Review – Monster My Neighbour
A bluffing and deduction card game.
Title: Monster My Neighbour
Year Published: 2015
Designer: Pesu Nabeno
Publisher: Korea Boardgames co. Ltd
Game Time: ~20 mins
Set-up Time: ~2 mins
Mechanic: Bluffing, Deduction
How to win: Score the most points after 5 rounds.
One player is a monster, another is a hunter — but who knows who is whom? What you do know, though, is that you can be either a hunter trying to capture the monster or a monster escaping from the hunters.
Take the 5 Monster cards and shuffle them to create the Monster deck and put one aside face down for now.
Then, take any one Hunter card, any one Hide card and the Wanted card out of the main deck. These 4 cards will be in every game so put them face down with a random Monster… Don’t look at the Monster.
Shuffle the other cards (except the Monster deck) and add cards from this deck to these 4 depending on the player count… there will be enough cards for 4 per player. Shuffle this completed deck and deal out the cards.
Play starts with the player holding the Wanted card, they discard it (as their turn) and play continues clockwise.
Each player will take a card from their hand and play it in front of themselves face up to activate the ability. This continues until either the Monster is played so the Monster and Friends will score victory points, or the Monster is discarded and everyone BUT the Monster and Friends will score.
But it’s not as simple as playing the Monster as soon as possible and winning, that would not be a good game and I wouldn’t waste my time writing about it and taking pictures, no no no.
Each card in your hand is also a round tracker and cards can only be played in certain rounds. Each Monster card tells you when it can be played… Green is Yes, Red is no and Orange is dependent on certain circumstances.
What are these other cards? Let me tell you…
The Hunters can’t be played in the first round of the game but in round 2,3 and 4 can be used to, hopefully, force a player to discard the Monster for the win. If a Hunter is ever discarded rather than played put it FACE DOWN in front of you. (I’ll explain why in a bit)
The Dog, of which there is only one, forces a player to discard a card and goes into their hand. If they discard the Monster, obviously only because it’s their last card they’d be mad to discard it otherwise, the non-Monsters win the round.
The Villager cards do nothing… There are only 2 in the deck fortunately.
The 5 Monsters each work differently and they each have a different ability that all players need to read and understand.
This card is immune to Hunters in the last round so basically you can only lose to the Dog… that would be embarrassing.
The Vampire gives you an additional point if you win.
The Mermaid cancels the first Hunter played in the game which is why discarded hunters should be placed face down. This is so if the Mermaid is passed to another player during the game they know if a Hunter has been played or not.
The Mandrake can technically win on round one if both Villagers had been played already.
The Werewolf can be played in round 2 & 3 if 2 Hunter cards have been already been played this round.
The Monsters do have help…
There are 2 Friends cards in the deck, one of which is put into the game during setup and these put that player on the Monster team, hopefully causing a player to discard a Hunter card.
There are also 5 Hide cards, 1 of which is added to the game in the setup and these prevent Hunter cards working on the player holding the Monster.
The remaining 6 card types are all actions that are played and activated…
A Rumour makes you draw a random card from the player on your right, Fog sees all players putting a card into the middle of the table and for them to be shuffled and dealt out and Gossip is where players choose a card from their hand and pass it to the player on their left. All random passing of cards and the Monster card is not immune to this…
Investigation lets you look at a players hand and the Deal and Steal cards see you swapping cards with another player in two different ways.
Once a round ends Victory Points are rewarded.
If the Monster card is played for the win, the Monster and any Friends get 2 victory points each.
If the Monster card is discarded, the player causing the discard gets 2 victory points and all other non-Monster, non-Friend players get 1 victory point.
If a Friend accidentally causes the monster to be discarded, oh dear… all non-Monster, non-Friend players get 1 victory point.
After 5 rounds whoever has the most point’s wins. You can play extra rounds to break ties or just win together.
Simple game, small box, yeah it’s VERY random but rounds are so short you just shuffle up and start the next one.
It does require accuracy and understanding from the players… Due to it’s ‘deduction nature’, you can’t really ask questions while playing and some of the rules are a bit fiddly, especially for the inexperienced gamer.
The Monster abilities, what Hide cards do, who scores how many points, when Monsters can be played etc All not quite straight forward.
Also you need to understand the game… You may discard your Villager card first because it does nothing but if 2 players do it, the Mandrake could win in the first round!
Of course, no one will know if the Mandrake is in the game to begin with because the chosen Monster is both random and hidden.
I think because it’s so cute and cartoony that rules explanations are only semi-listened to sometimes and then people think ‘oops, no idea what to do here’ or maybe its so fiddly with small rules that it’s hard to take everything in?
Whatever, it’s fun once everyone knows what to do! 🙂
Random, but fun.
I give it 6/10