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Game Design Showdown Oct 2008 Challenge: "Monster Up!"

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Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

(This Challenge is has been completed.)

Game Design Showdown

October 2008 Challenge - "Monster Up!"

Theme: Monsters ... your game should be based around "monsters" (however you wish to define it).

Genre: Board Game ... your game should have a central board used by all players.

Additional Design Requirements:

  • Power Ups - The game should include a "power up" mechanism. This would be some way for the players (or the pieces/units on the board) to gain powers or improve, grow, or become customized throughout the game.
  • More Than Zombies - While zombies are ... um, nice. If your game includes them, it should be sure to include other monsters as well.

  • Start Date: Sunday, 12-October-2008
  • End Date: Thursday, 23-October-2008, Noon US Eastern time (approximately)
  • Voting: 24-October-2008 through Thursday, 30-October-2008

This Challenge has been completed.

Voting Results: The results of the vote can be seen in the Voting Poll.

Critique the Entries: Post constructive critiques of the individual entries to this Challenge on the Critique Thread.

Comments or Questions on this Challenge: Comments, questions and requests for clarification were handled in the Comments Thread.

For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work -- including the updated graphic image rules -- visit the GDS Content Page.

Enjoy! -Bryk

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #1 - Great Blobs of Fire!

Entry #1 - Great Blobs of Fire!

by Isamoor

The players are all mad scientists, trying to come up with the best recipe for country destroying blobs!


  • 1 Hexagonal Board Scattered with Villages
  • 2 Three-Hex Starter Blobs in each of 5 colors (shaped like a triangle)
  • 30 Blob Tokens in each of 5 colors
  • 10 Advancement Tiles
  • Money Chits


Each player takes all the pieces of one color and $20 Million. Players take turns placing one of their Starter Blobs on the board. Turn up N+1 Advancement Tiles.

Turn Structure:

Players take turns in clockwise order.

Player Turn:

A player may do one of two things on their turn:

  • A. Place new Blobs.
  • B. Auction off Advancements

A. Place new Blobs. Place two new Blob Tokens on the board. The following restrictions apply: 1. The new Blob must border at least 2 old blobs of the same color. 2. The new Blob must be placed on an open space or village. 3. If the new blob is placed on a village, the player takes the corresponding money from the bank.

B. Auction off one Advancement The player may make a bid on an Advancement. The other players join them in a raise-or-pass multiple round auction. The winner pays the bank and takes the advancement. A new advancement is turned up, and the active player's turn is over.

Example Advancements:

  • "One Blob per turn may be placed that only borders one friendly blob instead of two."
  • "You may immediately place your second started blob anywhere on the board."
  • "You may place three blobs per turn."
  • "One Blob per turn may replace an opponent's blob if all other placement rules are followed."
  • "All future villages pay you an extra $5 Million."

Game End:

The game end is triggered as soon as any player places their last blob on the board. All other players get one last turn.


Each player looks for areas completely enclosed by their own blobs. Count the number of hexes in all such areas. This is their score. Highest score wins. Money is the tiebreaker.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #2 - Monsters of the Big House

Entry #2 - Monsters of the Big House

by GrimFinger

Admin Note: Word Count = 830

They did the crime. Now, they're doing time. They're the worst monsters of society, and it's your job to keep them behind bars. Beat them. Abuse them. Just don't lose them.


  • 1 Prison game board
  • 39 inmate tokens
  • 30 prison guard tokens
  • 7 d6 die
  • 1 deck of Prison Cell inmate cards
  • 1 deck of Big House cards


  1. Place inmate tokens on prison cell spaces.
  2. Shuffle inmate deck and place face down on playing table.


  1. Players roll one dice each, and the highest roll player goes first. To break a tie, players who tied roll again. Repeat as necessary.
  2. Players start their prison guard token on the bright green "Change of Shift" space. Movement of prison guard units is determined by rolling 1d6 die. At the end of the current player's turn, play proceeds in a clockwise direction.

