It has been nearly a week since my first full novel, Monster Huntress, released on eBook and Paperback. It is a really fun book with a young female protagonist who you’ll love to cheer for as she goes off on a few adventures and runs into complications she never dreamed about. As a fun tie-in, I thought I would list my Top 5 games that feature monsters in some way, because my protagonist desires to be a professional hunter of monsters when she gets older (just like her parents).
You can pick up a copy in a multitude of places, but I’ll give you the link to Amazon:
5. Space Hulk: Death Angel – Let me set the scene for you: you’re aboard a space station and there are these beasts known as Genestealers in the ship with you. As you’re leading your crew of Space Marines to the front of the ship, these Genestealers are growing in number and swarming your marines. Things are tight in there, so you can typically only affect those who appear in front of each specific marine. There are few group attacks. But they will group up and attack you. The more a cluster grows in a spot, the harder they are to eliminate (and if you succeed, it only decreases the cluster by 1 for each hit) and the harder it is for that marine to survive. This game executes that growing threat in a perfect way, and by the end you usually realize it was hopeless from the start. This is a repeat offender in the top portion of solo board gamers’ lists of top games, and with good reason. So long as you don’t mind rolling a die to try and hit/survive.
4. Unbroken – This is one that just crept its way onto this list because it does monsters so very well. The premise is that you and a party of adventurers were exploring a deep cavern when you all got ambushed. Your friends are all dead and you were somehow overlooked and left for dead. Now you’re working to avenge your fallen companions and, perhaps, even make it out alive. You’ll end up fighting 4 monsters on the way, each one increasingly stronger than the last one. At the start you have nothing but your fists and your resolve, but if you’re resourceful enough you might be able to gain weaponry and other things to help you survive the series of monster encounters. This is best summed up as “Die Hard in a dungeon”, and it does an outstanding job. This is a solo-only game, and is perfect in its execution.
3. Hero Realms – I don’t know much about the base game for this one, as I’ve played the game only once. And what I played included some later boss monster packs, and that is exactly why it appears here. See, there were three of us sitting down to play this deckbuilding game. But one of us was the dragon, and the other two of us had to work together to kill that dragon. When the monster you’re fighting is controlled by a person instead of a game system, and said monster can gain benefits from purchasing/using those same cards as the players…that is a brilliant concept. This game is high on my wish list for this reason alone. Will I be the dragon, or will my wife? 🙂
2. Aeon’s End – There is so much I love about this game’s approach. You’re a group of mages fighting one big, bad boss-monster. And boy, these things can get NASTY in what they do. Not only does this game have a unique twist on deckbuilding, but it is a ton of fun to play. I’ve seen record of people “campaigning” through all of the bosses that have been released, and I really want to pick these ones up so I can do the same thing myself. This game does monsters right with that boss battle approach, and having that boss generate minions that you might want to clear otherwise the boss ramps up in their difficulty by a lot. But as fun as this is, nothing can hold a candle to…
1. War of the Ring (Second Edition)/Lord of the Rings: The Card Game/Middle-Earth – Tolkien’s universe has it all covered, even monsters in the form of Mumakils, orcs, goblins, wargs, giant spiders, trolls, dragons, Nazgul, and so much more. So this placement should be no surprise to anyone who knows what a Tolkien fan I am. Rather than letting these games take 2-3 of the 5 spots, I thought it might be best to consolidate them all into one entry. While War of the Ring gives the least “monster” feel of these three, it is still very much present through the Shadow forces combined with some of the cardplay in there. And, in my humble opinion, all three of these games are amazing implementations of Tolkien’s world in a board game format.
So there you have my top 5, and there are so many others that just missed the cut (like One Deck Dungeon). What are some of your favorite games with monsters in them?