The Kingdom Death: Monster boardgame burst onto the gaming scene in 2013.  The second Kickstarter, which took in $12 million, finally ended the availability problem.  One of my friends was able to get a copy last month and we have given it a pretty good look.

It is a heavy, and it’s all the rage, but there is also a curious backlash against it.  The gaming elite sometimes push against it, but mostly ignore it, so it’s not included in the mainstream discussion.

However those who do play it are quite passionate.  There is a good bit of content if you choose to find it, although by the games very nature you may not want to do that as a key part of the game is surprise and figuring out how to overcome the challenges.

We’ve played 3 or 4 times and I get the appeal of the game, even if we are poor players.

It’s a survival crafting game.    Here is the official description:  ‘Cooperative board game set in a nightmare-horror world. Fight for your life, scavenge, craft, and band together to survive. ‘

You start out with nothing; and have to fight always more difficult creatures using materials gathered from the previous kills to craft ever better items.

I think part of the push against it is the raw horrible nature of the game and it’s graphic presentation.  I suppose some would even find it offensive.

I just really enjoy it.  Our settlement is almost wiped out, however, and we can’t seem to figure out how to succeed.  We’ve lost over half of our population, and it’s only year 4.

If I were to have a complaint, it would be that the game is slightly too luck driven.  Even the most brilliant strategy can fail with a bad draw or roll.  A series of bad draws and rolls can lead to an eventual, inevitable wipe.   It’s not fair at all, and is realistic in that way, I suppose.  Perhaps later luck plays less of a role, but for us, bad luck has been devastating.

The best part of the game is the AI system.  The actions of the creatures are determined by a sort of programming deck that is created, and it’s pretty varied and interesting.  So the more you play, the more you can predict what the creature might do, and then you can out think it, which is actually like life, where experience counts so much.

Overall I find the game to be a refreshing change, although I am thinking frustration will lead us to move on before too long.


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