Event Squares:

Lock Down - All inmate tokens out of their cells, but which have not escaped nor been executed, are immediately returned to the nearest cells, when the current guard player lands by exact count on a yellow Lock Down space.

Execute Inmate - When the current guard player lands by exact count on the red Execute Inmate space, that player may remove one inmate token from a Death Row cell and removes it from play permanently. The current guard player also draws an inmate card, to determine which inmate was put to death, and places it face up on the table in front of them.

Prison Riot - When the guard current player lands by exact count on a Prison Riot space, that player then rolls 1d6 die, again, to determine how many inmates are rioting. Then, from 1 to 6 inmates of the inmate player's choice have their tokens moved out of their cells directly in front of their cells. Inmates are recaptured by guard tokens passing them or by landing by exact count on spaces occupied by inmate tokens. A recepatured inmate has their token placed back into a cell. Prison riots occur by inmates in the same colored cell block, not across different cell blocks. Death row inmates are not able to participate in prison riots. It is possible to have multiple prison riots occur, before order is restored from a previous riot.

Draw Card - When the current player lands by exact count on a Draw Card space, that player then draws one card from the Big House deck, and then follows instructions on that card.

Arrows - A player may only turn and follow an arrow space, if they land by exact count on that starting tip of the arrow. Otherwise, that player continues moving their prison guard token in the general direction around the prison hall.

Jail Break - When an inmate token lands on a Jail Break space by exact count, then all future movement by that inmate token is to proceed along the light red spaces until recaptured, killed, or they escape. Inmate tokens always have a maximum movement rate of 1 space per turn. The inmate player rolls 1d6 dice at the beginning of any turn where inmate tokens are out of their cells. The number rolled determines how many inmate tokens that the inmate player may move during their turn of play.

Escape - If an inmate token reaches an Escape space, either by exact count or by simple movement, then that inmate is considered to have escaped for good. An inmate card is then drawn and placed face up in front of the inmate player. Death row inmates cannot escape from their cells on Death Row.

Prison Guards:

Each prison guard player has a maximum of 10 prison guard tokens that they may use over the course of the game. Prison guard players may only have a maximum of 1 prison guard token in play on the board at any given time. As prison guards are killed or taken hostage, prison guard players bring a new prison guard token into play.

Prison guards roll 2d6 die at the beginning of their turn, to determine how far they may move their prison guard token.

Prison guards may forfeit their die roll on their turn, and use a weapon card to kill an inmate. Different weapons have different ranges. The inmate token is removed from player, and the current guard player draws an inmate card and places it face down in front of them.

Winning the Game:

Method 1

  1. Any prison guard player who executes three Death Row inmates by landing by exact count on the Execute Inmate space is immediately declared the winner of the game.

Method 2

  1. Prison guard player(s) and the inmate player count their points up at game end, and the highest score wins. The reward on the inmate cards is the score.


Cards that count toward scoring purposes is listed on each card. Not all cards are used for scoring purposes.

Entry 2 Image 1

Entry 2 Image 2

Entry 2 Image 3

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #3 - Ghost Trappers

Entry #3 - Ghost Trappers

by J Monty

For 2 Players


Players each take the roll of an owner of a ghost-trapping company; vying to win a lucrative city contract. Whichever company can capture and remove the most ghosts from the notorious Ghost House, wins.


  • 1 board depicting the Ghost House in the center (divided into seven rooms and foyer), two trucks, and two headquarters. It also contains a scoring track and a haunting dial.
  • 30 ghosts in two player colors (15 red and 15 yellow) and 25 neutral ghosts (white).
  • 8 trappers in two player colors (4 red and 4 yellow).
  • 1 bag.


  1. Place the board in the center.
  2. Distribute 21 neutral ghost markers into each room of the house in groups of 3. The remaining 4 neutral ghosts go into the bag.
  3. Place the Lady of the House marker onto the Attic space of the Haunting Dial.
  4. Place 6 trappers (3 of each color) into the house’s foyer. Set the remaining 2 aside for now.
  5. The youngest player goes first.

