It’s time to eat! Well, not for you, but for the monsters. Fresh off the boat (ok, my SUV) from Gen Con came Monster Munch. It’s a press-your-luck style memory game for little gamers ages 5+. I’m sure you’ve already figured out from their patented yellow box, Monster Munch is created by veteran family game publisher HABA games.
So, of course, I immediately roped my toddlers into testing out “daddy’s newest game”. Let’s see what the little monsters thought.
Monster Munch is pretty simple to get going. There are 24 plates at the banquet table, placed face down in 2 lines of 12. On a player’s turn, they roll a 6-sided die, and the color shown is what color the player needs to AVOID on their turn. Starting with the plates in front of your monster, you select one of the two plates to flip over. Does it match the color rolled? If so, your turn ends and you lose all progress you’ve made that turn. If it doesn’t match, you can either keep going and flip another tile or end your turn, moving your monster as far as you’ve progressed on the table.
Once you’ve made it to the end of the table, you need to loop back around to the start position. The first player to do so, wins.
Sometimes HABA games will have crossover appeal (Rhino Hero, Karuba) and become a game you’ll play even when your little ones aren’t around. Unless your group is super into memory games Monster Munch isn’t going to be one of those titles. This is a game you’ll be playing with your kids or tossing at them to get them out of your hair for a few minutes.
I did like that the gameplay is simple enough that even my 4.5-year-olds could play with only minimal help from Daddy. They would roll a die, flip plates over, and try not to match the colors. My daughter would cackle with glee when my son pressed his luck too far. I was hoping that the game would teach them a little something about risky choices, as they are well past needing to learn about color matching. It did take about 3-4 games, but eventually, they did learn to stop when they made a decent amount of progress. At first, they were just trucking ahead oblivious of the consequences. But once they watched me make progress and stop, they seemed to get it.
While the light ruleset made it easy for them to learn, it also wasn’t that exciting for them. That and the game seemed to go on a little bit too long. By the time we were making our progress back down the table, my son was starting to check out and play with the monster tokens off at the other end of the table. Your mileage may vary for your kids’ attention, but for mine, the game was a little too long.
With no shortage of memory games out there for kids to play, Monster Munch has some steep competition. Overall, while my kids seemed to enjoy playing it, they never really asked to play it again, which is usually my barometer for how much they liked it. They love playing games with me in general, so they were willing to play it when I suggested it, but it never became a requested game like some of my other review copies. That being said, the press your luck element was a nice touch for the game, so if your kids are really into memory games, this one might be worth checking out.