I love playing games with my kids. It’s a for-me preferred activity to end a night on rather than watching Encanto or Storybots again. We can connect, laugh, and have fun. Things have been busy in our neck of the woods for the last few months, so playing grown-up games for dad has been sporadic at best. We recently had a chance to play Yummy Yummy Monster Tummy from Lucky Duck Games. Whenever I ask my kids if they want to play a game they’ve never played before, I show them the cover. My daughter was enamored with the brightly-colored, cute monsters staring out at her and agreed to play. Would she like it? Will this be one for your family?
Yummy Yummy Monster Tummy is a cooperative, card-and-app based game, where players will work together to feed a monster different foods they like. Each person plays a card that matches the color of the monster as closely as possible. Each card is scanned by the companion app downloaded onto one of your smart devices. But don’t worry about having an exact match for your monster. Once everyone has played a card, the next monster will have to be fed, until you’ve fed every one for that level. In the end, you’ll be given a one out of three-star review for how well you matched overall.
Yummy Yummy Monster Tummy has four different areas you’ll explore when playing in Story mode. Think of them as separate worlds like in Super Mario Brothers, with levels you’ll have to pass in order to move on to the next world. Each time you start a new area, you’ll be instructed to add more cards to the draw deck as you play through new areas. This means longer levels and more monsters (and occasionally, bunnies).
Yummy Yummy Monster Tummy can be played in two different ways: Story mode and Party mode. It’s recommended to start with Story mode first, as this familiarizes you with the game and allows for a progressive play experience. Party mode lets you freely play with all the cards you’ve earned from your Story mode and it’ll offer a bit more play life out of the game after completing Story mode.
Yummy Yummy Monster Tummy is my first Lucky Duck game. I know that’s heresy. “Why haven’t you played Chronicles of Crime?” Listen, I can’t play everything, ok? Lately, it’s been a bit hectic around the house. But thankfully, that hasn’t derailed playing kids’ games! The first thing that’s worth knowing is this is an app-based game, not unlike many of the games you’ll find in Lucky Duck’s catalog. The rulebook said the app would handle teaching and running the game, so I threw the rulebook away at this point (Not really. I have to maintain resale value).
The app does a good job of teaching the basics. Whenever a new type of monster showed up, a text box would appear, telling players how to appease them. There are also four areas represented by decks that progressively get mixed together as your go through the game. The app directed us on this initial setup of separating and combining them when required. We were never lost or didn’t know what to do. The biggest hang-up for me was the process of scanning the cards, which is integral for playing the game.
There is no preview window to see if your phone is grabbing the needed QR code on the back of your cards. A few of the other Lucky Duck game apps I downloaded all had a window. We would try to get the phone to scan the cards through a process of changing its height and position from the front camera. It often didn’t nail it on the first try, sometimes taking a few tries. Thankfully, this didn’t frustrate my kids as much as it did me. My hope is a future update might add at least a tiny viewfinder to help ease this frustration because it could derail your child’s engagement if they don’t have the patience during this process.
Now that I have my one big gripe about Yummy Yummy Monster Tummy out of the way, let’s talk about the good stuff. I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s absolutely a selling point for my kids. By selling point, I mean, they think it looks cute. And you know what? They’re not wrong. The doe-eyed monsters adorn the cover and their personalities come to life in the app. The belching and farting they do when you feed them had my daughter in stitches. If that sounds like a deterrent, it wasn’t over the top or gross; just meant to elicit a laugh. The art and colors are cute and kid-friendly, everything you expect from a top-notch children’s game. It certainly helped me with getting the kids to play along.
The game is cooperative, which I think is perfect for kids. It keeps any one person from losing or experiencing hard feelings. It’s encouraged that everyone talks about how they can contribute to feeding the monsters. This gave us a great opportunity to talk about colors and let them make autonomous decisions about what to play. I think all gamers can appreciate that. While there are negative consequences if a player plays certain wrong cards at a given time, the game doesn’t go out of its way to punish. With that said, the game’s difficulty felt right for this age group. Additionally, each level you play through isn’t overly long. If your kids have a shorter attention span, this will work in their favor and will allow y’all to jump back into your progress through the game at a later time.
Yummy Yummy Monster Tummy has a good amount of replay value. As mentioned, there are four areas, which add more cards to the overall draw deck. You can always revisit these areas and replay the levels to try and improve your scores. After you’ve traversed the whole map, there’s an additional party mode that you can play, which makes use of all the cards. You could mix up and make this big deck before you’ve gone through the story mode, but I think that would take away from the experience.
If you’re looking for a light, family-friendly game that’s easy to learn and quick to play, Yummy Yummy Monster Tummy from Lucky Duck Games is a great option. The eye-catching monsters and light sense of humor will engage your young ones and give your family something fun to play with. While I wish that my one technical gripe gets fixed with an update, the hope is that this won’t be a detraction for your family in an otherwise solid experience.
Final Score: 4 Stars – A super cute, kid-friendly cooperative game that’s hindered by one technical issue
• Being unable to see if the camera is picking up the QR code can be frustrating