Game Play

The game is played in turns of 6 phases. Each player may take an action during any phase, so long as they meet the requirements for that phase.

1. Transport

Requirements: 1 trapper deployed to the truck; up to 4 ghosts located in the truck.

Any ghosts located in a player’s truck are moved to and stored in that player’s headquarters.

2. Deploy

Requirements: Any number of healthy trappers.

  • Deploy trapper from the foyer to a connected room.
  • Deploy trapper to its truck
  • Deploy trapper to its headquarters.

3. Materialize

Requirements: Trappers located within any of the seven haunted rooms.

The players put their ghost markers, equal to the number of trappers deployed to a haunted room, into the bag. Each player then takes a random marker from the bag.

  • If it matches their color, the player can place it anywhere they like. The player ghost must replace a neutral ghost, which goes into the bag.
  • If it’s a ghost of the rival player’s color, the player must play it in one of the rooms containing that player’s trapper.
  • It it’s a neutral ghost; the player may swap it out with a player ghost in a room not containing a trapper. Alternatively, they can use the neutral ghost to replenish a room containing less than 3 ghosts.

4. Capture

Requirements: A trapper in a room with a ghost of the same color.

Players may trap any materialized ghosts within rooms containing one of their trappers. The capturing player removes the materialized markers; places them into their truck, and scores VP equal to the number of ghosts trapped plus any bonus points from the room.

If the player’s truck doesn’t have enough capacity to hold the captured ghosts, then the remaining ghosts are returned to the bag, and the player doesn’t score for those ghosts.

Further trappings may not occur in that room until every other room has been trapped in.

5. Haunting

Requirements: Any trappers located within any haunted rooms.

The haunting dial is divided into seven spaces, each representing a different room of the house. Whichever player has the fewest points moves the Lady one space on the dial, in whichever direction they like. In the case of a tie, the Lady does not move at all.

If trappers are present in the room indicated by the Lady’s position on the dial, they are attacked by any neutral ghosts within that room. If the number of neutral ghosts is greater than the trappers, then the trappers become traumatized. In the case of a tie, the ghosts win.


A traumatized trapper is laid on its side and cannot perform any actions. It must be sent back to headquarters during the Deploy phase. On the next Deploy phase, it’s fully recovered.

6. R&D

Requirements: Must be able to purchase a gadget.

In order to purchase a gadget, a player must have deployed the requisite number of trappers to their headquarters on that turn, as well as pay a penalty cost of 2 VP.


  • Anomalous Activity Indicator [1]: Move the Lady of the House 1 additional space on the dial.
  • Psychokinetic Shock Prod [1]: Trappers break ties during the Haunting phase.
  • Free-Roaming Apparition Collector [2]: The ghost capacity of your truck is increased by 2.
  • New Hire [2]: May deploy one additional trapper each turn.
  • Residual Ectoplasm Detector [2]: During the Materialize phase draw 2 ghosts from the bag and choose which you’d like to play; return the other to the bag.
  • Necromantic Protection Suit [3]: Trappers are no longer traumatized by haunting.

Game End

The game ends when one player reaches 20 victory points.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #4 - Team Killdozer:

Entry #4 - Team Killdozer: Emergence of the Crystalmongers

by kiwasabi

Admin Note: Word Count = 910

Throughout all of humanity's existence, a species of intelligent creatures known as the Crystalmongers has lived beneath the earth's surface. Humanity's oil drilling and nuclear waste has disturbed the habitat of the Crystalmongers, which has caused them to become very hostile. The final strike against the Crystalmongers' patience came when the humans started mining for the giant crystals that the Crystalmongers' economy relies upon. The Crystalmongers have decided that their species' only chance for survival is to invade the surface of the earth and extinguish the human race.

