It’s time to eat! Well, not for you, but for the monsters. Fresh off the boat (okay, my SUV) from Gen Con, Monster Munch has arrived. This is a memory game for little gamers aged 5+. I’m sure you’ve already figured out from their patented yellow box that Monster Munch is made by veteran family game publisher HABA games.
So, of course, I immediately got my little ones to test “daddy’s newest game.” Let’s see what the little monsters think.
Monster Munch is pretty easy to use. There are 24 plates on the banquet table, arranged face down in 2 rows of 12. On their turn, the player rolls a six-sided die, and the color shown corresponds to the color the player must AVOID on their turn. Starting with the plates in front of your monster, you choose one of the two plates to turn over. Does it match the color of the rental? If so, your turn ends and you lose all progress made that turn. If they don’t match, you can either continue and flip another tile, or end your turn by moving your monster as far as you have advanced on the table.
Once you have reached the end of the table, you need to return to the starting position. The player who does this first wins.
Sometimes HABA games will have cross appeal (Rhino Hero, Karuba) and become a game that you will play even when your little ones are not around. If your group isn’t into memory games, Monster Munch won’t be one of those games. This is a game that you will play with your kids or throw them up to get them out of your head for a few minutes.
I liked that the gameplay is so easy that even my 4.5 year olds can play with a little dad’s help. They rolled the die, flipped the plates and tried not to match the colors. My daughter giggled happily when my son used his luck too much. I was hoping the game would teach them a thing or two about risky decisions, as they no longer need to learn color matching. It took about 3-4 games, but eventually they learned to stop when they made decent progress. At first they just went ahead, not noticing the consequences. But as soon as they saw me moving forward and stopped, they seemed to understand it.
Even though the lightweight set of rules made learning easier for them, it wasn’t as much fun for them. That and the game seemed to go on too long. By the time we got back down the table, my son had already started checking and playing with the monster tokens at the other end of the table. Your mileage may change for the attention of your children, but the game was too long for me.
Since there is no shortage of memory games for kids, Monster Munch has serious competition. Overall, while my kids seemed to enjoy playing it, they never asked to play it again, which is usually my barometer of how much they enjoyed it. They generally like to play games with me, so they were willing to play it when I suggested it, but it never really caught on like some of my other review copies. That being said, the “press your luck” element was a nice addition to the game, so if your kids are really into memory games, this game might be worth a try.