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Card Game Review: ‘Monster Crunch’ from Big G Creative

Monster Crunch! The Breakfast Battling Game from Big G Creative brings classic fun from the breakfast table to the gaming table. The widely recognizable monster cereals have been haunting breakfast for decades since their appearance in 1971. This new turn to competing for cards proves a bowlful of fun with lighthearted play balancing cunning strategy.

In Monster Crunch, players each pick one of famous monster cereals from General Mills: Boo Berry, Franken Berry, Yummy Mummy, Fruit Brute, and, most famous of all, Count Chocula. For each character, there are a corresponding bowl, deck of cereal cards, and monster power placards that players lay out as their set for the game. Milk Tokens, which serve as bonuses, are shared in the middle for players to collect as the game goes on.

Gameplay uses a modified trick-taking mechanic in which players draw up a hand of 12 numbered cereal cards and then take turns placing them in the cereal bowl, each new card equal to or higher than the previous player’s card. Rounds continue until players cannot play a card or choose to pass, eventually leaving one player to win the round and collect all of the cards out of their own bowl into a scoring pile. The other players discard their cards. Then, play resumes with the remaining cards in players’ hands until one player runs out of cards.

The game continues until three hands have been played out, ending immediately upon a player running out of cards for the final time. The game moves directly into scoring, and the player with the most cards collected from their bowl into the scoring pile wins. Since the numbers on the cards do not mean anything at the point of scoring – only the quantity of cards matters – players will need to strategize on two levels to win rounds by playing the higher-numbered cards while still playing low enough to get the most cards.

The trick-taking strategy in Monster Crunch requires clever moves, but the Milk Tokens and the monster powers are the real keys to victory. Milk Tokens give players flexibility from their hands by adding cards together, making two smaller value cards into one of much more power. In addition, each monster comes with unique powers. Some affect only the monster, such as Franken Berry getting extra Milk Tokens or Yummy Mummy trading out cards in hand with the scoring pile. Others affect everyone, such as Fruit Brute requiring everyone to play only even or odd cards or Count Chocula causing the round to go in reverse order with lesser numbers being played instead of higher ones. Since these are distinctive to the monsters, players will likely develop their personal favorites that match their individual gaming style.

Monster Crunch is a card game for two to five players aged nine and up. At only 20 minutes per game, it is a speedy play, making it readily replayable for gamers who want to perfect their strategies or a perfect addition to a lineup on game night. The delicious gameplay is perfect for families or for those who hold fond memories of monster cereals for breakfasts long ago. Warning: game may cause a craving for cereal.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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