Object of the Game:

The players are in control of a team of paranoid gun nuts who have built their own makeshift tanks that they call Killdozers. Each player controls his own Killdozer. The players must cooperate together in order to gather and share power-ups with each other and destroy all of the invading Crystalmongers. After 12 turns, the Crystalmonger Overlord will emerge. Once the players have destroyed the Crystalmonger Overlord, the players have won the game.


game board, dice (2), Killdozer stat cards (4), Killdozer player pawns (4), numbered Crystalmonger enemy pawns (31), Crystalmonger stat board (1), vehicle power-up cards (16)


Each player rolls 2 dice. The player with the highest roll gets first choice on a Killdozer and gets to go first. The player with the second highest roll gets second choice on a Killdozer and gets to go second, and so on.

Place each player's Killdozer at its designated starting position. Each Killdozer has a printed number between 1-4; place the Killdozer's player pawn on the starting square by the outer edge of the board that corresponds to its number.

Place all of the vehicle power-up cards in a face down stack and shuffle them. Randomly place one vehicle power-up card face up at each square designated "power-up".

There are 3 numbered enemy spawn points on the game board. Starting at the beginning of the game and every third enemy turn thereafter, a new wave of Crystalmonger enemies will spawn. Divide up each wave of enemies and place an equal amount of each type (small, medium, or large) of enemy at each spawn point. These enemies can be placed on any square adjacent to the chosen spawn point.

Enemy waves:

  • Wave 1: Game Start: 3 small enemies
  • Wave 2: Enemy Turn 3: 3 medium enemies and 3 small enemies
  • Wave 3: Enemy Turn 6: 3 large enemies, 3 medium enemies, and 3 small enemies
  • Wave 4: Enemy Turn 9: 6 large enemies and 6 medium enemies
  • Wave 5: Enemy Turn 12: Crystalmonger Overlord (Place at spawn point #1)


Player Turn:

After setup is complete, each player takes a turn in the order determined in the setup phase.

During each player's turn, each player can perform any 2 of the following actions:

A) Attack: The player may spend an action to attempt to damage a target enemy in an adjacent square. The attack sequence takes place in the following order: 1) Determine the player's starting attack value (printed next to "attack" on their Killdozer stat card) 2) The player rolls 1 die and adds that number to his starting attack value (Example: 2 die roll result + 6 starting attack = 8 attack) 3) Compare the player's combined attack total against the enemy's defense. If the player's combined attack value is equal to or greater than the enemy's defense value, then the player damages the enemy and the enemy takes damage equal to the "damage" number on the player's Killdozer stat card (when a player or enemy is "damaged", reduce the health on that player or enemy's stat card by the amount of damage inflicted)

B) Move: The player may spend an action to move his/her Killdozer an amount of squares equal to or less than the number printed by "Movement" on his/her Killdozer stat card (Note: Diagonal movement from one corner of a square to another shall not be allowed). The player may also pick-up, drop, or exchange vehicle power-ups with another Killdozer during a movement action. This does not cost an extra action.

C) Equip: The player may spend an action to "equip" a vehicle power-up that is in the player's inventory. Equipping a vehicle power-up makes it so that the text printed on the vehicle power-up card can be used.

Enemy Turn:

After all players have completed their turns, the enemy's turn will take place.

The enemy characters shall be controlled by players who shall follow this pre-determined set of rules: 1) Move each enemy character towards the nearest Killdozer 2) Attack nearest Killdozer if the enemy is able to move to an adjacent square 3) If the enemy has a left-over action after attacking the Killdozer, move the enemy as far away as possible from all Killdozers

Enemy Attack: Enemy attacks work identical to player attacks except for the following exception: 1 die shall be rolled for the player who is being attacked. The enemy character who is attacking does not get to roll a die. If the enemy's attack is equal to or greater than the Killdozer's defense + 1 die roll, then the enemy damages the Killdozer. (Note: Enemy characters have higher attack and defense than player characters in order to compensate for not getting a die roll)

Game End:

Once the players destroy the Crystalmonger Overlord, they win the game. However, if the players fail to destroy the Crystalmonger Overlord before all of their Killdozers are destroyed, they lose the game.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #5 - The Haunting of Lower Thelwich

Entry #5 - The Haunting of Lower Thelwich

by Uchu Saru

Lower Thelwich is being overrun by vampires and other ghoulish creatures. The news has attracted vampire hunters to town, but it's up to the citizens to guide their defenders. Players explore the town, seeking clues to the whereabouts and weaknesses of the vampires and working with the hunters to wrest control of the town from the undead. But an unlucky encounter with a vampire can change allegiances dramatically...

