Game Review: Monsters & Maidens

MonstersMaidensMonsters & Maidens & Epic Dice Expansion
Clever Mojo Games, Game Salute, 2014

Do you like the game Zombie Dice, but wish it didn’t have Zombies? Well, now there is another option out there for you, Monsters & Maidens.

The basic set comes with 9 dice (3 Maiden dice, 3 Hero Dice, and 3 Monster Dice), 3 Epic Fail cards, a Maiden Card, 2 Hero Cards and a Monster Card. Each of the 3 sets of dice have Monsters, Heroes and Maidens on their faces, but each 3 dice is weighted towards their dice type (The Maiden Dice has 3 faces for Maidens and the rest are either monsters or heroes.) On your turn, you take a Hero card and the Monster card and set them in front of you. Then you roll all 9 dice. You set any maidens rolled onto your hero card, then match up the monsters and heroes. If you have more monsters than heroes, then you move maidens equal to the number of extra monsters to the monster card. If you cannot do this, your turn is over. If you have more heroes than monsters, you are good. Then you may choose to re-roll. If in future re-rolls, should you have more heroes than monsters, you may move maidens from the monster card back to the maiden card. Once you decide to stop rolling, or if you have met an end condition, then you count up your maidens and score them.  Then the next player goes. If you fail to get maidens on your first turn and can’t re-roll, you can pick up an Epic Fail card, and on your next turn, you can change the face of one dice after your first roll.

This isn’t really my type of game. It isn’t interactive. By that, I mean that it is several players, playing solo games trying to beat the score of the others. There is no way to affect dice rolls of other players. You have to trade off the monster and hero cards every turn. If one person rolls well, they can easily get a huge lead, and it’s almost impossible to recover, and there isn’t anything to do when it isn’t your turn except watch other people roll their dice.  The game has a lot of little fiddly rules, especially when you add in the expansion, and the wording on some of the expansion bits is vague. But it isn’t really, well, fun. I misght even go so far as to call it boring. Might be a good drinking/pub game. But honestly, I think Zombie Dice works better as far as gameplay. M&M has a little of the “press your luck” aspect, but it tends to come down to one or two rolls then you’re done.

So if you are looking for a lightweight game, mostly fluff, or you just like to roll dice, go ahead and pick this up. Otherwise, I’d give it a pass.