals and at the same time keep enough “fire power” to get rid of the pests.


An interesting concept, with very interesting rooms and a large number of combinations, simple and clear rules make Boss Monster a great game to duel your friends in. Still there are two critiques we can’t help but send out to the guys from Plain Concepts Corp development:  the quality of controls is debatable at best, considering that it often that the game simply doesn’t register a left mouse click, and starting a multiplayer game is an “interesting” experience in itself, since the game doesn’t register other players unless they have an identical DLC set as the game creator.  Of course, no matter how irritating these flaws are they can be easily solved and we hope that they’ll be dealt with in the next patch.


Author: Petar Vojinović

Boss Monster



  • A very good translation of a card game
  • Interesting design and retro look


  • Horrible controls
  • Even worse matchmaking system

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