Players take turns moving around the board, which represents the streets and locations of mid-18th century Lower Thelwich. When visiting a location, a player will draw one or more cards. The game uses one deck of cards; when is is exhausted, it is reshuffled, though certain cards remain out of play. Each location is color coded to indicate what players may encounter; for example, the chapel is white, indicating witnesses, the museum is green and orange, indicating clues and items, and the cemetery is blue and red, indicating hunters and undead. Drawn cards with colors corresponding to the location take effect immediately; those with other colors are placed face-up in a cycling queue. They may be encountered later by any player, or eventually bumped from the queue and returned to the deck.

Green cards are clues, which offer specific helpful effects, like a map to find a vampire or a secret escape route, as well providing generic advantage tokens. Advantages come in two types: rumors and exploits. Rumors can be spent to draw extra cards or to evade enemies. Exploits improve players' ability to fight or escape enemies. Advantages can be spent in exchange for favors from vampire hunters. Clue cards are removed from the deck after use.

White cards are witnesses. They remain in the deck after use and typically give advantage tokens. A barkeep gives rumors, a sheriff gives exploits, and a nightwatchman gives some of each.

Orange cards are items, which help players as long as they are kept: a stake aids in combat, and a cross aids in escape. Like advantages, they can be spent on hunters. Items are removed from the deck if lost.

Blue cards are vampire hunters. Players may spend advantages or items to gain a favor token from a hunter, allowing the player to summon the hunter at a later time. There are three hunters in the game, each with a power track on the board. Whenever a player buys a favor from a hunter or a hunter kills a vampire, the hunter's power increases. Hunters stay in the deck after being encountered.

Red cards are the undead. Along with vampires, of which there are six in the game, ghouls are terrorizing the town. Like hunters, vampires have a power track, and will grow stronger as they win combats. Ghouls are weaker, and do not increase in potency. Defeated vampires are removed from the deck, while ghouls return to the deck.

Occasionally, cards will affect each other when multiple cards are drawn: vampires will fight with hunters, and vampires will attack witnesses and gain power while removing them from the deck. Players may join battle in these cases, or try to escape.

When a player encounters the undead, the player may first try to escape. The undead have two numerical characteristics representing speed and strength. A player may discard a number of advantages exceeding the enemy's speed to escape. Alternately, a player combat the undead alone, or spend a favor to summon a vampire hunter to help. Combat uses the strength number, which must be exceeded by a combination of the vampire hunter's power and exploits spent by the player. Items give bonuses to escape and combat. If the player defeats the undead, he gains advantage tokens and scores points, and a hunter that helped gains power. If the undead prevails, the player and hunter are wounded. If a player is wounded a third time, he dies (if by a ghoul) or becomes a vampire (if by a vampire); if a hunter is wounded three times, he is removed from the game.

If a player becomes a vampire, he must then defeat the vampire hunters in order to win the game. Vampire players can kill witnesses and turn other players into vampires.

Players get points for defeating the undead: five points for killing a vampire singlehandedly, three with the help of a hunter, and one for killing a ghoul. Players who become vampires lose these points, but gain five points for defeating hunters, three for turning other players into vampires, and one for killing a witness. Play continues until all six vampires have been killed, or until at least one player has become a vampire and all three hunters are killed. The player with the most points becomes the local hero (or vampire overlord) of Lower Thelwich.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #6 - DNeigh

Entry #6 - DNeigh

by Suhreman

Admin Note: Word Count = 980

The Kings push for discovery of new science has angered the local towns and villages. The strangest things happen at night, while townsfolk and livestock come up missing every morning. The villagers are beginning to riot and fight back.


