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Boss Monster getting a new version, designer requests feedback from disgruntled players

A decade after its creation.

A brand new version of the dungeon-building card game Boss Monster is currently in development.

In a post on Reddit, the board game’s co-creator – Johnny O’Neal - announced that they are currently in the midst of developing a new version of Boss Monster, 10 years after the original was first designed and its crowdfunding campaign was launched on Kickstarter. Called Super Boss Monster, the upcoming board game will retain the core gameplay of the series – in which players build dungeons to lure courageous heroes to their deaths – but will feature an entirely new set of cards and potentially some new components. O’Neal also stated that whilst the backend rules, such as timings and actions players can perform, would be updated, Super Boss Monster will still ideally be compatible with any cards previously released for the series.

As well as announcing the development of Super Boss Monster, O’Neal’s post requested feedback on the Boss Monster series from its players. O’Neal admitted that “Boss Monster has a lot of flaws, and it’s not unusual to see it on lists of people’s least favourite games.” The co-creator asked a selection of questions regarding what players find frustrating or boring about Boss Monster, whether the game was imbalanced and if players liked anything about the beginner board game beyond its retro video game theme. O’Neal’s post has since received over 170 comments from Reddit users with their thoughts on the game’s flaws, with its designer responding to many users with potential solutions to their criticisms that could be included in the upcoming Super Boss Monster.

Boss Monster layout image

The original Boss Monster card game – released in 2013 – sees two to four players competing against one another to lure heroes from nearby towns into their respective lairs and, hopefully, to their eventual demises. On their turn, players can expand their dungeons by playing room cards that can contain treasure to attract heroes and/or effects and deadly traps to take down any heroes that enter in. Different heroes will be attracted to certain treasures, with players able to see and plan around the current batch of heroes set to potentially enter into their dungeons. Some heroes pay out more points when they’re defeated but may also prove to be a greater threat to the players as well.

Throughout the game, players will need to balance the attractiveness of their dungeon with its ability to eliminate the heroes that enter inside. Should a hero make their way through a player’s entire dungeon and to their boss’ hideout, then that player takes damage and risks being removed from the game. Players can to choose to play powerful spell cards to improve their chances or meddle with their opponents’ plans. Whichever player has the most points by the end of the game, or is the last boss standing, is named the game’s winner.

Besides co-designing Boss Monster alongside sibling Chris O’Neal, Johnny O’Neal also co-created Boss Monster 2: The Next Level, the Call to Adventure series – including the Name of the Wind and Stormlight Archives entries – and designed the miniatures board game The Dragon Prince: Battlecharged, which is based on the animated series.

The Boss Monster series is published by Brotherwise Games, which was co-founded by Johnny and Chris O’Neal, a studio that has since released several other titles including the spin-off game Overboss: A Boss Monster Adventure and the set collection game Unearth.

There is currently no set release date for Super Boss Monster.

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Alex Meehan

Staff Writer, Dicebreaker

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.

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