  • 81 DNA upgrades
  • Resource tokens Sheep(white), Pig(pink), Cow(black), Wolf(yellow), Horse(brown) and Corpse(red)
  • Day/Night token
  • Villager token
  • 1 Assistant for each player
  • Monster tokens
  • Hostile Villager Cards

Entry 6 Image 1

Using your one and only Assistant you will travel around the board counter clockwise gathering sheep, pigs and cows at the markets. Also along the way the Assistant may stop in his Laboratory, Graveyard, Build, and Research, Always skipping past the Fields. Once you’ve gathered the resources to create your first monster move your Assistant to the Laboratory location. It only takes one animal type to create your very first level 1 monster. Extract the DNA from your chosen animal type and place it on the 1 in your first Lab. This locks in the main strand of DNA for future DNA upgrades.

When your Assistant stops at the Research location there will be 9 randomly drawn DNA upgrades to choose from. You may take 1 or 2 or remove the bottom row and repopulate a new top row to choose from. There are 81 DNA upgrades that should be placed in a bag at the beginning of the game. Each DNA upgrade needs 3 animal types before you can inject it into your monster. The rule is the middle strand of a DNA upgrade must match that of your locked in DNA you used to create your level 1 monster. There are 9 monster types (abilities), each type has 3 upgrades a level 2, level 3 and a level 4. Each level the ability gets stronger and more helpful towards manipulating the game in your favor. The rule is that you must start with a level 2 of a monster type and then move to level 3, 4 ect… But you may also mix and match monster types give you a multi-type monster with many abilities. The rules also apply that the middle strand must match that of your original DNA, so not all monster type will be able to pair up.

Entry 6 Image 2

Once you have your monster he may only come out at night. The game is tracked in turns moving from day to night day to night until the end of the game… Once nightfall has arrived you bring out your monsters to help you gather resources faster. Monsters do not travel around the board like the assistants, Monsters have a place and take mechanic, once a monster leaves the lab you must make an Out of Control Roll (OOC). If you succeed continue placing your monster and take the action for ththe location and bring your monster back to your lab. If you fail you’re going to have to make a Roaming Monster roll. This roll will determine where your OOC monster wandered off to cause havoc. Once at the new location take the negative action for an OOC monster in that location. For example, OOC monsters in the field kills Villagers and populates the grave yard with fresh corpses, OOC monsters in Markets closes them until the monsters move away, OOC monsters in the Laboratory randomly attacks a players lab including yourself eating useful resources, OCC monsters in the Graveyard destroy one fresh corpse. After taking this OCC action your monster stays out on the board and does not come back to the lab. At the beginning of your next turn you must make a Regain Control Roll to bring him home. Otherwise he moves to a new random location and wreaks more havoc. The Rule is the Lower the level the monster the easier to lose control, but the easier to regain. Same applies to higher levels the higher the harder to lose but harder to regain. The Fields are the only place to get wolves and horses. Your monsters are the only ones that can get them. If your monster is under your control and in the field Roll 1d6 and 1, 2, 3 take a wolf or 4, 5, 6 take a horse. Remember OOC monsters in the fields kill villagers and populated the graveyard so it’s not always a bad thing. The only other way to populate the Grave yard is to have an OOC monster in the same location as an Assistant. The monster eats any Assistants including your own and populates the graveyard with fresh corpses. On the players turn who just lost their Assistant just hire a new one for free and place it on the Laboratory location.

To get more monsters you will have to expand your Lab by stopping your Assistant at the Build location, Every 2 visits expands your lab. Each lab can hold 1 monster and has a Cage that holds 4 animals. So if your cages are filling up you have to expand.

Entry 6 Image 3

The Villager Hostility Track surrounds the game board which is also the Day/Night track. Whenever someone creates or upgrades a monster the Villager token moves one space. Whenever a monster leaves the lab move the Villager token one space. When the token reaches every 6th space draws one card from the Hostile Villager Deck and takes its action. These cards are global effects that effect game play and player’s labs.

The game ends when the villagers get to a predetermined location the Hostile track. The player with the biggest monsters (most points) wins. Add your monsters levels to figure out his total, so a level 3 is 6 victory points. Here’s the catch, to be able to score your monster he must be under your control.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #7 - GeneArena

Entry #7 - GeneArena

by tlmirkes

A board game for 2-6 players

Geneticists are a unique bunch, using smarts and ingenuity to balance on the cutting edge of science. So in this high-stress, constantly evolving field, what can a researcher do to unwind? Host a monster fight, of course! Using specially prepared DNA samples, geneticists evolve a simple animal into a fierce monster in the hopes of winning a last-abomination-standing fight.

Parts of the Game

The Board

The game board represents the arena where the action takes place. Movement on the board is defined by hexes, and the starting hexes for the monsters are marked in each corner.

Entry 7 Image 1

The Pieces

The simple animal that is the basis of your monster is represented on the board by a figure.

The Card

  • Simple Animals: Your simple animal is represented off the board by this card, which lists its characteristics. Each simple animal has a rating for Speed, Power, Range, Endurance, and Hardiness.
  • DNA: The samples of DNA you use to evolve your monster are represented by these cards. When played,these cards are placed beneath your simple animal card with the left side of the card visible, allowing you to quickly size up your animal's characteristics. DNA cards depict the alterations incurred when the represented genes are added to your animal, whether positive or negative. DNA cards remain in play once placed on your monster.

DNA cards feature an additional number: Chance. The Chance number is used when your monster is in combat with another player's monster; see 'Attacking' below.

  • Serum: Serum cards create temporary effects in monsters. Unless otherwise noted, serums have a onetime effect, and are then discarded from play.

Serum cards also bear a Chance number, and are used just like DNA with regard to this number.

Entry 7 Image 2

Playing the Game


Each player selects a simple animal, placing the matching figure in a corner of the board and placing the associated card face-up in front of them.

Shuffle the play deck, and place it where everyone can reach it. Each player draws a hand of 4 cards.

Randomly determine who goes first. Play begins with this player's turn, and proceeds to that player's left.

The Turn

A turn is comprised of 3 basic steps: 1. First Action 2. Second Action 3. Draw


During each Action step, you may take one of the following actions: - Move a monster You may move any monster a number of spaces up to its current Speed characteristic. - Play a DNA card You may play one DNA card under any monster. Place the card beneath the targeted monster's simple animal card. It takes effect immediately.

Entry 7 Image 3

  • Play a Serum card You may play one Serum card on any monster. Apply the effect of the Serum card and then discard it.
  • Discard a card Choose a card in your hand and place it in the discard pile.
  • Attack a monster Any monster that is a number of spaces away from you equal to or less than your Range characteristic can be attacked. You cannot attack yourself.


Once you announce which monster you are attacking, your monster is the attacker, the other monster is the defender. All attacks follow the same resolution process: 1. The attacker and defender each select a card from their hand and place it face-down on the table. 2. The attacker reveals his or her chosen card, and adds its Chance value to the attacking monster's Power characteristic. 3. The defender reveals his or her chosen card, and adds its Chance value to his monster's Hardiness characteristic. 4. If the attacker's value is greater, the attack deals damage to the defender. 5. If the defender's value is greater, the attack is shrugged off, and deals no damage to the defender.

Attacks that deal damage inflict 1 damage counter to the defender (use coins, beads, candy, etc. to track damage); place it on the defender's simple animal card. If a monster has as many or more damage counters on its simple animal card than its current Endurance, that monster is defeated and removed from the board immediately.


Draw until you have 4 cards in your hand.

Losing Your Monster

If your monster is defeated, you are not out of the game! When your monster is removed from the board, your turn now consists of only 1 Action step, and the Draw step. You can no longer use the attack action, but otherwise take your turns normally.

Winning the Game

If your monster is the last one on the board, you win!

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #8 - Monster

Entry #8 - Monster Island

by dannorder


Game board: The playing area is shaped like a hexagon divided into six triangular regions that are 15 hexes along each side. The center space and six hexes of each region are marked as normally impassible.

Human pieces: There are 30 pieces representing human victims.

Monster pieces: Pieces come in two sizes (covering roughly half a hex and a full hex) and in different colors (green, red, yellow, black, grey and white). The pieces connect to each other (like puzzle pieces, tinker toys or Lego blocks, depending upon manufacturing) to build the body of a monster as the game progresses. There are also a number of pieces of special shape representing extra body parts that can connect to the monster bodies to grant abilities. Some of these include tail/neck pieces and limbs (to increase reach); claws, jaws and stingers (to cause extra damage); tentacles (to hold onto human prey until another part is free to attack); spinnerets (to shoot webs); ovipositors (to drop eggs); antennae (to control human pieces); and projectors (to shoot fire or radiation).

Deck of growth cards: The deck contains 45 cards representing the various special add on pieces that can be grown during play. They are each rated by power level, with 15 of level 1, 12 of level 2, 9 of level 3, 6 of level 4 and 3 of level 5.

Six-sided die

Game set up

Players pick a color, choose starting locations, then determine order of play.

The players split up the human pieces evenly between them and take turns adding them to any space on the board that isn't blocked, within three hexes of the edge of the board, within a triangular region that already has five pieces.

The deck is shuffled and each player receives four points of monster body tokens (large sized ones count as two points, small as one) and three cards to start. They connect their pieces as desired, holding back as many as they like for future building/healing purposes, and place the monster in play with one piece of the monster on their starting position (any connecting pieces will be in the appropriate connected spaces). One piece of the monster is marked as the head. The head is the only part that can eat humans, and that piece can never be killed.

Game turns

  1. Draw a card: If the player has fewer than five cards in his or her hand, a card is drawn. If the deck is empty, reshuffle and immediately use the discard pile as a new deck.

  2. Pick a new piece: A player gets a new 1-point (small) monster body piece per turn for his or her build/heal pile.

  3. Choose whether to grow: If the player chooses to make the monster grow, the rest of the turn is forfeited. Any number of pieces in the build/heal pile can be added to the monster body at this time. Additionally cards can be played. To play any card during a turn requires first discarding one or more otehr cards in your hand. The total level of the discarded cards added together must equal or exceed the level of the card placed in play.

  4. Move: The whole of the monster can be moved up to two spaces in any direction, provided that no part of the monster's body lands on/passes through any impassable hex. Flexible parts (necks, tails or limbs) can be positioned so parts at their ends end up in any valid space, which do no count toward the two spaces. Parts that land on/move through hexes with human pieces kill them, to be eaten later.

  5. Fight: Every body part capable of attacking picks a valid target hex with a monster or human in it to attack (most attacks require adjacent hexes). Any human is automatically killed (or grabbed, grabbed humans move with monsters). Any targeted monster piece is destroyed if the total attack value exceeds its piece size (1 or 2). Any destroyed piece can instead be immediately replaced with a piece in that players build/heal pile. If the monster is reduced to just the head, you get all humans that monster killed.

  6. Eat a human: If there is a human piece immediately in front of your head piece, it can be "eaten" and added to your pile. No more than one piece can be eaten a turn. You can use special parts to restrict the movement of human pieces so that they are in positions to be eaten in later turns.

  7. Discard: Place a card in your hand in the discard pile if you so desire.

Winning the game

The first player to have 15 human pieces wins.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Results ...


Congratulations to dannorder, as his entry "Monster Island" was voted the best entry for this Challenge.

To see how the voting went, check out the Voting Poll.

To post constructive critiques and comments about the individual entries to this Challenge should be done on the Critique Thread.

Enjoy! -Bryk

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